comic book


A comic book, also called comic book, comic magazine or (in the United Kingdom and Ireland) simply comic, is a publication that consists of
comics a Media (communication), medium used to express ideas with images, often combined with text or other visual information. It typically the form of a sequence of Panel (comics), panels of images. Textual devices such as speech balloons, Gloss ...

art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panels that represent individual scenes. Panels are often accompanied by descriptive prose and written narrative, usually, dialogue contained in
word balloon Speech balloons (also speech bubbles, dialogue balloons, or word balloons) are a graphic convention used most commonly in comic book A comic book, also called comic magazine or (in the United Kingdom and Ireland) simply comic, is a publicat ...
s emblematic of the comics art form. Although some origins in 18th century
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the south. Japan is a part of the , and spans of coveri ...

, comic books were first popularized in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , a , five major , 326 , and some . At , it is the world's . The United States shares significan ...

United States
and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
during the 1930s. The first modern comic book, ''
Famous Funnies ''Famous Funnies'' is an American comic strip A comic strip is a sequence of drawings, often cartoon A cartoon is a type of illustration, sometimes animated, typically in a non- realistic or semi-realistic style. The specific meaning h ...
'', was released in the US in 1933 and was a reprinting of earlier newspaper humor
comic strip A comic strip is a , often , arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often , with text in and . Traditionally, throughout the 20th and into the 21st century, these have been published in s and s, with daily ...
s, which had established many of the story-telling devices used in comics. The term ''comic book'' derives from American comic books once being a compilation of comic strips of a humorous tone; however, this practice was replaced by featuring stories of all genres, usually not humorous in tone. The largest comic book market is Japan. By 1995, the
manga Manga (Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...

market in Japan was valued at (), with annual sales of 1.9billion manga books (
tankōbon is the Japanese language, Japanese term for a book that is not part of an anthology or corpus. In modern Japanese, the term is most often used in reference to individual volumes of a manga series: most series first appear as individual chapters ...
volumes and
manga magazines This is a list of manga magazine Manga (Japanese: 漫画 ) are comics a Media (communication), medium used to express ideas with images, often combined with text or other visual information. It typically the form of a sequence of P ...
) in Japan, equivalent to 15issues per person. In 2020 the manga market in Japan reached a new record value of ¥612.5 billion due to a fast growth of digital manga sales as well as an increase in print sales. The comic book market in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , a , five major , 326 , and some . At , it is the world's . The United States shares significan ...

United States
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and western , stretching , is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital ...

was valued at in 2016. Beginning with the late 2010's manga started massively outselling american comics., the largest comic book publisher in the United States is manga distributor
Viz Media VIZ Media LLC is an American manga Manga (Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a whi ...
, followed by
DC Comics DC Comics, Inc. is an American comic book publisher and the flagship unit of #DC Entertainment, DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Warner Bros. Global Brands and Franchises division of Warner Bros., which itself is a subsidiary of AT&T's Warn ...
Marvel Comics Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel En ...
. The best-selling comic book categories in the US are juvenile
children's fiction Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are created for children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader. Children's l ...
at 41%, manga at 28% and
superhero comics Superhero comics are one of the most common genres of American comic books. The genre rose to prominence in the 1930s and became extremely popular in the 1940s and has remained the dominant form of comic book in North America since the 1960s. Super ...
at 10% of the market. Another major comic book market is
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the and from the to the and the ; overseas territories include in , in the N ...

, where Franco-Belgian comics and Japanese manga each represent 40% of the market, followed by American comics at 10% market share.


Comic books are reliant on their organization and appearance. Authors largely focus on the frame of the page, size, orientation, and panel positions. These characteristic aspects of comic books are necessary in conveying the content and messages of the author. The key elements of comic books include panels, balloons (speech bubbles), text (lines), and characters. Balloons are usually convex spatial containers of information that are related to a character using a
tail element The tail is the section at the rear end of certain kinds of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotrop ...
. The tail has an origin, path, tip, and pointed direction. Key tasks in the creation of comic books are writing, drawing, and coloring. There are many technological formulas used to create comic books, including directions, axes, data, and metrics. Following these key formatting procedures is the writing, drawing, and coloring.

