The book gathers together everything Derleth wrote--articles, reviews, editorials--about the comics, including the (low-distribution) series of published articles (c. 1945) that together make an embryonic version of the book Derleth always wanted (per catalogs printed as early as 1941), but never did publish separately: COMICS IN AMERICA. Derleth does refer occasionally to early comic books, but this primarily is a book about the comic strips, from their inception in the newspapers until the 1960s. It is a substantial book, though in instances Derleth covers some of the same ground, which also features a lengthy bio-biblio essay about Derleth re his fascination with comics.
Comics in America by August Derleth is aimed at two audiences primarily: first, enthusiasts and compleatists who wish to explore this hitherto nearly unknown facet of August Derleth’s fascinating personality and history; and second, aficionados, or simply interested readers, who know the comics already, but who might appreciate this early proponent of the subject.
August Derleth in a writing career that began at age 15, in 1924, until his untimely death in on July 4, 1971, never left his roots in Sauk City, Wisconsin. He wrote and edited more than 150 books and co-founded a publishing company, Arkham House Publishers in 1939 devoted to fantasy fiction. He was also for many years the literary editor and a columnist for the Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin. Derleth was one of the most versatile and important writers about middle America of his time.
August Derleth’s famed Sac Prairie Saga that includes such outstanding journals as Walden West, Return to Walden West, Wisconsin Country; novels like Evening in Spring, Shield of the Valiant, Still is the Summer Night; short story collections like Sac Prairie People, Country Growth, Wisconsin in their Bones; and many books of fiction and non-fiction for young readers.
John D. Haefele is author of August Derleth Redux and (scheduled for 2011) A Look Behind the Derleth Mythos. He is a longtime member of the Esoteric Order of Dagon amateur press association devoted to the works H. P. Lovecraft, and has written articles for August Derleth Society Newsletter, The Cimmerian, Weird Fiction Review and other journals. With hopes of one day becoming a fiction writer, but only after completing his ambitious Derleth scheme, John joined Allied Authors, a Wisconsin writing group that dates back to the 1930s.
John is married with children and lives in a home governed by black cat Spooker who tolerates a dog named Lucy.