I finally bought a copy of "Essential Guide to World Comics" after being tipped by my friend Reno Maniquis that it is already available in Powerbooks.
I think this book is very important since it is the first book to examine in relative detail the comparative comics culture of the different countries of the world.
I am very glad that the rich Philippine comics tradition, hitherto neglected by international comic historians, has earned a generous space in this book, as it relates the unique contributions of the Filipinos to world comics.
Tony Velasquez, the Father of Philippine Comics, was also chosen by authors Tim Pilcher and Brad Brooks, as one of their choices for world class comics creators, together with Japan's Ozamu Tezuka, Argentinian Alberto Breccia, India's Anant Pai, and Belgian Herge, among the few selected others.
A special two-page spread tribute to Tony Velasquez, father of Philippine Comics.
I am also happy to find on the cover of the book our very own Kenkoy(as well as on the back), happily at home among the world's immortal cartoon characters like Astroboy, Dennis the Menace, Captain Marvel, and Tintin.
Interestingly, the book focuses more on the other lesser-known comics industries of Thailand, Vietnam, Hongkong, India, and many other Asian countries.
The Philippines occupies some six pages in the book (including the two-page tribute to Tony Velasquez), as well as some mention on the other sections of the book.
Also noteworthy are the sections on Africa, Europe, and the rest of the so-called "non-manga" and "non-superhero" comics industries.
Perhaps comics researchers and scholars may find the book to be disappointingly too brief and general, but I think the authors succeded in putting together in one compact, fascinating, and lavishly illustrated book a real essential guide to world comics, for the comics enthusiasts and collectors. Or for just anyone with even the slightest interest in comics.
So go ahead and treat yourself a tasteful of a book, and don't expect to borrow someone else's copy, I bet they will never lend their own copy :-)
THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO WORLD COMICS
by Tim Pilcher and Brad Brooks
Illustrated, 319 pp.
A Chrysalis Publication, 2005