Comic books as we know them have been around since the s. The first decade and a half of comic books has been labeled as the Golden Age. The Golden Age of comic books has not only shaped some of the stories, heroes and villains we all know and love today, but it left behind some of the most valuable comic books around since they are historically significant and in fairly low supply. Technically, the Golden Age of comics took place between and Many iconic characters were introduced in this time period and became part of American culture at a very interesting point in our history.
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Comics: Comic Books - Illustration History
The precursor to comic books, cartoons have been popular in England and America since the early s, originating as satirical and political cartoons printed in newspapers and periodicals. Through a natural evolution, cartoons developed into comic books, first through publications containing compilations of cartoon re-prints, then as books with original cartoon artwork, before reaching critical mass through the creation of superheroes in Far from the full-color glossy comic books of today, this book featured black and white reprints of popular newspaper comic strips. The first monthly comic book, aptly titled Comics Monthly , began publication in , though it also featured reprints of daily newspaper comic strips. Batman premiered less than a year later in Detective Comics The period from through the mids represents the peak of comic book popularity. Whereas current monthly sales of popular comic book titles hover around , copies, in the early s Superman, Batman and Captain Marvel titles each regularly sold in the range of 1.
Comics: Comic Books
During this time, modern comic books were first published and rapidly increased in popularity. The superhero archetype was created and many well-known characters were introduced, including Superman , Batman , Captain Marvel , Captain America , and Wonder Woman. The first recorded use of the term "Golden Age" was by Richard A. Superman's popularity helped make comic books a major arm of publishing,  which led rival companies to create superheroes of their own to emulate Superman's success. The comic was published biweekly at one point to capitalize on its popularity.
But what time periods do these so-called Ages cover, and—what I think is a more interesting question—what does each term really mean? Suddenly all the publishers wanted a slice of that pie, and a host of long-johned vigilantes appeared in the funny books. This meant that the nascent genre was soon bristling with not just strongmen, but speedsters, magicians, detectives, scientists, spooks, and masked vigilantes of every stripe.