Scott, Elaine. Funny Papers: Behind the Scenes of the Comics.
Photographs by Margaret Miller. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1993. 1993.
90pp. ISBN 0-688-11575-6 (cloth).
Introduction . . . 1
Jokes, Gags, and Stories . . .9
In Their Opinion . . . 21
A Bright Idea . . . 29
Funny Pictures . . . 41
Finishing Touches . . . 49
Getting Syndicated . . . 57
Sunday Funnies . . . 65
Comic Books for Fun and Profit . . . 73
Of Rings and Things . . . 83
Afterword . . . 87
Index . . . 89
Review by Gene Kannenberg, Jr.:
For a book designed as an introduction to comics for children, Funny
Papers covers a lot of ground: the history of comic strips (and, with
far less detail, comic books) in America, along with creator interviews
(Schulz, the Brownes, Ketcham, and more), tips on drawing, syndication
practices, merchandizing, even techincal information on art reproduction.
Of course, along with such an attempt at comprehensiveness in only ninety
(large) pages, a good bit of this information is skimpy, misleading, or
downright incorrect. Most of the book's mistakes can probably be attributed
to Scott's role as "series book producer": this volume is only one of several
such "behind the scenese" books which Scott has produced, and she apparently
has relied upon a good deal of previously published material (or perhaps
the recollections of people familiar with such material); common mistakes
such as spelling Fredric Wertham's first name incorrectly and an inaccurate
etymology of "yellow journalism," as well as a discussion of how the Comics
Code no longer exists, represent the types of factual errors which creep
up with some regularity in the text.
Still, for the most part the book presents a wealth of information for
children first learning about the comics field; I can't immediately think
of another book directed at this age group which manages to cover such
a wide range of territories. The Afterword even lists all of the Reuben
award winners up through 1992. As long as one reads with an understanding
that many of the book's "facts" need to be double-checked, Funny Papers
can represent a serviceable introduction or children to a wide range of
information about comics.
is Copyright © Gene Kannenberg, Jr., Gene@ComicsResearch.org.
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academic research. This Page Last Updated 20 July 2000.