Bob Beerbohm – RIP

Comics historian Bob Beerbohm has passed away.

Robert Lee (Bob) Beerbohm

June 17, 1952 – March 27, 2024

Bob was an early reader of comic books in Saudi Arabia where his father was working. When he returned to the United States (Nebraska) he became involved in comic book fandom and entrepreneurship as a teenager, buying, selling, and trading comic books though the mail and by participating in some of the earliest comic book conventions.

By the early 1970s in had moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he partnered with others to open comic book stores, again some of the earliest. There he met and befriended many of the then current underground comix artists in San Francisco. His knowledge of comic books expanded into comix books and the psychedelic concert posters and art of those same artists.

Opening his own comic shops he remained a major comics dealer until his storage warehouse was flooded.

Not content with the available knowledge of comics he began a lifelong search for what was not known. In that cause he founded a Usenet group that gathered others of like mind researching the history of comics that happened before what was in the history books – pre-Superman, pre-Yellow Kid.

Bob and his fellow travelers vastly expanded the current knowledge of Platinum Age and Victorian Age comics. Bob himself found the lost first comic book published in America, a pirated English edition of The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck by Rodolphe Topffer (Wilson & Company, New York City 1842).

Bob shared his research in various articles detailing the beginnings of the modern comic book, the origin of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman in 1933, the development of comix books, and more. Bob’s magnum opus was his never-finished The Comic Book Store Wars. He generously shared details of that on Facebook pages up to his death.

More about Bob at his LinkedIn page and his Wikipedia entry.

Bleeding Cool’s obituary has remembrances, as does the Bob Beerbohm and Robert Beerbohm Facebook pages.

Bob shared with the public that he had inoperable cancer but even so daughter Katy’s announcement came unexpectedly quick. Katy has asked for help with funeral expenses.