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The Ages of Comic Books By Davey Beauchamp

Introduction
Comic Books, or funny books as they were first know, are places for the adventures of colorful characters are something uniquely American, just like apple pie and baseball. They have a rich history that reflects the culture and history of America within their pages. There is also a very torrid and dark history that most people do not know about. Some of the books creators were paid pennies, while publishers made a fortune on their works and stolen copyrights because these were only funny books The popular opinion about comic books has evolved over the years, as have the purposes comics were created. Some used as propaganda for the military or by those with political aspirations. Comics have done everything from entertaining children, explaining and teaching complicated academic subjects to urging the reader to convert to a certain religion. Comic books have endured, even as popular culture has demonized them as juvenile or praised them as high art. There is much more to the world of comic books than spandex clad superheroes and over -endowed superheroines. Its origins and ages are being redefined to incorporate the rich history of the minds behind the inked panels.

The Ages of Comic Books - the Time Line The Pioneer Age Platinum Age Atom Age Bronze Age Modern Age 1500s-1828 1883-1938 1946-1956 1970-1984 1992-Present Victorian Age Golden Age Silver Age Copper Age 1646-1900 1938-1945 1956-1970 1984-1992

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The Pioneer Age (1500s-1828), Victorian Age (1646-1900) & Platinum Age (18831938) -The Beginnings of Comic Books
Using pictures to relay a story from one person to another is hardly new. Some of the greatest treasures of mans earliest days exists as crude drawings of our ancestors hunting elk. The Egyptians based part of their written word pictures depicting the interactions between gods and humans. In modern times, political cartoons deliver quick, sharp jabs of satire about recent events in newspapers worldwide. Historic events were influenced by widely circulated comic representations of the players and situations involved. The American Revolutionary War followed a successful propaganda campaign using cartoons and comics while this nation was still a British colony. These early years, the Pioneer Age and Victorian Age of comics, are becoming popular as eras that art collectors, comic enthusiasts and historians are beginning to study But the early stages were just that. It was in the platinum age that modern comics take place. The Yellow Kid (1894) in Hogans Alley was one of the first fictional characters to be used repeatedly in the single panel comic. From there, other characters began to appear like Little Nemo. Storytelling through drawn characters grew from single-panels into a series, or strip, to depict more complicated plots. Characters grew in popularity, driving the sale of the publications they appeared in, prompting the creation of more characters.

The cousin of the modern comic.

The Yellow Kid and Hogans Alley the being of the ages of comic books.

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Golden Age (1938-1945) The Rise of the Super Heroes


As more American readers took interest in the funny drawings appearing in newspapers and magazines, collections of archived strips were published. Comic books in the form we know them in today began as nothing more than reprints of Sunday and daily funnies. Soon, public demand caused publishers to release original stories starring these familiar characters. Still demand rose, and a new wave of original content featured with detective stories, pirate adventures, and stories that took the readers to the stars and other planets. These new comics pitched to adolescent boys seeking adventure heroes, while others targeted an older audience with racy, pulp fiction stories. In 1938, something magical occurred at National Periodical Publications. Two of its talented creators ushered in the dawn of comics superhero age. Within the pages of Action Comics issue 1, the world was introduced to Superman, an unnaturally strong invincible alien who masqueraded as a mild mannered newspaper reporter. Unwittingly, Siegel and Shuster changed the world of comic books forever by creating the shy character with a regular job and family that readers could identify with, and melding it to a fantastic man who daily performed superhuman feats that saved the lives of hundreds of innocents. The success of Superman was followed by the introduction of Namor the submariner and the Human Torch by Timely Comics (1939). Other books pitched by Timely floundered, but Namor and the Human Torch, along with Captain America, thrived. National Comics birthed a bevy of memorable characters that still exist now, like Batman and Wonder Woman, created by William Marston, inventor of the first polygraph machine. National also brought their most popular heroes together in a single book with the Justice Society of America in All Star Comics #3 1940, (Dr. Fate, Hourman, Spectre, Sandman, Atom, Flash, Green Lantern and Hawkman.) It was a hugely popular with younger readers who could follow the adventures of all
Before Marvel Comics was Marvel Comics it was Timely. Copyright Marvel Comics.
Action Comics #1, 1st appearance of Superman (June 30, 1938) by Siegel and Shuster Copyright under question

