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The first comic book was launched in the United States in 1934 and was known as the Famous Funnies.  The comic book industry in the United States has produced the most titles followed closely by British and Japanese comic book industry.  All sectors of the industry cater to young adult audiences, although the acceptance of comics for adults has steadily developed over the years. 

Comic book publications are categorized by the following “historic eras”.

The Golden Age    1934 thru 1956

The Silver Age      1956 thru 1970

The Bronze Age    1970 thru 1985

The Modern Age   1985 thru present

The Golden Age of Comic Books is described as a period of time of American historical past from the introduction of the first comic book in 1934 until the mid 1950’s.  Through this era some of the most popular and well-known superheroes debuted, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel and Captain America.  These superheroes continue to enjoy fantastic acceptance even in the modern day.  When introduced in the mid to late 30’s, comic books, or comics as they are also termed, experienced a surge of acceptance.  The archetype superhero and villain had been defined through this period of time as comics became a mainstream art form.  The initially era of comic book writers, artists and editors discovered their voice, were heard and left their mark on what was to turn out to be a important market segment for publishing.

The Silver Age of Comic Books ranged from 1956 to 1970.  This period of time marked a time of wonderful inventive advancement and commercial triumph as comic books, particularly American comics moved into the mainstream.   The Silver Age gave birth to an extensive variety of important writers and artists which contributed to defining comic books as serious business. 

Towards the end of the 2nd World War, acceptance of comic books featuring superheroes significantly declined.  Comics focused on romance, horror and crime had been on the increase bringing about controversy over allegations that comic books provoke juvenile delinquency.  In 1954, publishers implemented the Comics Code Authority, meant to regulate content.   Because of this writers and publishers re-introduced a stream of superhero storylines, such as the Fantastic Four consisting of Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, the Invisible Woman and Thing.   Comics from the Silver age are nowadays regarded as collectible, and are amongst the most sought-after in the market. 

The Bronze Age spans comic book history from 1970 to 1985.  It followed the Silver Age and even now consists of many of the conventions of the Silver Age.  Defining the Bronze Age are brightly coloured superhero titles, in addition to the introduction of darker plot components reflecting real world concerns such as alcoholism, drug abuse and pollution.   Comic book story lines began to mirror the interests of far more experienced audiences throughout this Age, a precursor to the Modern Age of Comic Books.

 The final period of time for comics began in 1985 and is coined the Modern Age of Comic Books.  This interval of history extends until today.  In the Modern Age characters became darker and a lot more complex.  Comic book designers grew to become well known , comic books became far more mainstream.  As a result, independent and commercial publishing flourished, making a new and ever evolving market.   This time period of comic book publication also is known as as the Copper Age, the Iron Age and the Dark Age. 

 

 

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