There are in fact several reasons, apart from purely autobiographical ones, why I am writing about comics. I have been bothered for a long time that it is nigh on impossible to see the original materials being analysed in most critical studies. Too many critics expect to take their descriptions on faith. Often they tell us their conclusion with only fragmentary quotations. When studying pieces of popular culture, very often they do not bother to note their sources. No dates, no edition numbers. It doesn’t seem to matter, since their description must be accepted. This is not a matter to be taken lightly. The way critics look at their materials is already conditioned by their theories of ideology and influence. If we want to question those theories, it is vitally important to be able to re-view those original materials.
Martin Barker (1989), “Thinking About Ideology and Comics”, in Comics: Power, Ideology and the Critics. Manchester and New York, page 5.