Homage to Bill Blackbeard
A quick post to give homage to Bill Blackbeard with whom we worked for so many years on early comic strip complete collections.
I am very sorry to see him pass away, his encyclopedic knowledge of comics strips and his amazing collection which I went to visit back in the eighties in San Francisco was amazing. A monumental number of boxes safe in a dry big basement.
I started working with him in the early eighties as we started the first ever complete reprint of any strip in library-worthy clothbound books, beginning with Terry & The Pirates. His collection was thoroughly amazing, going 3-4 newspaper clippings deep which allowed him to make the best choices for reproduction which he would then send us as a batch for each volume for us to reproduce and then work on further so as to make the repro as sharp as possible within the means available back then.
This series was very popular, went for 12 very thick volumes. And each volume had an intro by Bill that set the scene of the day as well as providing info on Caniff. It was the start of our Flying Buttress Classics Library which are now rare collector’s items.
We went on, along with Bill who was quite happy to work with us in making such a permanent printed archive, to do the same with Wash Tubbs & Capt. Easy by Roy Crane and then, of course, Tarzan by first Foster, then Hogarth, where we went full color.
Every volume had wonderful informative notes by Blackbeard.
His contribution to the field of preservation of this art form is immeasurable.
I will never forget him.
See the notice on ICv2.