American comic books

Comics as a print medium have existed in the United States since the printing of '' The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck'' in 1842 in hardcover, making it the first known American prototype comic book. Proto-comics periodicals began appearing early in the 20th century, with the first comic standard-sized comic being Funnies on Parade. Funnies on Parades was the first book that established the size, duration, and format of the modern comic book. Following this was, Dell Publishing's 36-page ''Famous Funnies: A Carnival of Comics'' as the first true newsstand American comic book; Goulart, for example, calls it "the cornerstone for one of the most lucrative branches of magazine publishing". In 1905 G.W. Dillingham Company published 24 select strips by the cartoonist Gustave Verbeek in an anthology book called 'The Incredible Upside-Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo'. The introduction of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Superman in 1938 turned comic books into a major industry and ushered in the Golden Age of Comic Books. The Golden Age originated the archetype of the superhero. According to historian Michael A. Amundson, appealing comic-book characters helped ease young readers' fear of nuclear war and neutralize anxiety about the questions posed by atomic power. Historians generally divide the timeline of the American comic book into eras. The Golden Age of Comic Books began in 1938, with the debut of Superman in Action Comics #1,published by Detective Comics (predecessor of DC Comics), which is generally considered the beginning of the modern comic book as it is known today. The Silver Age of Comic Books is generally considered to date from the first successful revival of the then-dormant superhero form, with the debut of the Flash (DC Comics character), Flash in ''Showcase (comics), Showcase'' #4 (Oct. 1956). The Silver Age lasted through the late 1960s or early 1970s, during which time
Marvel Comics Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel En ...
revolutionized the medium with such naturalism (literature), naturalistic superheroes as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four and Lee and Steve Ditko's Spider-Man. The demarcation between the Silver Age and the following era, the Bronze Age of Comic Books, is less well-defined, with the Bronze Age running from the very early 1970s through the mid-1980s. The Modern Age of Comic Books runs from the mid-1980s to the present day. A notable event in the history of the American comic book came with psychiatrist Fredric Wertham's criticisms of the medium in his book ''Seduction of the Innocent'' (1954), which prompted the American Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency to investigate comic books. Wertham claimed that comic books were responsible for an increase in juvenile delinquency, as well as potential influence on a child's sexuality and morals. In response to attention from the government and from the media, the US comic book industry set up the Comics Magazine Association of America. The CMAA instilled the Comics Code Authority in 1954 and drafted the self-censorship Comics Code that year, which required all comic books to go through a process of approval. It was not until the 1970s that comic books could be published without passing through the inspection of the CMAA. The Code was made formally defunct in November 2011.

Underground comic books

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a surge of creativity emerged in what became known as underground comics. Published and distributed independently of the established comics industry, most of such comics reflected the youth counterculture and drug culture of the time. Underground comix "reflected and commented on the social divisions and tensions of American society". Many had an uninhibited, often irreverent style; their frank depictions of nudity, sex, profanity, and politics had no parallel outside their precursors, the pornographic and even more obscure "Tijuana bibles". Underground comics were almost never sold at newsstands, but rather in such youth-oriented outlets as head shops and record stores, as well as by mail order. The underground comics encouraged creators to publish their work independently so that they would have full ownership rights to their characters. Frank Stack's ''The Adventures of Jesus'', published under the name Foolbert Sturgeon, has been credited as the first underground comic; while R. Crumb and the crew of cartoonists who worked on ''Zap Comix'' popularized the form.

Alternative comics

The rise of comic book specialty stores in the late 1970s created/paralleled a dedicated market for "independent" or "alternative comics" in the US. The first such comics included the anthology series ''Star Reach'', published by comic book writer Mike Friedrich from 1974 to 1979, and Harvey Pekar's ''American Splendor'', which continued sporadic publication into the 21st century and which Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini adapted into a American Splendor (film), 2003 film. Some independent comics continued in the tradition of underground comics. While their content generally remained less explicit, others resembled the output of mainstream publishers in format and genre but were published by smaller artist-owned companies or by single artists. A few (notably ''RAW (magazine), RAW'') represented experimental attempts to bring comics closer to the status of fine art. During the 1970s the "small press" culture grew and diversified. By the 1980s, several independent publishers – such as Pacific Comics, Pacific, Eclipse Comics, Eclipse, First Comics, First, Comico: The Comic Company, Comico, and Fantagraphics – had started releasing a wide range of styles and formats—from color-superhero, detective, and science-fiction comic books to black-and-white magazine-format stories of Latin American magical realism. A number of small publishers in the 1990s changed the format and distribution of their comics to more closely resemble non-comics publishing. The "minicomics" form, an extremely informal version of self-publishing, arose in the 1980s and became increasingly popular among artists in the 1990s, despite reaching an even more limited audience than the small press. Small publishers regularly releasing titles include Avatar Press, Hyperwerks, Raytoons, and Terminal Press, buoyed by such advances in printing technology as digital print on demand, print-on-demand.

Graphic novels

In 1964, Richard Kyle coined the term "graphic novel". Precursors of the form existed by the 1920s, which saw a revival of the medieval woodcut tradition by Belgian Frans Masereel, American Lynd Ward and others, including Stan Lee. In 1950, St. John Publications produced the digest-sized, adult-oriented "picture novel" ''It Rhymes with Lust'', a 128-page digest by pseudonymous writer "Drake Waller" (Arnold Drake and Leslie Waller), penciler Matt Baker (artist), Matt Baker and inker Ray Osrin, touted as "an original full-length novel" on its cover. In 1971, writer-artist Gil Kane and collaborators devised the paperback "comics novel" ''Blackmark''. Will Eisner popularized the term "graphic novel" when he used it on the cover of the paperback edition of his work ''A Contract with God, A Contract with God, and Other Tenement Stories'' in 1978.

Digital comics

Market size

In 2017, the comic book market size for North America was just over $1 billion with digital sales being flat, book stores having a 1 percent decline, and comic book stores having a 10 percent decline over 2016.

Comic book collecting

The 1970s saw the advent of specialty comic book stores. Initially, comic books were marketed by publishers to children because comic books were perceived as children's entertainment. However, with increasing recognition of comics as an art form and the growing pop culture presence of comic book conventions, they are now embraced by many adults. Comic book collectors are often lifelong enthusiasts of the comic book stories, and they usually focus on particular heroes and attempt to assemble the entire run of a title. Comics are published with a sequential number. The first issue of a long-running comic book series is commonly the rarest and most desirable to collectors. The first appearance of a specific character, however, might be in a pre-existing title. For example, Spider-Man's first appearance was in ''Amazing Fantasy'' #15. New characters were often introduced this way and did not receive their own titles until there was a proven audience for the hero. As a result, comics that feature the first appearance of an important character will sometimes be even harder to find than the first issue of a character's own title. Some rare comic books include copies of the unreleased ''Motion Picture Funnies Weekly'' #1 from 1939. Eight copies, plus one without a cover, emerged in the estate of the deceased publisher in 1974. The "Pay Copy" of this book sold for $43,125 in a 2005 Heritage Auctions, Heritage auction. The most valuable American comics have combined rarity and quality with the first appearances of popular and enduring characters. Four comic books have sold for over US$1 million , including two examples of ''Action Comics'' #1, the first appearance of Superman,Batman comic book beats Superman at auction, sets record
CNN Money 2-26-10
both sold privately through online dealer in 2010, and ''Detective Comics'' #27, the first appearance of Batman, via public auction. Updating the above price obtained for ''Action Comics'' #1, the first appearance of Superman, the highest sale on record for this book is $3.2 million, for a 9.0 copy. Misprints, promotional comic-dealer incentive printings, and issues with extremely low distribution also generally have scarcity value. The rarest modern comic books include the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen#Issue 5 recall, original press run of ''The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'' #5, which DC executive Paul Levitz recalled and pulped due to the appearance of a vintage Victorian era advertisement for "Marvel Douche", which the publisher considered offensive; only 100 copies exist, most of which have been Comics Guaranty LLC, CGC graded. (See Recalled comics for more pulped, recalled, and erroneous comics.) In 2000, a company named Comics Guaranty (CGC) began to "slab" comics, encasing them in thick plastic and giving them a numeric grade. Since then, other grading companies have arisen. Because condition is important to the value of rare comics, the idea of grading by a company that does not buy or sell comics seems like a good one. However, there is some controversy about whether this grading service is worth the high cost, and whether it is a positive development for collectors, or if it primarily services speculators who wish to make a quick profit trading in comics as one might trade in stocks or fine art. Comic grading has created valuation standards that online price guides such as GoCollect and GPAnalysis have used to report on real-time market values. The original artwork pages from comic books are also collected, and these are perhaps the rarest of all comic book collector's items, as there is only one unique page of artwork for each page that was printed and published. These were created by a writer, who created the story; a pencil artist, who laid out the sequential panels on the page; an ink artist, who went over the pencil with pen and black ink; a letterer, who provided the dialogue and narration of the story by hand lettering each word; and finally a colorist, who added color as the last step before the finished pages went to the printer. When the original pages of artwork are returned by the printer, they are typically given back to the artists, who sometimes sell them at comic book conventions, or in galleries and art shows related to comic book art. The original pages of the first appearances of such legendary characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man are considered priceless.

