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Forest Park hosts comic book historian

April 21, 2011

Missouri’s little-known contribution to a distinct form of American popular culture – the comic book – will be chronicled when a local cartoon art historian speaks at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, in the Center for Teaching and Learning. The event is part of the Foreign Language and Global Arts Festival.

Mike Phoenix comic book historian  
Mike Phoenix

Mike Phoenix, who wrote “Comics’ Second City: The Gateway History of the American Comic Book,” will be available to sign his book afterwards.

Phoenix’s book covers St. Louis’ comic book history from Pulitzer’s Yellow Kid to the exodus of print to virtual space. It’s written for anyone with an interest in the history of comics or St. Louis history. He will give a brief talk on material, followed by questions. The place of comic art in modern society and the future of the comic book industry will also be topics.

Phoenix, who has worked as a communication arts teacher in the St. Louis Public Schools since 1993, began editing a newsletter of a local comic book fan club, which led to writing a history of St. Louis comic book fandom in 2010. He’s loved comic books since he read his first Marvel one in the summer of 1967.

Phoenix and his wife Rebecca live in St. Louis with their three children: Jordan, Olivia and Will.