The first comic book to be published with some brand-new material was The Funnies, which ran for 13 issues in 1929. Some early comic books were created for manufacturers to give away as a special bonus, such as Funnies on Parade, which was made for Proctor & Gamble in 1933. The first comic book to sell on newsstands was Famous Funnies in 1934. In 1935 came the appearance of New Fun, the first comic book containing exclusively original material. New Fun was published by DC Comics, which would go on to become one of the largest comic book publishers in the world. In 1937 DC began publishing Detective Comics, the first series utilizing a single theme from issue to issue.

Comic books vaulted into the public consciousness in 1938 with the debut of the character Superman in Action Comics. Superman, who came from a dying planet as a child, was endowed with special abilities under the Earth’s sun—he could fly and boasted superhuman strength, X-ray vision, and other powers. He also had a secret identity as a mild-mannered newspaper reporter named Clark Kent. The popular new character sent sales of Action Comics soaring, and an American myth was born.

The success of Superman ensured the viability of comic books as a form and gave rise to countless other superheroes. One of them was Batman, so named for his costume that looked like a bat. He fought evildoers not with superhuman powers but with uncommon physical skills and intelligence. This character debuted in 1939 in Detective Comics and quickly became as well known as Superman. Both characters have been featured in television series and motion pictures through the years, gaining further popularity. (Source : Encarta)

No comments: