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  • Subsequent newspaper comic strips such as Mutt and Jeff were reprinted in the form of books, after which publishers began experimenting with weekly comic books, selling them for 10 cents at newsstands. These pre-superhero comics were mostly pulp stories—tales of detectives, criminals, exotic travel, and adventure. The first costumed hero was The Phantom, who debuted in 1936, and wore a purple costume and black mask.

    One of the first comic strips, which were precursors to comic books, was Hogan's Alley, published in 1895 by Richard Felton Outcalt. This strip had the first 'speech bubbles,' and its lead character, The Yellow Kid, had his own book, "The Yellow Kid in McFadden's Flats," printed in 1897. This book actually coined the term 'comic book,' and it marks the beginning of the Platinum Age, which ran until 1937.

  • The began in 1937, and comic books, previously meant for adults, were now focused more on youth. In 1938, a revolutionary new series, Action Comics, published by , introduced Superman, the first comic book character with superhuman abilities. Batman followed a year later, in Detective Comics #27, which was grittier than comics Superman appeared in, and initially read more like a mystery than a superhero comic.

    My troubles with comic books are several in number. I’m all for books of all kinds. I like thick a thick tome of a novel. I like random-fact non-fiction books. I like lovely reference books. I like giant dictionaries. I like non-traditional books, for example Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence. I like books in other languages. I like art books full of colorful photos and very little text. I like architectural drawing books full of nothing but diagrams on how to build a wall or a roof. As you can tell I like books, but I have some problems with allowing comic books into my realm of bookdom.

  • In Comic Books > Bronze Age Comic Books > Show & Tell.
    Bronze Age Comic Books26 of 32

    Here’s the thing, I probably shouldn’t think of comic books as “less than” since I consider a graphic novel a book. I would also consider a thick work of manga a book. I would consider both of those to be in the realm of books, but do I do the same for comic books? Nope.

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