History of race in U.S. comic books

Many early iterations of black characters in comics "became variations on the 'single stereotypical image of Sambo'." Sambo was closely related to the coon stereotype but had some subtle differences. They are both a derogatory way of portraying black characters. "The name itself, an abbreviation of raccoon, is dehumanizing. As with Sambo, the coon was portrayed as a lazy, easily frightened, chronically idle, inarticulate, buffoon." This portrayal "was of course another attempt to solidify the intellectual inferiority of the black race through popular culture." However, in the 1940s there was a change in portrayal of black characters. "A cursory glance...might give the impression that situations had improved for African Americans in comics." In many comics being produced in this time there was a major push for tolerance between races. "These equality minded heroes began to spring to action just as African Americans were being asked to participate in the war effort." During this time, a government ran program, the Writers' War Board, became heavily involved in what would be published in comics. "The Writers' War Board used comic books to shape popular perceptions of race and ethnicity..." Not only were they using comic books as a means of recruiting all Americans, they were also using it as propaganda to, "[construct] a justification for race based hatred of America's foreign enemies." The Writers' War Board created comics books that were meant to "[promote] domestic racial harmony". However, "these pro-tolerance narratives struggled to overcome the popular and widely understood negative tropes used for decades in American mass culture..." However, they weren't accomplishing this agenda within all of their comics. In ''Captain Marvel Adventures,'' a character named steamboat was an amalgamation of some of the worst stereotypes of the time. The Writers' War Board did not ask for any change with this character. "Eliminating Steamboat required the determined efforts of a black youth group in New York City." Originally their request was refused by individuals working on the comic stating, "''Captain Marvel Adventures'' included many kinds of caricatures 'for the sake of humor'." The black youth group responded with, "this is not the Negro race, but your one-and-a-half millions readers will think it so." Afterwards, Steamboat disappeared from the comics all together. There was a comic created about the 99th squadron, also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, an all black air force unit. Instead of making the comic about their story the comic was about Hop Harrigan. A white pilot who captures a Nazi, shows him videos of the 99th squadron defeating his man and then reveals to the Nazi that his men were defeated by African Americans which infuriated him as he sees them as a less superior race and can't believe they bested his men."...[The] Tuskegee Airmen, and images of black aviators appear in just three of the fifty three panels...[the] pilots of the 99th squadron have no dialogue and interact with neither Hop Harrigan nor his Nazi captive." During this time, they also used black characters in comic books as a means to invalidate the militant black groups that were fighting for equality within America. "Spider-Man 'made it clear that militant black power was not the remedy for racial injustice'." "The Falcon openly criticized black behavior stating' maybe it's important fo[sic] us to cool things down-so we can protect the rights we been fightin' for'." This poor portrayal and character development of black characters can be partially blamed on the fact that, during this time, "there had rarely been a black artist or writer allowed in a major comics company" Asian characters faced some of the same treatment in comics as black characters did. They were dehumanized and the narrative being pushed was that they were "incompetent and subhuman." "A 1944 issue of the ''United States Marines'' included a narrative entitled "The Smell of the Monkeymen...the story depicts Japanese soldiers as simian brutes whose sickening body odor betrays their concealed locations." Chinese characters received the same treatment. "By the time the United States entered WWII, negative perceptions of Chinese were an established part of mass culture..." However, concerned that the Japanese could use America's anti chinese material as propaganda they began "to present a more positive image of America's Chinese allies..." Just as they tried to show better representation for Black people in comics they did the same for Asian people. However, "Japanese and filipino characters [were] visually indistinguishable. Both groups have grotesque buckteeth, tattered clothing, and bright yellow skin." "publishers...depicted America's Asian allies through derogatory images and language honed over the preceding decades." Asian characters were previously portrayed as, "ghastly yellow demons". During WWII, "[every] major superhero worth his spandex devoted himself to the eradication of asian invaders." There was "a constant relay race in which one asian culture merely handed off the baton of hatred to another with no perceptible changes in the manner in which the characters would be portrayed." "The only specific depiction of a Hispanic superhero did not end well. In 1975 Marvel gave us Hector Ayala a.k.a The White Tiger." "Although he fought for several years alongside the likes of much more popular heroes such as Spider-Man and Daredevil, he only lasted six years before sales of comics featuring him got so bad that Marvel had him retire. The most famous Hispanic character is Bane, a villain from Batman. The Native American representation in comic books "can be summed up in the noble savage stereotype" " a recurring theme...urg[ed] American indians to abandon their traditional hostility towards the United States. They were the ones painted as intolerant and disrespectful of the dominant concerns of white America"

