I reviewed Dan Mazur‘s and Alexander Danner’s Comics. A Global History, 1968 to the Present in early September 2014 [in Portuguese only], connecting it to an ongoing and mutating trend around the history and memory of the medium of comics which I had dubbed “the recuperation of memory”, riffing from Thierry Groensteen’s adroit criticism that this had been (or still is) an art that has some difficulties in living with its own past. But since the mid-2000’s there had been a steady flow of archival editions in a multitude of contexts that was making possible a continuous, grounded access to many texts that were fundamental to an understanding of the complexity of comic’s own history. While not perfect or exhaustive (an impossible task), that incredible supply, associated with a no less incredible academic output in the past years, pushed for the need of a balanced act of cartography, and A Global History seems to offer just that: an English-language map of worldwide comics’ production, and one which presents, as I wrote, “a smooth and broad sailing.”
I describe the book overall, pointing out how it is a very balanced take between broader perspectives and closer readings of specific contexts, markets, authors or even books. While there is unsurprisingly more attention given to the more central markets, there are enough mentions to peripheric poles of production. Even though, somewhat like Michael F. Suarez’ The Book. A Global History, the use of more diverse and localized expertises would probably bring up stronger assets to the table, considering the duo’s span, it is a great job. And it’s also a readable volume, more importantly, easily consultable and to the point, allowing for multiple usages of the book (casual reading, information checking, context-making, in a class, etc.).
Both authors were generous enough to give me some of their time for this email interview. This was published immediately in English at The Comics Alternative, here.