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their favorite characters in one book that cost only a few pennies. Even before the United States entered World War II, caped superheroes joined the fight in a clever use of marketing and propaganda. Superman, Captain America and the Justice League were fighting the Nazis and liberating European countries. It has been suggested that the U.S. Military asked comic book publishers to do this to build support and prime the public when the U.S. entered the war. With the superhero formula now firmly in place, publishers of the day hoped to strike gold with it, but there was one obstacle. National Comics was very protective of Superman and sued any company that created a character with even slight resemblance to Superman. Fawcett Publishing and its character, Captain Marvel, whom derived his powers from a magic word, Shazam, were able to hold off the lawsuits longer than most. But in the end DC comics bought Fawcett and its properties. Most people are familiar with the big two, Marvel Comics and DC Comics, but another publisher to survive through the years featured the adventures of a goofy redheaded teen boy and his friends. Archie Comics (1939), though best known for its title character, didnt just focus on Archie, Betty and Veronica. It, too, had its own group of superheroes, like the Shield, the Web, and the Fly, which are still published today through a deal with DC Comics. Comics Books then, especially the Superheroes, invaded all sorts of other media, from movie serials and TV with the Adventures of Superman to toys and even the newspaper funny pages again. It was also a time television embraced the comic book industry with shows based on Howdy Doody and RIn Tin Tin by the comic book publishers Dell &Gold Key. And there was also the creation of Classic Illustrated which retold classic literature in a comic book format; such as The Three Musketeers, Ivanhoe, and Robin Hood. This was just one of many comics turned serial.

Archie Comics is the longest running independent comic in the industry. Copyright Archie Comics.

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The Atom Age (1946-1956) The End of the Comic Books?


One of the darkest moments of the Comic Book industry happened when Fredric Welham M.D. wrote his book Seduction of the Innocent (1954). Werlham wanted to blame all the industry for all forms of delinquency in children. He claimed that Batman and Robin were teaching a homosexual agenda and that Wonder Woman was doing the same to young women. This book led to neighborhood book burning gatherings which destroyed countless numbers of comic books. Comic books survived this beating, and out of it the Comics Code Authority (CCA), a self policing and censorship code for the comic book industry, was established in 1954. Still, it was not a perfect system? The CCA targeted some publishers like EC Comics, publisher of such books as Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horrors, and MAD Magazine. These comic books were known for their graphic violence of horror, with no subject being taboo for them to tell. They were always trying to push the envelope to tell a horrifying tale of terror from the crypt.

A 1948 comic-book burning in Binghamton, New York

The book that could have ended it all

Publishers Then and Now -National Comics/Detective Comics/Direct Currents = DC Comics -Timely Comics = Marvel Comics -Archie Comics = Archie Comics

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Silver Age(1956-1970) The Super Hero Reinvented


The silver age of comics saw the rise of most heroes most people know today. Certain superheroes became iconic, apart from Superman and Batman, whom had already achieved such status. This was a time of rebirth at DC Comics, which was reacting to a recent reduction in sale of superhero titles. The company decided to repackage these Golden Ages character as updated, modern superheroes into ones that appealed easily to the youth of the day. The first of these was in Showcase #4, Oct 1956, where the new Flash, a police scientist by day and super-fast crime fighter by night, appeared. He was soon joined by a new Hawkman, cast as a police man from space. The character of Atom was updated as a scientist with the power to shrink to the size of an atom and beyond. The Green Lantern, a test pilot and intergalactic cop, still enjoys a large loyal following now. These characters teamed up with an original character, the alien from Mars the Martian Manhunter. As the JSA (Justice Society of America) updated Golden Age heroes, a new super team of heroes formed as the Justice League of America. While DC Comics were revamping its existing titles, Marvel Comics, headed by a young man named Stan Lee, going through a genesis as well that would change the course of their company forever. Lee began by changing the superhero team formula a bit. Before giving them fantastic powers, Lee's characters started off as very human and believable. To target imaginations of the new atomic age, Marvels new heroes were young people possessing superhuman powers after accidents, usually involving radiation exposure. Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk and Daredevil were ordinary men and women until some dramatic event changed their lives forever. As DC Comics had done, Marvel paired of their most popular solo characters with each other or new characters to build reader interest. With a little help from the Hulk's teenage sidekick Rick Jones, the Avengers were born. The Avengers title brought together Hulk, Thor, Ironman, Antman and the Wasp.

Showcase #4 (Oct. 1956) 1 Appearance of the Silver Age Flash which ushered in the Silver Age at DC Comics. Copyright DC Comics.