East Asian comics

Japanese manga

Manga (漫画) are comic books or graphic novels originating from Japan. Most manga conform to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century, though the art form has a long prehistory in earlier Japanese art. The term ''manga'' is used in Japan to refer to both comics and cartooning. Outside Japan, the word is typically used to refer to comics originally published in the country.


, fan-made Japanese comics, operate in a far larger market in Japan than the American "underground comics" market; the largest dōjinshi fair, Comiket, attracts 500,000 visitors twice a year.

Korean manhwa

Korean manhwa has quickly gained popularity outside Korea in recent times as a result of the Korean Wave. The manhwa industry has suffered through two crashes and strict censorship since its early beginnings as a result of the Japanese occupation of the peninsula which stunts the growth of the industry but has now started to flourish thanks in part to the internet and new ways to read manhwa whether on computers or through smartphones. In the past manhwa would be marketed as manga outside the country in order to make sure they would sell well but now that is no longer needed since more people are now more knowledgeable about the industry and Korean culture.


Webtoons have become popular in South Korea as a new way to read comics. Thanks in part to different censorship rules, color and unique visual effects, and optimization for easier reading on smartphones and computers. More manhwa have made the switch from traditional print manhwa to online webtoons thanks to better pay and more freedom than traditional print manhwa. The webtoon format has also expanded to other countries outside of Korea like China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Western countries. Major webtoon distributors include Lezhin, Naver, and Kakao.

Chinese manhua

Vietnamese truyện tranh

European comics

Franco-Belgian comics

France and Belgium have a long tradition in comics and comic books, called ''Franco-Belgian comics, BDs'' (an abbreviation of ''bande dessinées'') in French and ''strips'' in Dutch language, Dutch. Belgian comic books originally written in Dutch show the influence of the Francophone "Franco-Belgian" comics but have their own distinct style. The name ''bande dessinée'' derives from the original description of the art form as drawn strips (the phrase literally translates as "the drawn strip"), analogous to the sequence of images in a film strip. As in its English equivalent, the word "bande" can be applied to both film and comics. Significantly, the French-language term contains no indication of subject-matter, unlike the American terms "comics" and "funnies", which imply an art form not to be taken seriously. The distinction of comics as ''le neuvième art'' (literally, "the ninth art") is prevalent in French scholarship on the form, as is the concept of comics criticism and scholarship itself. Relative to the respective size of their populations, the innumerable authors in France and Belgium publish a high volume of comic books. In North America, the more serious Franco-Belgian comics are often seen as equivalent to graphic novels, but whether they are long or short, bound or in magazine format, in Europe there is no need for a more sophisticated term, as the art's name does not itself imply something frivolous. In France, the authors control the publication of most comics. The author works within a self-appointed time-frame, and it is common for readers to wait six months or as long as two years between installments. Most books first appear in print as a hardcover book, typically with 48, 56, or 64 pages.

