NESFA Members' Reviews

Comic Book Encyclopedia

by Ron Goulart

Harper Collins, 2004, ISBN 0-06-053816-3

A book review by Elisabeth Carey

This is a big, beautiful, richly illustrated book that covers a lot of territory—the history and development of  comic books and graphic novels. It attempts to cover the entire field, characters, artists, writers, and give at least a basic understanding of the history. Unfortunately, as it says on the cover, "Nearly 400 BIG pages!", i.e., it's not quite four hundred pages. That's not enough space for in-depth treatment, it's made a bit more cramped by those beautiful illustrations (which, I must say, it would be a shame to lose.). The articles are mostly short, and characters one would have thought important enough for their own entries are reduced to mentions in broader entries. (Bugs Bunny, for instance, is barely mention in the "Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies" entry.) This is a good, fun book nevertheless, but possibly a better choice for the reader just getting seriously interested in comics, than for the established fan who already has an in-depth knowledge of the field.

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