Rob reads: A brief overview of comic books.

I originally wrote this for a children website to encourage more children to read or go to the library. Appeared on

Even if you don’t read this article go to your local library and check out the comic books/graphic novels that they have.  Find a subject boring in school see if they have that subject in a comic book and it might make it more interesting to learn.

Comic books have become a major cornerstone of popular culture.

Some of your favourite movies, cartoons, computer games (Pokémon Go anyone?) or toys etc… either come from a comic book or gets made into a comic book. Funnily enough comics were originally not for children.  And the comic strips in newspapers (yes there are comic strips in some newspapers if you didn’t already know go check them out) used to be aimed for adults only. Thankfully this has changed, right?

Comic books are usually categorized by time periods: Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age and the Modern Age are classifications of the style they were done denotes when a comic book came out.

The Golden Age (1938-1944) Begins with the first appearance of Superman in 1938. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were the popular Superheroes at the time (not much has changed). The Golden Age ended with World War Two.

Between the Golden Age up until the Silver Age there was the period known as the Atomic Age (1944-1956) Post-war comics were wrote as more light-hearted to lift people’s moods.  It was during the Atomic Age that the Comics Code Authority (CCA) was set up as a response to the connection between young people doing bold things and comic books being the reason why they do these bold things.

The Silver Age (1956-1972) Began after the (CCA) started to put restrictions on the direction of comic books (remember that comics were not for children at this time).  This gave way for superhero comic to raise in popularity, and Marvel comics and DC comics greater commercial success,

The Bronze Age (1972-1986) Was when comic books had a darker element to them.  This was the period when horror stories became popular again, making way for Vampire, monsters and scary ghouls to be told through the medium of comic books. This was only allowed after the CCA relaxed some of their rules.

Modern Age (1986- present) This is our time of comic books. This era of comic books is also known as the Dark ages of comic books as comic books started to have a grittier and dark tone to them this was in the late 80’s (The latest Superman Vs Batman movie is based on a comic book wrote in this period).  In the early 90’s saw a group of comic creators leaving Marvel comics to start Image comics, an independent publisher.

The new popularity of comic books helped usher in Manga from Japan.  This will be familiar to those who enjoy Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh or Dragonball.  Manga has only been around America and Europe for the last twenty to thirty years but it has been around much longer in Japan from just after World War Two.

I guess the aim of this article is to get you guys to understand the development of comic books throughout the years and get a brief history lesson as well.

Comic books had to fight a lot to get accepted as a way of reading. Comic books used to be seen as a way to that stopped young readers from engaging in reading. Now you can get all sorts of school subjects in comic book form.

It took a long time for comic books to be introduced into public libraries and even now there are some libraries that don’t have them, if you find one demand that they get some comic books.  But comic strips and comic books are becoming more and more popular and with the increased use of the internet comics are one of the few mediums that has translated well from comics to the internet.

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