Like Jerry Lewis, comic books seem to be an American institution best appreciated and understood by the French. Jean-Paul Gabilliet’s Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books provides the first scholarly overview of the development of the American comic book industry. First published in French in 2005, Of Comics and Men has finally been translated into English by Bart Beaty and Nich Nguyen, who worked with Gabilliet to update the history to make it as up to date as possible. Their effort adds up to nothing less than an encyclopedic study of what comics are, how comics have changed, and who has read them—all with an eye on how those factors interrelate in the realm of cultural production. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "French Twist."
[Many thanks to the University Press of Mississippi for providing me with a review copy of Jean-Paul Gabilliet’s Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books.]