I was saddened to hear about the recent death of comics historian Bill Blackbeard. Tom Spurgeon had recently written about him and how he deserved a spot in the Eisner’s Hall of Fame this year. That prompted me to (1) agree immediately with Tom and then (2) write about my own dealings with Mr. Blackbeard.
I didn’t know that by then he had already passed. Tom has the best obituary, if such things can be defined by that term.
Fantagraphics’ Gary Groth shares some personal memories plus tributes from others.
Sparkplug has an interview with him from a while ago that’s first rate.
What a heartbreaker. The guy literally and single-handedly saved newspaper comics from the shredder of history.
Let’s see what else is out there:
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I worked a lot with Bill Blackbeard and his San Francisco Academy of Comic Art. We never met -- it was all phone and mail.
You can find him credited in a couple dozen comics and collections that I put together on behalf of Malibu Comics. Everything from squarebound collections of Spicy Mystery Tales and Spicy Detective Stories to comic book reprints of The Shadow and Sherlock Holmes newspaper strips.
Without his guidance, his help and access to his massive collection of organized material, those books wouldn't have existed, and I wouldn't have learned as much as I did.
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