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The first appearance of Marvels 1 Family the Fantastic Four. Nov. 1961. Copyright Marvel.

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With the coming of the Silver Age, DC was relying on legacies to lead them into this age of comics, while Marvel was reinventing itself from the ground up. Though Marvel was still a new company, Lee would bring back one of its iconic characters, Captain America. In time DC would unite its Gold and Silver Age characters together creating what would become one of the first multiverse in comic book history. These were two Earths separated by a dimensional barrier, where time flowed differently and historical events could be altered drastically. And as the Silver Age moved forward so did the number of multiple Earths increased. Besides the launches and relaunches made by the industry's giants, other publishers tried to carve their own niche in the industry. Dell/Gold Key were then giving life to many of the Hanna Barbara and Disney cartoon characters in the twodimensional market place. It was also during this time, towards the end of the Silver Age, that the underground movement in comic books was born. One of those leading the way was H.R. Crumb and Zap Comics and the Fabulous Freak Brothers. These underground comics were taking the essence of the 60s and giving them life in pictures and words.

Marvel Comics August 1962. The 1 Appearance of Spider-Man. Copyright Marvel Comics.

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Bronze Age (1970- 1984) The Super Hero Redefined


Long-time publishers changed little in this period, but the world of comics did. It was here in the 1970s that the comic book stores first started opening, helping the comic book industry reach costumers directly than through newsstands or general stores, thanks to Phil Seuling. Stores also encouraged the idea of collecting rare and valuable comic books, a concept undeveloped until that time. It was also thanks to Phil Seuling that the first comic book conventions began occurring. Cerebus the Aardvark was given life by Dave Simms in 1977, and would go on to be one of the longest running independent comics of all time, done by one creator, running over three hundred issues. Cerebus was originally just a spoof on Conan and other superhero titles, but the flavor changed over time. Cerebus would become Dave Simmss podium for the
Dave Simms had warned the reader Cerebus would die old and alone, which he held to in issue 300. In which Cerebus heart finally gave out on him. Copyright Dave Simms 1977.

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issues he deemed important. Social movements, politics, feminism and countless other topics were discussed within the pages of Cerebus or Simmss essays in the back of each issue.

The Copper Age (1984-1992) - the Rise and fall of the Independents and the Superhero Redefined
In this period, the market was flooded by independent comic book publishers. Anyone with a printing press had the opportunity of creating their own comic book company and releasing their books. Most of these were printed in black and white on very poor quality paper. Many publishers started up and closed up during this time, with only a select few leaving their mark on the industry. Some, like Mirage Comics, creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, thrived and became one of the most successful Independent companies of this era. The small, upstart company, Dark Horse Comics, began in this era and went on to earn a place among the world's top independent publishers of the modern age with publications like Hellboy, Sin City, and Star Wars comics. DC Comics made two important changes, primarily in storytelling, during this time period. After buying character rights from failing or struggling comic publishers, like Fawcett and Charlton Comics. The, DC rewrote storylines of its old titles, making them blend with their newly purchased characters. The editorial staff felt the old storylines were too convoluted, and the reinvention of all the titles gave creators a chance to reengage readers. Old and new characters were merged together in the first Maxi-Series event called Crisis of Infinite Earths. Seeing DC's success, Marvel followed this format by releasing the maxi-series with Marvel Secret Wars. Thought it lacked the impact and continuity changed DC's Maxi-series did, it was wellreceived by fans who were delighted to find all their favorite heroes fighting an assemblage of their favorite villains. When DC tapped Alan Moore to write Watchmen and for Frank Miller revamp the character of Batman in the Dark Knight, the books took on a real world grit to the company. Fans loved seeing a dark, scarier world that their heroes can inhabit. Both the Dark
The comic event that changed the face of DC Comics forever. Copyright DC Comics.

Watchmen #1-12, this miniseries became the most celebrated miniseries of all time. Copyright DC Comics.

