Friday, November 24, 2006

Jerry Bails (1933-2006)

I was very sorry to hear that Dr. Jerry Bails died of an apparent heart attack on 23 November, aged 73. Jerry was a comic researcher par excellence and the compiler of the Who's Who of American Comics, a bibliographical reference work of terrifying scope covering every person who had ever been involved in the American comic book industry.

The first edition, co-compiled with Hames Ware, appeared in 4 volumes in 1973-76 and I was pleased to get involved when Jerry was planning to update the whole thing to cover all titles up to 1992. It was an enormous project that Jerry planned to put out as a series of CDs. The growth of the internet made distribution easier -- everyone involved could download each volume as it was issued. With revisions, the 20 sets of data eventually covered every comic book released up to and including 1999 and has since been made available free on the internet here.

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