Shirley Glubok and the comics are not an inspired match. ""Comics have become an important part of our popular culture and influenced other art forms, ineluding painting, ballet and theater,"" she inserts, about half-way through, into a discussion of ""Blondie."" Early on, she has explained that ""A comic strip is a joke or story told in rows of pcitures that are called panels or frames,"" and elsewhere she succeeds in taking the life out of even this subject with similarly flat explanations of the meaning of the words ""funnies"" and ""cliff-hanger"" and, in reference to particular strips, what ""spats"" were (""Brining Up Father"") and how ""Often people with large homes which they could not afford to keep up took in roomers in order to meet expenses."" (""Moon Mullins."") Of all that might be said about ""Pogo,"" Glubok chooses to comment on ""Kelly's elaborate drawings of nature [which] make beautiful backgrounds for the characters."" (She does report blandly that ""topics in the news often were subjects for 'Pogo' and Kelly sometimes poked fun at politicians."") Glubok sometimes points to the artists' techniques or cartoon ""symbols"" (""speed lines"" for running figures), but most of her points don't need making: ""Some [of Arriola's words] run across the whole panel and some are outside the frames""--as anyone can see from the reprinted sample. And the uninspired statements she does make often lack any continuity. Children might enjoy this for the history of comics they can read in the excerpted strips (none of Feiffer's Great Comic Book Heroes are represented here, but all 41 strips that are covered also appear in Jerry Robinson's adult survey The Comics); but Glubok's text is a drag.