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Knight and Watchmen have continued to be fan favorites and some of the most imitated comics by other industry pros that has ever been seen. With the good comes the bad, as what happened towards the end of the Copper Age with the introduction of the gimmick covers. The shelves were filled with comic books with silver metallic foil covers to holographic images of characters to multi layered die cut covers. The industry tried hard to cater to collectors out for flash instead of a good plot. Marvel turned the gimmick cover into a shameful art form, but DC Comics pandered for quick sales, a move some consider the lowest point of comics' Modern Age. It was here, between the Copper and Modern Ages, a group of very talented artists left Marvel Comics to form their own creator owned company; Image Comics. These talented individuals were Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino, Whilce Portacio, and Robert Kirkman. It was a risky move that paid off, today considered one of the big independent publishers of the modern age. At first the focused on what they knew best, superheroes, but went on to do comics in all genera.

One of Marvels many gimmick covers. Copyright Marvel Comics

The Modern Age (1992- the Present) When will the Next Age Going to be Upon Us?
The current Modern Age roughly began with Superman vol. 2 #75. DC Comics did something no other comic book publisher had done by writing the death of Superman. It was the gimmick to end all gimmicks in the industry and most insiders knew it would not succeed. When Superman died, he almost took the entire comic book world with him. Thousands of people, many never having bought a comic book in their lives, flocked to comic shops to buy multiple copies of Superman #47 hoping to make money by selling to collectors. Companies over-printed issues and distributed them to comic shops with the hope the new public interest would cause a quick revenue spike. But just as quickly as speculators appeared, they disappeared. Many comic shops closed because they never recuperated their investment in the issues.

Spawn #1 by Todd McFarlane and Image comics. Copyright Todd McFarlane.

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It was also during this Modern Age that manga, Japanese Comic Books, would hit it big in the states and thanks to anime become more mainstream. No one expected manga would greatly increase the female readership to the industry, something neither DC nor Marvel could accomplish. But they quickly followed the manga formula and art to bring both manga readers and females to their books. One of the biggest controversies to come out of the Modern Age, which is still in the courts till this day, is the issue of copyrights, the original creators and how their rights were essentially stolen by the publishers of golden age. The two big court cases are the Siegels and Shusters vs. DC Comics over Superman. There has been some headway made there with keeping Superman at DC, with some rights of the character reverting back to the family. Part of the issue now is that so much of the mythos now comes from other writers and artist that wasnt envisioned by Siegel and Shuster. The other big copyright case is over Captain America and the Simon Family vs. Marvel Comics. During this Modern Age there has been so much history being created. Only time will tell what remains important and what isnt. Publishers have come and gone during this age. The 80s cartoon characters like He-Man, Thunder Cats, and other such properties made a huge come back for away. Along with G.I. Joe and Transformers, the two made a huge and long lasting comeback. The graphic novel, an original story, and trade paperbacks, which collects individual runs of issues, found a foot hold for those that didnt want to collect issues and just wanted to read a complete story or large segment of a comic currently being published. And these have done incredibly well in traditional book stores. Movie makers also realized the huge fan base comic books had and they taped into that creating mega blockbusters. And the Film makers didnt limit their endeavors to Marvel or DC, but drew from the independent publishers. And just recently Marvel comics and some of the independent comics are bring to masses virtual and digital comics that can be viewed on a personal computer or ipod. Some of these

DC Comics revisited Crisis for its 20 year Anniversary of the original maxi-series. Copyright DC Comics

Ranma was one of the first Manga series released in America by Viz. Copyright Viz.

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comics have both sound and motion within this digital format. While a print version is still being produced without all the bells and whistles. The other big news in the comics industry that is occurring right now is the possible buyout of Marvel Comics by Disney Entertainment. This is followed by DC Comics creating a series of new graphic novels based on a new Earth-1 World.

Final Thoughts
Overall this is just a very brief overview of the history of the comic book, from its humble origins as a single panel story or message to book/magazine format to the introduction of a new digital format. Below is a series of resources to further expand the fascinating history of the comic book and the industry that spawned it. It is amazing more hasnt been written upon the history of comics, until now. More and more books are coming out about the stories of the creators and history of the industry. It will be interesting to see when the next age of comics will come upon the world of comics. Since there are some notable key moments already in the Modern Age that could be used as a marker of another age, but only time will tell when this happens.

During Civil War Marvel had hero vs. hero as they decided if the government should take control over superheroes. It ended in the Death of Captain America Copyright Marvel Comics.

Crimson Plague issue 1 featured all real people as characters. It featured Davey Beauchamp as one of those characters. Copyright George Perez.

