Quantcast
Get Into Comics

New to Comics? Welcome!

DC Heroes

Comic books began in the 1930s as a unique American art form that has grown - like so many American forms of entertainment - to spread around the globe. From Japanese businessmen reading manga on the subways of Tokyo to French artists re-interpreting Proust with words and pictures, comics have changed entertainment and challenged perceptions. These days, there are comic books for every taste, from slam-bang super-hero adventures and thoughtful slice-of-life to thrilling science fiction and intense drama.

If it's been a while since you've read a comic book, prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the breadth of variety available!

If you're new to comics, here's some information that will help you get the most out of them.

 

A Brief History of the Comics

1840s

    • The American Comic Strip is born when The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck becomes the earliest known sequential comic book to be published in America.

The Yellow Kid


1895

    • Reprints of "Platinum Age" comics, like The Brownies and Yellow Kid, become increasingly popular. Reprints of titles such as Popeye, Buster Brown and Bringing Up Father sell millions before the advent of originally produced material.



1938
Action Comics

    • The Golden Age of Comics officially begins, with the publication of Action Comics #1, starring the first bona fide success story in comics: Superman.



1956-1961

    • The Silver Age of Comics begins, as characters based on popular Golden Age super-heroes -- like DC Comics' The Flash -- are updated and refurbished for a new generation of readers. Moreover, Marvel Comics' publication of Fantastic Four #1 in 1961 reinvigorated the comics industry by introducing new, more human, super-hero iconography.

Fansatic Four

1967

    • Zap Comix # 1, a seminal underground alternative comic is published.



1986

    • Dark Horse Comics founded.
    • The publication of heavyweights Watchmen, Maus and Batman: the Dark Knight Returns usher in a new age of sophisticated comic book storytelling.

1992

    • Art Spiegelman wins the Pulitzer Prize for the graphic novel Maus.

Maus

    • Image Comics is formed by seven of the industry's top talents at the time.



2001

    • Author Michael Chabon wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a novel about the Golden Age of Comics.
    • In the United Kingdom, The Guardian awards its prestigious First Novel Award to Chris Ware for the graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan.



2002

    • The first Free Comic Book Day, held on May 4, marks the industry's first broad cooperative promotional venture.
    • The first American edition of manga digest Shonen Jump is released.



2005

    • The publishers of Shonen Jump introduce Shojo Beat, a manga digest targeted at older teenaged girls.



2006-2007

    • Gene Yang's American Born Chinese, from First Second Books, becomes the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award (in the category of Young People's Literature.) Later, American Born Chinese would become the first graphic novel to be honored with the prestigious Michael L. Printz Award.

American Born Chinese

2007

    • YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, debuts its annual Great Graphic Novels for Teens list at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.