Posted by: ryalltime | March 31, 2009

Preview-ing Comic Books 101

After what seemed like forever (to me, since I started writing the book in January 2008, and probably to you, since I started talking about it here and elsewhere soon after), COMIC BOOKS 101, the prose-with-tons-of-illustrations book I co-wrote with Scott Tipton and have been pre-order hawking through the sidebar ad here, is finally being offered in Diamond’s Previews catalog as of tomorrow (page 317 of tomorrow’s catalog–details below in the text of the official press release we sent around tonight). Sure, check out what IDW’s got to offer in the catalog for June release, but I’d also ask that you dig a bit deeper into this one, to check out what we have to offer here. Or just read on…


The Book, Due in June and co-written by Chris Ryall and Scott Tipton, features Contributions from Many Entertainment Luminaries

(San Diego, March 31, 2009) – Chris Ryall, IDW Publishing’s Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, and Scott Tipton,’s founder, are proud to announce the May release of Comic Books 101, available for pre-order in Diamond’s Previews catalog being released to comics shops tomorrow, April 1.

Comic Books 101, coming from IMPACT Books, is a 288-page prose-with-illustrations primer to the comic-book industry. The book serves as an overview to the industry, discussing:

– the history of comics
– the top publishers
– most popular characters
– pioneering creators
– a full rundown of Hollywood movie and TV adaptations.

The material is presented through prose chapters, personal asides, anecdotes and sidebars, and contributions from comic-book luminaries, and features over 100 full-color illustrations detailing historic moments, characters, covers and creators.

Comic Books 101 is the natural outgrowth of the long-running Comics 101 column run by Scott Tipton at the Web site of the same name. The weekly column has been running since its launch at Kevin Smith’s Movie Poop site in 2004. Prior to joining IDW, Ryall served as that site’s Editor-in-Chief.

Comic Books 101 features an all-new introduction from comic-book great Stan Lee, and includes all-new sidebar contributions from Clive Barker, Joe Casey, Paul Dini, Joe Hill, Brian Lynch, Gene Simmons, Mark Waid, Marv Wolfman, and many more. Harlan Ellison contributed a brand-new, 1,500-word recollection detailing the first comic book he ever read as the book’s “outroduction.” The book also features many all-new chapter illustrations and cartoon images from artists like Mark Engblom, David Messina, and Nick Roche, dozens upon dozens of images of classic covers, characters, and creators, and a cover by Locke & Key artist Gabriel Rodriguez.

“It’s been a pleasure to assemble Comic Books 101 for many reasons, not least of which was the chance to get recollections and remembrances from so many creators we’ve long admired,” said 101 co-writer Chris Ryall. “The book offers plenty of entertaining stories for longtime fans as well as offering new fans or comic-curious folks an easy, illustrated intro to all facets of the industry. If you want to know who Western Publishing is, where Superman—and his creators—came from, the different types of manga, the differences between a comic and a graphic novel or which TV and movie adaptations were the best and the worst, all of that and so much more is right here in this book.”

“The motivation behind the column has always been a simple one,” asserted 101 co-writer Tipton. “Introduce new readers to the world of comics with entertaining history lessons that celebrate both the grand and the goofy, the silly and the sublime. Comic Books 101 allows us to take that philosophy to the next step, with both a more detailed historical approach and ‘Guest Lectures’ from some of the biggest names in comics and popular culture.”

Comic Books 101, ISBN: 978-1-60061-187-2, is a 288-page, 8” x 8” softcover book with a retail price of $22.99. It is available for pre-order through the April ’09 Diamond Previews catalog (page 317, Diamond order code APR09 1125) or at

Complete Comic Books 101 PDF or galley available upon review request.

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