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Bibliography Search Parameters Subject Headings Comic books and children. Comic books, strips, etc.--History and criticism DC Comics, Inc -- History. DC Comics, Inc -- Collectibles. Marvel Comics Group -- History. Marvel Comics Group -- Collectibles. Batman (Fictitious character) -- Collectibles -- Comic books, strips, etc. Superhero comic books, strips, etc. -- Collectibles. Comic books, strips, etc. -- United States. Comic books, strips, etc. -- United States -- History -- 20th century. Comic books, strips, etc. -- Japan -- History and criticism.

Dewey Numbers 741.5, 741.53, 741.59, 741.597 Keyword(s) Search for Databases Comic Book(s), History, DC Comics, Marvel (Comics), Platinum Age, Golden Age, Silver Age, Atom Age, Modern Age, Bronze Age, Copper Age, Modern Age, comic shops, Stan Lee, Tijuana Bible Personal Library of Books Note: Most of the sources came from books or magazines dedicated to the comic book industry. There was very little in the scope of journal articles that werent just reviews of the books about the industry, used in this bibliography. It is also worth noting that most of the comic publishers websites dont include any information about their history.

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Resources
Overstreet, Robert M. The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (39th Edition). New York: Gemstone Publishing, 2009. The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guides, a yearly publication, is the bible of comic book history. Even though Robert Overstreet is given credit as its author/editor the guide is filled with articles by top collectors, historians, and comic shop owners. It also as a pricing guide lists every comic book ever published and distributed either through the direct market or newsstand. It also gives some statistical data of how many copies of a certain issue of a comic book still exists and in what certain condition they exist in, which helps with counterfeiting. It also contains a glossary for those that are familiar with comic book industry terms. For many years this was the only source for information on the history of comic books.
A very early edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide from the 1970s. Copyright Robert M. Overstreet.

Wertham, Fredric. Seduction of the Innocent. New York: Rinehart, 1954. This has to be the second most important book in all of comic book history. It almost single handedly destroyed the industry, because Fredric Wertham had political ambitions and saw that attacking the comic book industry was the way to do it. This book brain washed parents into believing that comic books were the root of all evil in children, from juvenile delinquency to homosexuality and anything in between. If there was a childhood disorder or behavioral problem, Wertham found a way to blame it on comic books. This was the book that caused countless numbers of comic books to be lost in neighborhood comic book burning bonfires. The comic books made in the Platinum, Gold and Atom Ages werent made on the best paper to begin with, so with the destruction of so many comics from these time periods, it makes those that have survived true pieces of history.

One of the first comic books dating back to 1934. Copyright EAS

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Cronin, Brian. Was Superman A Spy? New York : Plume, 2009. There are many urban legends when it comes to the comic book industry and this book examins many of those such myths, stories, and rumors. It doesnt cover all the myths and legends, but does a nice job covering most of them. The book also covers the comings and goings of all the different major and independent publishers over the years. It also has it own recommended reading lists for further information broken down by chapter.

Gerber, Ernst. Photo-Journal Guide To Comics Volume 1 A-K. Minden, Nev: Gerber, 1989. The Photo-Journal Guide to Comics is an invaluable resource since it has the cover of every comic book from the Golden and Atom Age and some from the Silver Age. And it gives a pictorial view of the history of comic books. It also gives a pictorial history of publisher logos, for those that used them, and the evolution of the comic books titles and logos.

All Star Comics featuring DCs first Superhero Team the JSA. Copyright DC Comics.

Gerber, Ernst. Photo-Journal Guide To Comics Volume 2 L-Z. Minden, Nev: Gerber, 1989. This is the second volume to the Photo-Journal Guide to Comics finishing off what was started in the first volume.

Yoe, Craig. Secret identity : the fetish art of Superman's co-creator Joe Shuster. New York: Abrams ComicArts, 2009. Not all comic books are squeaky clean and sometimes artists had to do what they had to do in order to feed their families, especially since publishers back in the 40s werent paying their creators all that well, especially when the publisher was making a fortune on that property. Famed Superman co-creator Joe Shuster turned to the world of fetish art and Tijuana bibles. This is a look into the world Shuster created when not drawing Superman, though some of the characters in this adult comics bear a striking resemblance to well known characters.

Superman and other Comic Book Superheroes took the fight to the Nazis before the US entered the war. Copyright DC Comics.

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Wizard: the Magazine of Comics, Entertainment and Pop Culture. New York : Wizard Entertainment, 2010. This is one of the few remaining magazines devoted to the comic book industry. They are a great print resource for the Modern Age of comics, though from time to time they have articles about the various other ages of comics. This magazine focuses on current and future stories running through the various publishers of the industry. And they do interviews with all the top named creators working in the industry at the time.

