I've always been fascinated by the history of this medium, going back to the Sixties and the typewritten, hand-stapled copies of The Panelologist I ordered from Jerry Bails. In many ways, Jerry is responsible for this blog. I grew up in the Detroit area and attended some of the earliest comic shows, The Detroit Triple Fan-Fairs, organized in part by Dr. Bails. I bought some of my first Golden Age comics from him as a shy kid at these conventions. I eagerly read and re-read his scholarly take on what most adults disregarded as childish trash. Years later, Jerry helped me on many occasions when I had run into a wall in my own comic history research or just needed to run some of my theories by him. He's gone now and I miss him. But I want to thank him just the same.
The Panelologist vol. 1 #1
This next part is uncomfortable for me as I hate to talk about myself, but probably should at this point.
I've been referred to as a comic historian, but that sounds like a frightening combination of Jerry Lewis and Stephen Ambrose, so I prefer comics detective. Maybe you've read some of my writings on my Comicartville website. Or maybe you've seen some of the articles I've had published in ALTER EGO, THE COMICS JOURNAL and Craig Yoe's ARF FORUM. Greg Theakston used an abridged version of one article for the text of his book, WILL EISNER: EDGE OF GENIUS. I've been an unnamed contributor to numerous publications over the years, a named contributor to OVERSTREET'S PRICE GUIDE, cited by Bob Andelman in his Eisner bio, A SPIRITED LIFE and in the credits of the Eisner documentary film, “Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist”. And yeah, that's a copy of my Merry Marvel Marching Society membership card and kit in THE MARVEL VAULT book from a few years back.
I'll probably refer back to some of these from time-to-time as my research doesn't end when an article does. I'm currently finishing up a long piece on the life and career of Bernard Baily, a much shorter piece on Matt Baker and a half-dozen other writings in various stages of completion. I plan on featuring previews of articles as they develop and will often seek advice and information from YOU, the reader. I'm fortunate to have friendly relations with some of the most thoughtful and generous people involved in the study of this medium, and hope to feature their words and insights upon occasion.
As for comments--I welcome them all! But please follow these rules of the road:
1) Always be respectful. No insults, no name-calling, no airing of grudges.
2) No adults-only language. In other words: don't curse or use language you wouldn't use in front of children. I want this blog to be viewable by as many curious comic book fans as possible and that includes the young.
3) No political, religious or other divisive posting. There are plenty of sites and discussion lists devoted to those pursuits. This isn't one of them.
I have the ability to moderate comments here on my end, so any comment that violates the above will be summarily deleted.
Please follow these easily followable rules and we can all have a good time and perhaps learn something.