Well, speaking of wandering around the comics landscape, if there’s one tour guide who seems to know what he’s talking about, Paul Gravett is among the most intelligent and accessible comics critics and historians out there. His "1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die actually about 1001 comics you may want to read, his website is full of erudite observations and he generally one of the smart guys. All of which is to explain why I’m so happy he has a new book coming out next year called Comics Art, which US publisher Yale Press describes thusly:
In this richly illustrated and accessible survey, acclaimed author Paul Gravett considers the vast output of comics culture from the late 19th century to today, including syndicated comics, graphic novels, and contemporary art and illustration. Along with foundational masterpieces such as Rodolphe Topffer’s and Wilhelm Busch’s albums, George McManus’s Art Deco “Bringing Up Father” and Alex Raymond’s “Flash Gordon” to the later retro-stylings of Robert Crumb, Gravett considers lines of influence from around the world and examines how comics have shifted from support of the status quo to becoming the voice of alternative subcultures. Gravett traces the major themes taking place in contemporary comics, noting the rise of publications that function as questioning, transgressive outlets for outsider stories and ideas, and includes the ways that ancient traditional folk art traditions are reinvigorating the form.
MNo one is more qualified to write on this topic. on his blog Gravett revealed the cover by Joost Swarte. The book was designed by Peter Stansbury and will be published by Tate in the UK in November and by Yale Press in the US in February 2014. Advance copies will be available at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal on October 18th-20th.