Groth, Gary. The Comics Journal. Seattle: Fantagraphic Books, 2010. Where Wizard magazine covers all the main stream stories and events, including all the major independent publishers, The Comics Journal covers all the independent endeavors no matter the size of the press or company. They cover all the important news from the world of the independent publishers, especially those telling stories of literary merit.

Wizard Magazine, it came out during a time that everyone seemed to be cashing in on the comic crazy, but have manage to stick around. Copyright Wizard Entertainment.

Krensky, Stephen. Comic Book Century : the History of American Comic Books. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, 2008. Comic Book Century gives a nice over view of the history of comic books across the ages. It is very much a young adult nonfiction title. So it is a quick simple read for anyone who might want a simple crash course on the history of comics. It also has its own bibliography, reading list, and websites for anyone whom might want to further delve into this topic. And a number of them are included in this bibliography.

Caren, Eric. "The American Comic Book : 1500s-1828." In The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (39th Edition), by Robert M. Overstreet, 310-319. China: Gemstone Publishing, 2009. The Pioneerer Age is the earliest age of comics here in the Americas this is where it all begins, using a picture or illustration to get a point across, sometimes in a humorous manor, sometimes in a serious. It all depended on its creator. All the comics in this age are conisdered to be political in nature. Many of these comics go hand in hand with the revolution of the Americas and the Crown. These

The CCA might have driven the nail in the coffin of the EC Comics, but their legacy lives on today. Copyright EC.

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comics really go along with American history and the origins of the United States as we know them today. This legacy lives on not only in what comic books would become, but in the polictical cartoons that are printed in the contempory magazines and news papers of today.

Beerbohm, Robert. "Origins of Early American Comic Strips Before the Yellow Kid." In The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (39th Edition), by Robert M. Overstreet, 320-340. New York: Gemstone Publishing, 2009. This is an article that is continually being updated. There were comics before the Yellow Kid and the comic strips found in news papers. This particular article focuses on what is known as the Victorian Age (1646-1900). Illustrations had been used in a varitey of maners from trying to get a poltical view across to adding simple pictures to a classic work of literature to helping teach an individual how to woe a significant other. Pictures and words have been used together for a great number of years before the comic book had been created. In a sense all these illustrations are the cousins of the comic book and tracing their origins and the manor they were used only in riches the history that comic books possess.

DC began exploring their characters set in different time periods. Copyright DC Comics.

Daniels, Les. DC comics : sixty years of the world's favorite comic book heroes. New York: Bulfinch, 1995. DC Comics is one of the two cornerstones of mainstream comics in America today. The book examines the history of DC Comics from their beginnings to being part of the Warner Corporation. This book covers all aspects of DC Comics from the comics to the films to the toys and everything between. It covers the formation of their more adult line of Vertigo Comics to various icons and logos that they have tried over the years. This book had the most up to date information at the time about DC Comics. It also featured character and creator profiles. This is one of the handful of books focusing on DC Comics.
Even Mr. T got into the comics game. Copyright Now Comics.

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Pasko, Martin. The DC Vault : a museum-in-a-book featuring rare collectibles from the DC Universe. Philadelphia : Running Press, 2008. This is the latest history of DC Comics running through the time of its publication date. And like the other books in the Vault Series, the thing that makes this a unique item is the replica items from the publishers history.

Greenberger, Robert. The Batman vault : a museum-in-a-book with rare collectibles from the batcave. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2009. Batman is one of DC Comics most beloved characters. And what makes the Batman Vault an interesting item, not only does it go through the history of Batman from print to serials to cartoon to toys and the blockbusters of today. The vault contains recreated artifacts from yesteryear.

Marvel explored its own History from the stand point of a normal individual. Copyright Marvel.

Daniels, Les. Marvel : five fabulous decades of the world's greatest comics. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1991. This book covers the history of the other cornerstone of the comic book industry; Marvel Comics. Marvel loves talking about itself and this a solid source of information up through the 90s. The book contained all sorts of historical information about the company and feature creator and character profiles. It talked about Marvels Epic, Star, and New Universe lines of comics, which most people have never heard of at this point. They were all short lived projects focusing on different aspects of the market place.

