Who Invented Comic Books? | COLOSSAL QUESTIONS

Who Invented Comic Books? | COLOSSAL QUESTIONS

January 22, 2020 0 By Kailee Schamberger


– [Narrator] Over time,
comic books have become one of the most defining
American art forms, but where did they
get their start? Who actually
invented comic books? Let’s find out on
today’s episode of – [Commanding Voice]
Colossal Questions. – [Narrator] It might
seem like comic books are a modern marvel,
but it turns out, they trace their origins farther
back than you might expect. The very first comic
book ever printed was published in
Europe back in 1837. Scholars say the
comic book was called, “The Adventures of
Obadiah Oldbuck,” written by a Swiss author
named Rudolphe Topffer. It looked more
like a picture book than what we think of
as a classic comic, yet it’s widely credited
with paving the way for newspaper strips and comics which followed in its footsteps. Comic books didn’t
make their way to the United States until 1933. The first one was called,
“Funnies on Parade,” and it was made up entirely of re-printed newspaper
comic strips of the day. It proved popular and quickly
led to the publication of other newspaper comic
strips in book form. As interest and demand from
the public grew and grew, writers and artists started
inventing characters to star in these
newly-popular comic books. In 1938, the Golden Age of
comic books officially began after two friends named
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created a new character
called Superman, in “Action Comics Number One.” The popularity of Superman
made the superhero the defining genre of
American comic books. And other heroes soon followed. Batman debuted a year
later in a 1939 issue of “Detective Comics.” The Flash dashed onto
the scene in 1940 and Captain America, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman all joined
the superhero ranks in 1941. But by the start of the 1950s, interesting superhero comic
books started to decline. TV had just been invented and
people were shifting in drones from reading books and comics
to watching TV instead. But by the 1960s and ’70s, a new wave of superhero interest called the Silver
Age of comic books, swept the nation and we’ve
never really looked back since. Today, it’s hard to imagine
a movie theater or toy store not chock full of movies
and toys about superheroes, and one thing seems for certain. Comic book superheroes
are here to stay. (playful music)