Book 2

Here I’ll collect information on the books that I have written. Still filling in the blanks, so bear with me.

Histoire de la bande dessinée suédoise (2015)

Publisher: PLG, Paris, France
Format: 160 x 240 mm, softcover
200 pages, b&w with colour insert
Cover: Bovil (Bo Vilson)
ISBN : 978-2-917837-20-7
Official description: The publication of Histoire de la bande dessinée suédoise (The History of the Swedish Comics) in French is an attempt to respond to the collateral damage of the supremacy of a minority in a global medium. Scholars and historians have in fact too often summarize the history of comics through the countries that have produced the most comics: the United States, Japan, France and Belgium. The temptation is to consider that others only translated comics from these four countries, or imitated their styles and genres for exclusively local production. This is of course untrue ...

Comment: French edition of the English language Swedish Comics History from 2010. The designer chose a beautiful image by the Swedish artist Bovil for the cover.

Seriebiblioteket (2014)

Publisher: BTJ, Lund, Sweden
Format: 240 x 180 mm, softcover
272 pages, b&w
Cover: Nina Hemmingsson
ISBN : 978-9170187711
Official description: Seriebiblioteket (The Comics Library) is an overview of graphic novels published in Sweden, a combination of the reference book and source of inspiration for all who want to know more about this exciting art form. The book is divided into themes so that the reader can easily find new interesting reading experiences. Each book is presented in detail, with information about its creator, suggestions for further reading and much more. Whether you are an experienced comics readers or have recently discovered the fascinating world of comics, this is a book that can guide you in the wide range available today.

Comment: An extended and revised edition of the 2005 book with the same title, with new texts about comics at libraries by Ola Hellsten and Mats Nordström. Oh, and a beautiful cover by one of my favourite artists, Nina Hemmingsson.

Hvad er en tegneserie? – en begrebsanalyse (2013)

Publisher: Damgaard, Aarhus, Denmark
Format: 140 x 210 mm, softcover
140 pages, b&w
Cover: Thomas Nøhr
ISBN : 978-8799485758
Official description: Hvad er en tegneserie? provides an overview of what leading comic researchers through the ages have written about the definition of the comic as a concept. The book examines hereinafter the different ways to define a concept and draws correlation between the defining writers' motives and their conclusions. At the end of the book the author gives his own idea of how the concept of comics can be defined.
For the first time in Danish comics researchers, creators and readers thus get an understandable, yet thorough book, which can form the basis for further discussions and studies of comics.

Comment: A Danish edition of my Swedish book Vad är teckande serier? – en begreppanalays from 2003, with a beautiful new cover illustration by Thomas Nøhr.

Jewish Images in the Comics – A Visual History (2012)

  • Publisher: Fantagraphic, Seattle, US

  • Format: 155 x 155 mm, hardcover

  • 424 pages, b&w

  • ISBN : 978-1-60699-528-0

Official description: Jewish Images in the Comics showcases more than 150 comic strips, comic books and graphic novels from all over the world, stretching over the last five centuries and featuring Jewish characters and Jewish themes.

The book is divided into chapters on Anti-Semitism, the Old Testament, the Holocaust, Israel, the Golem and much more, featuring everything from well-known comics like Art Spiegelman’s Maus and the work of Will Eisner to much more obscure (and in some cases far less savory) but no less culturally and historically interesting examples of how Jewish culture has been depicted in comics.

As with Strömberg’s previous two books for Fantagraphics, each strip, comic, or graphic novel is spotlighted via a short but informative 200-word essay and a representative illustration. The book is augmented by a context-setting introduction as well as an extensive source list and bibliography.

Black Images in the Comics - A Visual History (2012)

  • Publisher: Fantagraphics, Seattle, US

  • Format: xxx x xxx mm, softcover

  • 304 pages, b&w

  • ISBN: 978-1-60699-562-4

Official description: This book spotlights over 100 comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels to feature black characters from all over the world over the last century, and the result is a fascinating journey to, if not enlightenment, then at least away from the horrendous caricatures of yore.

The book begins with the habitually appalling images of blacks as ignorant “coons” in the earliest syndicated strips (Happy HooliganMoon Mullins, and The Katzenjammer Kids); continues with the almost-quaint colonialist images of the often-suppressed Tintin album Tintin in the Congo and such ambiguous figures as Mandrake the Magician’s “noble savage” assistant Lothar in the ’30s (not to mention Torchy Brown, the first syndicated black character), moving on to such oddities as the offensive Ebony character in Will Eisner’s otherwise classic The Spirit from the ’40s and ’50s.

We then continue into the often earnest attempts at ’60s integration in such strips as Peanuts (and comic books such as the Fantastic Four), as well as the first wave of “black strips” like Wee Pals, juxtaposed with the shocking satire of underground comics such as R. Crumb’s incendiary Angefood McSpade. Also investigated is the increased use of blacks in super-hero comic books as well as syndicated strips. Black Images in the Comics wraps up from the ’80s to now, with the increased visibility of blacks, often in works actually produced by blacks, all the way to the South African strip Madam & Eve, Aaron McGruder’s pointed daily The Boondocks, and more — including over a dozen new entries added to the out-of-print hardcover edition.

Each strip, comic, or graphic novel is spotlighted via a compact but instructive 200-word essay and a representative illustration. The book is augmented by a context-setting introduction, an extensive source list and bibliography, and a foreword by Charles R. Johnson, the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship and winner of the National Book Award for his 1990 novel Middle Passage.

Comment: An extended softcover edition of this book, where I added many of the new comics that I had added in the French and Danish versions, but also other interesting examples of comics that had been published since the previous English language edition from 2003.