Thomas, Roy. The Marvel vault : a museum-in-a-book with rare collectibles from the world of Marvel. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2007. Just like the rest of the Vault series, this stands out because of the replica artifacts that this source contains, along with a history from up to the point of publication of this book.

DC Comics explores the future with the Legion of Superheroes in the Future. Copyright DC Comics.

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DeFalco, Tom. Marvel Chronicle. New York: DK Adult, 2008. This is the most up to date book about the history of Marvel Comics. The book breaks down the history by the various decades at the company. Most of the past stuff can be found in countless other sources, but the book covers the continuing years at Marvel from the Marvel : five fabulous decades of the world's greatest comics. And with this being a DK product, the book is filled with some wonderful pictures and illustrations coming out of the Marvel Vault.

Jones, William. Classics illustrated : a cultural history, with illustrations. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2002. Comic Books and Literature are two things that might not always seem to go hand in hand, but they have been since almost the beginning of comic books. This book by William Jones explores that rich history of Classic Illustrated. Classic Illustrated have had numerous publishers, but have managed to stick around. Even though this book doesnt go past the time in which it was published, but Classic Illustrated are still being published today being now published by Marvel Comics.
Dark Horse Presents one of the first Dark Horse Comics. Copyright Dark Horse Comics.

Vaughn, J.C. "Publisher Spotlight : Dark Horse Comics." In The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (38th Edition), by Robert M. Overstreet, 1012-1013. New York: Gemstone Publishing, 2008. Next to Archie Comics, Dark Horse Comics has around since the 1980s making it one of the oldest independent comic book publishers today. They started out publishing a black and white anthology book that hit it big with the Alien and Predator Franchises and the company just expanded from there. They are now best known for all of their movie property comics like Star Wars, Conan, and Indiana Jones. Dark Horse has also brought to the states Lone Wolf and Cub and the Vampire Hunter D novels. This article also has a nice timeline showing how Dark Horse developed as a company. Showing that a great company doesnt happen overnight and it takes time to do so.

Classic Illustrated brought Classic Works of literature to children of all ages. Copyright GIL.

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Vaughn, J.C. "The Semi-Secret Origin of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide." In The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (37th Edition), by Robert M. Overstreet, 1016-1023. New York: Gemstone Publishing, 2007. The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is the major overseer of comic book history. This explains the origins of this book. It is an interview with the man, Robert Overstreet, himself and he explains why and how the price guide came to be. And it is more than just a price guide. It catalogues every comic book ever to see publication and distribution. It is a hallmark of the industry and if it didnt exist there is no telling how the history of comics would be handled. There have been other comic book price guides that have come and gone, but none of them have been this important to field of comics.
Romance Comics were once a staple of the comic book industry. Copyright MAR.

Nolan, Michelle. Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008. Every comic book publisher had them, especially during the Platinum, Gold and Silver Ages, romance comics. They were for a time a cornerstone of the comic industry. They were the soap operas of the print world. This is a book that explores this history and themes of these books. Some people dont know this, but Marvel brought one of their romance characters over to their superhero continuity. Patsy Walker was one of Marvels best selling romance characters that was brought over to the world of superheroes, with that history as a model and romance character intact. When she was brought over as Hellcat many a fan didnt know the full scope of Patsys past in the world of romance comics.

Cotter, Bobb. The great monster magazines : a critical study of the black and white publications of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2008.
they were safe from the When the Comics Code Authority was formed horror, Authority. Copyright WP. monster, terror comics had to go somewhere and that was the world of magazines. Magazines were a safe haven for these types of comics; because magazines were govern by a whole other set of rules. This book examines these magazine comics of horror and monsters. Horror moved to the magazines where Comics Code

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Staff. "Decade of Excellence : A Look at the Comics, Creators and Events that Impacted the Last 10 Years." Wizard: the Magazine of Comics, Entertainment and Pop Culture, January 2010: error in page numbers all numbered as 219. Comic Books are currently in the Modern Age and Wizard Magazine decided to take a retrospective look over the past decade in comics from publishers to the popular and unpopular story lines and gimmicks to film and TV. These guys cover the highs and the lows that have occurred from their perspective in the world of comics. This is a nice article because it just doesnt cover Marvel and DC, but all the publishers out there and what they have done. From time to time it seems that Marvel and DC dominate the world of news and comics, so it is nice to get a more well rounded look at the industry. McLauchlin, Jim. "Con Man." Wizard: the Magazine of Comics, Entertainment and Pop Culture, January 2010: Page number error all listed as 219. This is an article about the man who changed comic books in away most dont know about. This is about Phil Seuling the man who helped create the direct market aka the comic book store and helped create the very first comic book convention back in the 70s. Comic Books might not exist as they do today if it wasnt for the vision of Phil Seuling, a man most people dont know and his contribution to the industry as a whole.

