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Don’t Know Much About History

I have a fascination with comics history, and a deep a appreciation of comics historians. My meager knowledge is buttressed by the writings of some great researchers. Following are a few of the wonderful teachers that inform us about comics past and present by way of some go-to blogs.

 

American Newspaper Comics by Allan Holtz is an indispensable reference book, but Allan has an enjoyable and educational blog called The Stripper’s Guide. There he favors us with regular installments of his famous “Obscurity of the Day” where he tells us of little known comic strips from the 19th up to the 21st century; “What the Cartoonists Are Doing” reposts news items from Cartoons Magazine of a hundred years ago. “Wish You Were Here,” “News of Yore,” and other uncategorized items keep also us entertained and informed. In addition Allan provides space for Alex Jay’s “Ink-Slinger Profiles” and the research of Jeffrey Lindenblatt, which is currently “Paper Trends.”

Occasionally (currently) Allan is inclined to put his personal life (“My house renovation is taking up a lot of time right now…”) over his efforts to amuse us. But there are 15 years of Stripper’s Guide archived to feast on until he returns.

 

Respected comics historian John Adcock reports on the early history of cartoonists in newspapers and the comic weeklies of the 19th Century and stretching into the 20th. When John started the Yesterday’s Papers site in 2008 he enlisted contributions from a Who’s Who of comics historians (still available).

A couple years ago John joined forces with comic strip and comic book editor and historian Richard Marschall to bring back the acclaimed Nemo, The Classic Comics Library magazine. One result of that partnership was Richard writing a regular column for Yesterday’s Papers about his life with cartoonists. So these days we get knowledgeable and captivating articles from John and Richard covering comics history from the beginning to the present.

And the wonderful Nemo should be returning soon!

 

Another engaging and enjoyable magazine is Hogan’s Alley. While Hogan’s Alley doesn’t have a blog, editor Tom Heintjes’ Twitter account updates a number of times a day, including the daily “Today in Comic History.” Tom’s Twitter feed, like his magazine, is a joy.

 

Comics historian and current comics events chronicler Robert C. Harvey has had a regular column for Humor Times. Bob picks a topic and, as is his wont, goes in-depth into the subject. Always impressive.

 

When Paul C. Tumey gave up his Screwball blog a few years ago we accepted it because there was the anticipation of his fantastic book. Now we wait for a second volume, but we don’t have to forego Paul’s delightful look into the screwy comics of the past. Paul currently participates, on a regular basis, to The Library of American Comics blog. A lively look at zany comics.

 

Rob Stolzer is an artist and an Art Professor and a lover of comics. While many of us have followed Rob’s essays about comic art for years, now he has his own Inkslingers blog! While Rob is a researcher and historian his focus is on the ART. The newly-begun blog begins with two of Rob’s favorites Bud Blake and T. S. Sullivant. More fantastic art coming.

 

Since we can’t go to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum to research (closed for Covid), the Billy Ireland has come to us.

The above is only a few of the blogs we recommend (and some of the historians above have other outlets). Soon(?) we will return with more recommendations. While we wait for hard copies of books and magazines, there is fascinating reading and information at the above locations.

 

 

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