British comics

Although ''Ally Sloper's Half Holiday'' (1884) was aimed at an adult market, publishers quickly targeted a younger demographic, which has led to most publications being for children and has created an association in the public's mind of comics as somewhat juvenile. ''The Guardian'' refers to Ally Sloper as "one of the world's first iconic cartoon characters", and "as famous in Victorian Britain as Dennis the Menace and Gnasher, Dennis the Menace would be a century later." British comics in the early 20th century typically evolved from illustrated penny dreadfuls of the Victorian era (featuring Sweeney Todd, Dick Turpin and ''Varney the Vampire''). First published in the 1830s, penny dreadfuls were "Britain's first taste of mass-produced popular culture for the young." The two most popular British comic books, ''The Beano'' and ''The Dandy'', were first published by DC Thomson in the 1930s. By 1950 the weekly circulation of both reached two million.Armstrong, Stephen
"Was Pixar's Inside Out inspired by The Beano?"
''The Telegraph''. 27 July 2015
Explaining the enormous popularity of comics in the UK during this period, Anita O'Brien, director curator at London's Cartoon Museum, states: "When comics like the Beano and Dandy were invented back in the 1930s – and through really to the 1950s and 60s – these comics were almost the only entertainment available to children." ''Dennis the Menace and Gnasher, Dennis the Menace'' was created in the 1950s, which saw sales for ''The Beano'' soar. He features in the cover of ''The Beano'', with the BBC referring to him as the "definitive naughty boy of the comic world." In 1954, ''Tiger (Fleetway), Tiger'' comics introduced ''Roy of the Rovers'', the hugely popular football based strip recounting the life of Roy Race and the team he played for, Melchester Rovers. The stock media phrase "real 'Roy of the Rovers' stuff" is often used by football writers, commentators and fans when describing displays of great skill, or surprising results that go against the odds, in reference to the dramatic storylines that were the strip's trademark. Other comic books such as ''Eagle (comic), Eagle'', ''Valiant (comics), Valiant'', ''Warrior (comics), Warrior'', ''Viz (comics), Viz'' and ''2000 AD (comics), 2000 AD'' also flourished. Some comics, such as ''Judge Dredd'' and other ''2000 AD'' titles, have been published in a Tabloid (newspaper format), tabloid form. Underground comics and British small press comics, "small press" titles have also appeared in the UK, notably ''Oz (magazine), Oz'' and ''Escape Magazine''. The content of ''Action (comic), Action'', another title aimed at children and launched in the mid-1970s, became the subject of discussion in the British House of Commons, House of Commons. Although on a smaller scale than similar investigations in the US, such concerns led to a moderation of content published within British comics. Such moderation never became formalized to the extent of promulgating a code, nor did it last long. The UK has also established a healthy market in the reprinting and repackaging of material, notably material originating in the US. The lack of reliable supplies of American comic books led to a variety of black-and-white reprints, including Marvel's monster comics of the 1950s, Fawcett's Captain Marvel (DC Comics), Captain Marvel, and other characters such as Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, Sheena, Mandrake the Magician, and the Phantom. Several reprint companies became involved in repackaging American material for the British market, notably the importer and distributor Thorpe & Porter. Marvel UK, Marvel Comics established a UK office in 1972. DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics also opened offices in the 1990s. The repackaging of European material has occurred less frequently, although ''The Adventures of Tintin'' and ''Asterix'' serials have been successfully translated and repackaged in softcover books. The number of European comics available in the UK has increased in the last two decades. The British company Cinebook, founded in 2005, has released English translated versions of many European series. In the 1980s, a resurgence of British writers and artists gained prominence in mainstream comic books, which was dubbed the "British Invasion (comics), British Invasion" in comic book history. These writers and artists brought with them their own mature themes and philosophy such as anarchy, controversy and politics common in British media. These elements would pave the way for mature and "darker and edgier" comic books and jump start the Modern Age of Comics. Writers included Alan Moore, famous for his ''V for Vendetta'', ''From Hell'', ''Watchmen'', ''Marvelman'', and ''The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen''; Neil Gaiman with ''The Sandman (Vertigo), The Sandman'' mythos and ''Books of Magic''; Warren Ellis, creator of ''Transmetropolitan'' and ''Planetary (comics), Planetary''; and others such as Mark Millar, creator of ''Wanted (comics), Wanted'' and ''Kick-Ass (comic book), Kick-Ass''. The comic book series ''Hellblazer, John Constantine, Hellblazer'', which is largely set in Britain and starring the magician John Constantine, paved the way for British writers such as Jamie Delano. At Christmas, publishers repackage and commission material for comic Annual publication, annuals, printed and bound as hardcover ISO 216#A series, A4-size books; Rupert Bear, "Rupert" supplies a famous example of the British comic annual. DC Thomson also repackages ''The Broons'' and ''Oor Wullie'' strips in softcover A4-size books for the holiday season. On 19 March 2012, the British postal service, the Royal Mail, released a set of stamps depicting British comic book characters and series. The collection featured ''The Beano'', ''The Dandy'', ''Eagle (comics), Eagle'', ''The Topper (comics), The Topper'', ''Roy of the Rovers (comic), Roy of the Rovers'', ''Bunty'', ''Buster (comics), Buster'', ''Valiant (comics), Valiant'', ''Twinkle (comics), Twinkle'' and ''2000 AD (comics), 2000 AD''.