Archie Comics own patriotic hero the Shield. The Shield is now being published by DC Comics under a special partnership. Copyright Archie Publications.

"Heroes Con." Charlotte. Creators, Artists, and Writers come and go, but they all make a mark on the industry good or bad. Conventions have been around since the 70s thanks to Phil Seuling. And it is thanks to comic book conventions fans and can meet their favorite creators and talk to them. A lot of comic book history is an oral tradition until it is written down. Most of the Golden Age creators are gone, along with the stories they havent been told. Now the Silver Age creators are slowly vanishing, but they come out to these conventions and love to tell their stories to whoever will listen.

Heroes Con is one of the longest running Comic Book Conventions on the East Coast. Copyright Heroes Con.

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Conventions, like Heroes, have panels to discuss the history of comics, where they have come from to where they are going. They have Q&A sessions with various creators. Fans will gather to swap stories of people they have met over the years. And sometimes at these conventions they host special exhibits of artwork that are in various collections to show off the history of comics. One of the big exhibits Heroes Con had was when they showed the original pages of artwork from the JLA VS Avengers that was supposed to happen in the late 70s early 80s. The script no longer exists for the book, but some of the pages had been done. So there is really no telling what, historical artifact, might pop at anyone of these conventions. It is also one of the few times that an individual might get to see an Action Comics issue #1 in person or a Detective Comics #27. There are different ways to experience the history of the industry at one of these conventions.

One of the first and few collaborations between Marvel and DC Comics. Copyright DC and Marvel Comics

Andrae, Thomas. Carl Barks and the Disney Comic Book: Unmasking the Myth of Modernity. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2006. Carl Barks was the coner stone to Diseny Comic Books. This book explores that rich legacy. Barks stories and art are still seen today as reprints of his works live on. His art and story telling were extremely unquie and captured the life of the characters in that special way. Wolk, Douglas. Reading Comics : How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2007. Douglas Wolk approaches things a bit differently; his is one of the first books on comic book theory. It begins with a nice over view of comic book history, but then it gets into the meat and bones of what the author wants to present here. He discusses all the creators (both artist and authors) that had brought literary and artistic merit to the industry like Will Eisner, Frank Miller, Art Spiegelman, Alan Moore, Dave Simms, and Grant Morrison to name a few. Wolk discuses why they have been influential; from other creators in the industry to pop

Carl Barks Donald Duck still sees reprint today. Copyright Disney.

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culture in general and across all the various ages of comics. The book has an extensive notes and index at the back of the book, to help guide its reader for what they are looking for.

DeStefano, Brandon. "Comics at the Movies." In The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (39th Edition), by Robert M. Overstreet, 1033-1039. China: Gemstone Publishing, 2009. Comic Books and the movies it is something that isnt a new concept thought with the number of movies Hollywood is making right now, one might believe it is the latest fad. But, comics and the movies date all the way back to the black and white serials of the Silver Screen. This article takes the reader through that history from yesteryear through the present.

CGC Grading Team. "CGC Examined : A First Hand Look at Professional Comic Book Certification." In The Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (39th Edition), by Robert M. Overstreet, 1029-1032. China: Gemstone Publishing, 2009.

Blackest Night DC Comics latest Mega Event; exploring the concept of Death in the comic book universe. Copyright DC Comics.

CGC or the Certified Collectibles Group has change the way comic books are collected; at least for the high end collector. What the CGC does is basically grade out a comic and put in a protective case with their grade, information about the book and a serial number. Once a book has been CGC certified it can affect the price of the book drastically. A grade of a comic lets the buyer know what sort of condition the comic book is in. The higher the grade the more money it is worth. They came about in the current Modern Age of comics. The nice thing about their process is that it is design to help preserve the books they grade out. The only bad thing is that once it is sealed in the CGC case the comic cant be read anymore. Because if the case is open and the book is read, it would have to be sent back to CGC to be regarded. CGC has made their mark on the industry and earned their place in the history of comic books.
Marvels next mega event that reunites Marvels big three Captain America, Thor and Iron Man. Copyright Marvel.

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