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Old 11-05-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
Steven Forbes
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B&N Week 150: A Very Brief History of Comics


It’s Tuesday! That’s really all I have the energy for this week by way of introduction. Sorry.

This week, I wanted to take a brief-ish look at the history of comics. See where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and take a little peek into where we’re going. Let’s start, shall we?

Comic books have had an interesting history. There was a time in the 50s when comics were being churned out like clockwork, a single title easily selling in the millions to kids nationwide, with a host of genres such as horror, crime, romance, western, and superheroes taking up only the smallest chunk of that. These comics were generally aimed at kids and early teens, and they collected, read, and traded them weekly. It wasn’t until 1954 when Seduction of the Innocent was published by German-American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham that comic books got the worst reputation in the history of a medium. This was also the McCarthy Era, where there were senatorial hearings for everything.

During this time, Dr. Wertham connected juvenile delinquency with comic books, and through a series of mishaps for comics, publishers ended up having to appear before a senatorial committee. Not too long after this, comic book publishers adopted the Comics Code Authority, a self-regulating body that said what things could and could not be published under the Code. This was a blow to many publishers of crime and horror comics, basically putting them out of business. The Code gave rise to the superhero, with Superman being the first one to really catch on with children and their imaginations.

Click here to read more.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:32 PM   #2
Charles
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Good article. I enjoyed reading it.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:33 PM   #3
Steven Forbes
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Thanks, Charles!

It could have been a LOT longer. Easily. But I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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