Spanish comics

It has been stated that the 13th century Cantigas de Santa Maria, ''Cantigas de Santa María'' could be considered as the first Spain, Spanish "comic", although comic books (also known in Spain as ''historietas'' or ''tebeos'') made their debut around 1857. The magazine ''TBO (comics), TBO'' was influential in popularizing the medium. After the Spanish Civil War, the Francisco Franco, Franco regime imposed strict censorship in all media: superhero comics were forbidden and as a result, comic heroes were based on historical fiction (in 1944 the medieval hero ''El Guerrero del Antifaz'' was created by Manuel Gago and another popular medieval hero, ''Capitán Trueno'', was created in 1956 by Víctor Mora (comics), Víctor Mora and Miguel Ambrosio Zaragoza). Two publishing houses — Editorial Bruguera and Editorial Valenciana — dominated the Spanish comics market during its golden age (1950–1970). The most popular comics showed a recognizable style of Slapstick Humor, slapstick humor (influenced by Franco-Belgian authors such as André Franquin, Franquin): José Escobar Saliente, Escobar's ''Carpanta'' and ''Zipi y Zape'', Manuel Vázquez Gallego, Vázquez's ''Las hermanas Gilda'' and ''Anacleto, agente secreto, Anacleto,'' Francisco Ibáñez Talavera, Ibáñez's ''Mortadelo y Filemón'' and ''13, Rue del Percebe, 13. Rue del Percebe'' or Jan (comic book writer), Jan's ''Superlópez''. After the end of the Francoist Spain, Francoist period, there was an increased interest in adult comics with magazines such as ''Totem'', ''El Jueves'', ''1984'', and ''El Vibora (magazine), El Víbora,'' and works such as ''Paracuellos'' by Carlos Giménez (comics), Carlos Giménez. Spain, Spanish artists have traditionally worked in other markets finding great success, either in the American (e.g., List of Eisner Award winners, Eisner Award winners Sergio Aragonés, Salvador Larroca, Gabriel Hernández Walta, Marcos Martín (cartoonist), Marcos Martín or David Aja), the British (e.g., Carlos Ezquerra, co-creator of ''Judge Dredd'') or the Franco-Belgian one (e.g., Angoulême International Comics Festival, Fauve d'Or winner :fr:Julio Ribera, Julio Ribera or ''Blacksad'' authors Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido).

