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Comic Book People: Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s

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If you are at all interested in, influenced, by, or moved by the comicbook culture that drives the engine that is Pop Culture, than you will be interested in supporting this very unique project. Comic Book People is a treasure trove of candid photos of artists, writers, and other comicbook folks that were taken by an insider photographer. Comic Book People is slated to be a hardcover high-quality coffee table book consisting of some 600 candid photos of comics creators and related folk, taken during the 1970s and 1980s. Most of the photos are in black and white, but there will be a 16-page color section.

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Over the last 40 years Jackie Estrada has taken thousands of photos at comic conventions, science fiction shows, and other related events. The negatives for these photos have recently been digitized, creating a treasure trove of material to choose from for this book. Estrada has a solid background in photography as well as in the comics industry; and her photos of comics folks have been widely used in books, magazines, and documentaries over the years.

These photos consist of rare shots from the days before comics and conventions were big pop culture events, when the many of the founding fathers of the art form were still among us and many of today’s top talents were just aspiring young pros attempting to get themselves noticed. If you were there, this is a great way to recall fond memories. If you weren’t, these photos are a candid and unfiltered picture of a simpler time, familiar but far away.

Among the photos that you will find in this unique book are Rare shots of Golden and Silver Age greats like Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Carl Barks, Bob Kane, Harvey Kurtzman, C. C. Beck, Murphy Anderson, Jules Feiffer, Gardner Fox, L. B. Cole, Alex Schomburg, Mike Sekowsky, Curt Swan, Jack Katz, Joe Kubert, John Romita, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Bill Woggon, Wally Wood, and many others

Also included are top artists and writers as Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons, Grant Morrison, Jill Thompson, Jim Steranko, Moebius, Osamu Tezuka, Steve Gerber, Alfredo Alcala, Howard Chaykin, Louise Simonson, Walt Simonson, Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri, Mike Mignola, Matt Wagner, Art Adams, Michael Kaluta, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Stevens, Kyle Baker, Frank Thorne, Wendy and Richard Pini, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, Chris Claremont, Mark Evanier, Alex Nino, Ernie Chan, Steve Rude, Elaine Lee, and Max Allan Collins, to name just a few

Needless to say, there are also numerous photos of underground and alternative notables including Trina Robbins, S. Clay Wilson, Rick Griffin, Art Spiegelman, Francoise Mouly, Spain Rodriguez, Harvey Pekar, Melinda Gebbie, Victor Moscoso, Jack Jackson, Lee Marrs, Dori Seda, Gilbert Shelton, Carol Lay, Scott McCloud, Denis Kitchen, Larry Marder, Bob Burden, Arn Saba, the Hernandez Bros, and Robert Williams, B. Kliban, Melinda Gebbie, Victor Moscoso, Dan O’Neill, and more.

Also included in the book are photos of big-name fans, editors, publishers, and behind-the scenes folks, from Jim Shooter, Archie Goodwin, Carol Kalish, Gary Groth, and Deni Loubert to Jerry Bails, Bill Blackbeard, Don & Maggie Thompson, as well as folks like E. Nelson Bridwell, Bob Burden, Dan Clowes, and Jaime Hernandez. As stated there are more than just comic book folks, there will be pictures of Comic strip creators including Charles Schulz, Dale Messick, Russ Manning, Milton Caniff, Burne Hogarth, Bil Keane, and Floyd Gottfredson. Humor cartoonists such as Sergio Aragones, B. Kliban, Shary Flenniken, M. K. Brown, Scott Shaw!, Virgil Partch (VIP), Matt Groening, and animation greats including Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, Mel Blanc, June Foray, and Grim Natwick

Sci-Fi and fantasy authors, such as the great Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Harlan Ellison, Leigh Brackett, George R. R. Martin, Theodore Sturgeon, Clive Barker, Douglas Adams, Larry Niven, Walter Gibson, Jerry Pournelle, and many more will also be included in the book, as will movie and TV celebrities including Bill Mumy, Mark Hamill, Walter Koenig, Brinke Stevens, Gary Owens, David Carradine, Miguel Ferrer, Bill Dana, and Kirk Alyn

Part of the fun of the book will be seeing the interesting combinations of people, from Jack Kirby conversing with Adam West to Jim Shooter sitting with Wally Wood. Throughout the book Estrada will include commentary about the people and the photos.

As an added reward for people who kick in at the $125 level, will get Comic Book People Extra, a 36-page 7 x 10 booklet featuring choice photos from panels, parties, awards ceremonies, dealers’ rooms, art auctions (with the artists creating the work on easels), and costume contests at conventions from the 1970s and 1980s. Those at the $300 level will get this booklet as well. Here are a couple of photos to whet your appetite for this juicy exclusive item!

To make this book a reality, Estrada needs to raise funds to cover the design, production, printing, distribution, shipping, and storage of a high-quality hardcover publication, as well as the cost of producing postcards and other perks. If the goal is surpassed, money will go toward increasing the number of pages (and photos), upping the print run, and possibly adding a dust jacket for higher levels of backing. This book has something in it for every comics fan, and it offers many insights into the history of comics as well as some fascinating photos of your favorite creators.

Estrada’s goal is to have this book out in time for Comic-Con in San Diego in July, so that it can be sold at the Exhibit A Press booth. To do that, the printer needs the files by mid-May, so the main challenge is for her is to go through all the high-resolution scans, select the photos for the book, and write the commentary over a three-month period. Fortunately, she has lined up a top book designer to handle the production on the book, and he has the time available to work on it.

This project will be funded on Sat, Feb 22 2014

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Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.

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