A Quick History of Comics, Part One

Anyone looking at the number of much-hyped superhero films at the box office could stake the claim comics have never been bigger, but a quick view of comic book history, however, reveals while comics have never soared to higher heights in the movie gross, this fantastic foundation has never been more unstable.

Comic books were an easy fit for 1930’s America. They were cheap, easy to produce, and even easier to sell. With large booms in pulp, radio shows and comic strips, comic books were the next logical step. It was the arrival of Superman in 1938 and Batman roughly a year later that heralded not only the rise of superheroes, but the Golden Age of Comics.

The entry of the United States into World War II didn’t halt comic book reading – if anything it accelerated it, with heroes were throwing down with the likes the Nazis and dictators even before the bombs fell upon Pearl Harbor. Once the war began, comics weren’t just morale boosters – they were part of the war effort like any other industry. Patriotic heroes like Captain America urged the purchase of war bonds, and entire runs of comics were bough from the stands and scrapped for recycling to help overseas troops. Though such sacrifices played their part in the “Greatest Generation”, they would have far-reaching ramifications on the comic industry in later generations – nearly forty years later.

The 1950’s dramatically altered the superhero landscape. Noted psychiatrist Frederic Wertham published “Seduction of the Innocent”, a book which pinned much of society’s ills on comics. He alleged Batman and Robin were homosexuals, and Wonder Woman was not only a lesbian, but also a threat to the woman’s place in the American household. Wertham’s scathing criticism caused comic book sales to plummet. Grisly horror and crime comics like Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror were left crippled. The entire incident culminated in a Comics Code Authority that oversaw comic book content, and as a result, comic books for the next decade were largely sanitized.

Visit http://www.classic-comic-books.com

Demon Tweak is a rock n’ roll anthem mixing everything from Easy Rider to Tall Tales about Hard Driving Heroes. Visit http://www.classic-comic-books.com