Italian comics

In Italy, comics (known in Italian as ''fumetti'') made their debut as humor strips at the end of the 19th century, and later evolved into adventure stories. After World War II, however, artists like Hugo Pratt and Guido Crepax exposed Italian comics to an international audience. Popular comic books such as ''Diabolik'' or the ''Sergio Bonelli Editore, Bonelli'' line—namely ''Tex Willer'' or ''Dylan Dog''—remain best-sellers. Mainstream comics are usually published on a monthly basis, in a black-and-white digest size format, with approximately 100 to 132 pages. Collections of classic material for the most famous characters, usually with more than 200 pages, are also common. Author comics are published in the French BD format, with an example being Pratt's ''Corto Maltese''. Italian cartoonists show the influence of comics from other countries, including France, Belgium, Spain, and Argentina. Italy is also famous for being one of the foremost producers of Walt Disney comic stories outside the US; Donald Duck's superhero alter ego, Paperinik, known in English as Superduck, was created in Italy.

Comics in other countries


Distribution has historically been a problem for the comic book industry with many mainstream retailers declining to carry extensive stocks of the most interesting and popular comics. The smartphone and the tablet computer, tablet have turned out to be an ideal medium for online distribution.

Digital distribution

On 13 November 2007,
Marvel Comics Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel En ...
launched Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, a subscription service allowing readers to read many Digital comic, comics from Marvel's history online. The service also includes periodic release new comics not available elsewhere. With the release of ''Avenging Spider-Man'' #1, Marvel also became the first publisher to provide free digital copies as part of the print copy of the comic book. With the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, many major publishers have begun releasing titles in digital form. The most popular platform is comiXology. Some platforms, such as Graphicly, have shut down.

Comic collections in libraries

Many libraries have extensive collections of comics in the form of graphic novels. This is a convenient way for many in the public to become familiar with the medium.

Guinness World Records

In 2015, the Japanese manga artist Eiichiro Oda was awarded the ''Guinness World Records'' title for having the "Most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author". His manga series ''One Piece'', which he writes and illustrates, has been serialized in the Japanese magazine ''Weekly Shōnen Jump'' since December 1997, and by 2015, 77 Tankōbon, collected volumes had been released. ''Guinness World Records'' reported in their announcement that the collected volumes of the series had sold a total of 320,866,000 units. ''One Piece'' also holds the ''Guinness World Records'' title for "Most copies published for the same manga series". On 5 August 2018, the ''Guinness World Records'' title for the "Largest comic book ever published" was awarded to the Brazilian comic book ''Monica's Gang, Turma da Mônica — O Maior Gibi do Mundo!'', published by Panini Comics, Panini Comics Brasil and Mauricio de Sousa, Mauricio de Sousa Produções. The comic book measures 69.9 cm by 99.8 cm (2 ft 3.51 in by 3 ft 3.29 in). The 18-page comic book had a print run of 120 copies. With the July 2021 publication of the 201st collected volume of his manga series ''Golgo 13'', Japanese manga artist Takao Saito was awarded the ''Guinness World Records'' title for "Most volumes published for a single manga series." ''Golgo 13'' has been continuously serialized in the Japanese magazine ''Big Comic'' since October 1968, which also makes it the oldest manga still in publication.

See also

* Cartoon * Comic book archive * Comic book therapy * Comics studies * Comics vocabulary * Comparison of image viewers * List of best-selling comic series * List of best-selling manga * Webcomic


Further reading

* * *

External links

Comic book Speculation Reference

Comic book Reference Bibliographic Datafile

Sequart Research & Literacy Organization

at the University of Missouri
Collectorism – a place for collectors and collectibles
{{DEFAULTSORT:Comic Book Comics formats, Book Comics publications eo:Bildliteraturo#Specifaj nomoj kaj difinoj