September 25 is Comic Book Day. The holiday celebrates the art and science behind comic books and encourages people to read and share comic books.
A comic book is a book that tells stories through pictures or illustrations and text. The story is usually divided into sequential panels and dialogs and thoughts of the characters are presented in a stylized graphic called a speech bubble or balloon.
From Strip to Book
While stand-alone and series comic strips have been around for a very long time – the earliest recorded comics can be traced back to 113 AD on Trajan’s Column located in Rome – historians believe that the first comic book ever published was in 1837 in Europe. Called The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck, the book was written by Swiss writer, Rudolphe Töpffer.
By the 1930s comic books had become a big business in the United States. Known as the Golden Era of comics, the late 1930s and 1940s saw a surge in the genre of superhero comics starting with the publication of Superman in Action Comics #1 in 1938. This period saw the debut of other comic book heros that we are all very familiar with today. Some examples include: Wonder Woman, Batman and Captain America. During and after World War II, the popularity of superhero comics took a hit. It was only in 1956 when a more modern version of Flash made his debut that the Silver Age of Comics was ushered in.
The 1970s and 1980s are known as the Bronze Age of Comics. Comics became darker and plot lines included real world problems like corruption, environmental disasters and alcoholism. This trend has continued in recent years. Comic historians also sometimes call it the Dark Age of Comic Books.
How to Celebrate?
Have a favorite comic book character party where guests come dressed as their favorite comic book character.
Visit your local comic book store and pick out a new comic book to read.
Lend your favorite comic books to your friends so they can also get interested in reading them.
Did You Know…
…that the Incredible Hulk, a comic book character known for growing in size and becomes more powerful when he is angry, was originally drawn as a gray by its creator Stan Lee? However, because of printing issues, Marvel, the publisher of the comic decided to change him to green.