Jerry Bails (1933-2006) was a Wayne State University (Detroit) professor and longtime comics fan. He studied physics at the University of Kansas City from 1951-1955 and did one year of graduate work at the University of Chicago before returning to the University of Kansas City to earn a Master’s degree and, in 1960, a Ph.D. in General Education.
He was active in comics fandom for many years, helping found the fanzine “Alter Ego” and CAPA-alpha, the first amateur press association devoted entirely to comic books, in addition to editing “Who’s Who.”
In the 1970s Bails began compiling information about comics writers, artists, and publishers in the United States. With assistance from Hames Ware, he used the information to create “The Who’s Who of American Comic Books,” which they first published in four volumes in print in the mid-1970s.
Bails continued adding information about comics published through the year 1999 and more recent versions of “Who’s Who” took the form of an online database which has been maintained but not updated since his death on November 23, 2006.