This page is moving to:

Geocities is shutting down this year. Please update any bookmarks you may have. This page will remain here until Geocities shuts down. As of today (June 25, 2009), the above link is to an identical copy, but I may be redoing things in my upcoming redesign of my website. Thank you for your patience.


By J. Stephen Bolhafner
Published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Sunday, Sunday, January 6, 1991, Page 5D

By Judith O'Sullivan
200 pages, Little, Brown, $50 ($24.95 paper)

"ONE HUNDRED Years of Cartoon Art'' is the subtitle for this marvelous book that recounts the history of comics, concentrating primarily on the syndicated daily newspaper strips, secondarily the recent surge of underground comics, with a brief nod to the superhero comic book. It contains 17 color and 120 black-and-white illustrations, including nearly every famous name in comicdom, from R.F. Outcault (creator of the first regular comic character ''The Yellow Kid'') to Berke Breathed. A biographical listing in the back is even more complete, with capsule biographies of dozens of artists and writers not mentioned in the text, as well as everyone who is.

Judith O'Sullivan is also responsible for the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service show, The Great American Comics. Most of the original pieces in that display are reproduced here.

There is always something to argue about with a compendium like this - not enough attention paid to this or that favorite artist, too much emphasis on another. But one could hardly argue with the broad strokes of the historical outline presented here, or the importance of the cartoonists on which O'Sullivan concentrates.

In the end, though, a book like this succeeds or fails not on the analysis presented in the text but in the quality of the pictures. The illustrations are all either wonderful to look at or representative of some aspect of cartooning, and usually both. If fault is to be found with the book, it is only because we wish that it could be longer.

Comments? Questions? Drop me a line
This page has had visitors since 09/01/2000
This page was last updated: 09/02/2000

Steve's Reads (Home)
This Week's ReadLast Week's ReadPrevious Reads
CerebusSandmanLove and Rockets
InterviewsReviewsComics & Comic Books
Good Comic BooksGood Comic MagazinesAlternative Comics

The words on this page and others maintained here are © J. Stephen Bolhafner.
Images in this webspace or pages linked here are all © their respective creators
Feel free to add add this page as a link, or to copy any of the links to your own page -- just don't copy the words themselves without my express permission, or I shall be forced to send my lawyer over to beat up your dog.