"The man who gave comics its memory" Bill Blackbeard 1926-2011
April 25, 2011 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Bill Blackbeard, founder of the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art, passed away March 10. The Comics Journal calls him "without question or quibble the only absolutely indispensable figure in the history of comics scholarship for the last quarter century."

Most comics fans have read The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics edited by Blackwell and Smithsonian Press editor Martin Williams, or one of the 200 other books he edited.

The SFACA collection, 620 boxes of which have been completely cataloged are owned by the The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum where they are available to researchers. Here is a list of other comics research libraries. [previously on MetaFilter]
posted by jessamyn (14 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

Thanks for everything, Bill.
posted by mwhybark at 8:37 AM on April 25, 2011

posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 8:58 AM on April 25, 2011

posted by brundlefly at 9:12 AM on April 25, 2011

Very interesting article, thanks. I am getting ready to go look at an archive of Shanameh illustrations, but I am also a lifelong comic book fan...
posted by Slothrop at 9:22 AM on April 25, 2011

posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM on April 25, 2011

posted by Hesychia at 9:43 AM on April 25, 2011

A true hero. And his name was Blackbeard!

posted by Faint of Butt at 9:47 AM on April 25, 2011

posted by Scoo at 10:18 AM on April 25, 2011

posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:57 AM on April 25, 2011

I have been interested in comics history for years, and have both Smithsonian collections, and somehow didn't know who this guy was. Thanks for this post.
posted by jtron at 11:04 AM on April 25, 2011

posted by trip and a half at 11:07 AM on April 25, 2011

I would not be the artist I am today without Bill's efforts to document the greats of the medium.

posted by egypturnash at 2:41 PM on April 25, 2011

posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:09 PM on April 25, 2011

Bill Blackbeard was of the "original wave" of comic strip and comic book collectors and preservers. If it wasn't for him a LOT of the strip reprint books that we enjoy now wouldn't even have a market.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 6:08 PM on April 25, 2011

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