Comics - History of Comics
Do you like to read comic books? Even if you have never read an actual comic book, you probably know some characters from comic books. Do you know Captain America? How about Spiderman? Do you recognize Thor and Loki? Have you ever watched Superman? All of these characters started in comic books.
A comic book is a book is made up of a series of pictures. The art and words are called "comic," but that doesn't always mean "funny." Sometimes the comics are more serious.
Rodolphe Topffer was a teacher, but he also developed several comic strips which were published in 1827 in a variety of places. These were all drawn carefully by hand. He is considered to be the creator of the comic strip, or strip of pictures used to tell a story. Topffer wrote in horizontal blocks in his own handwriting. This became the standard.
Comic strips became popular in France. Here, artists adopted the technique of using travel in their comics as well as caricatures, which were always popular. The French also took part in strip comics, while there were still others who stuck to single comics that were going down the page in the book-instead of horizontal.
Comics really took off in the 20th century because they could be printed in large numbers. Comic strip artists have often used art to "make fun" of very serious subjects. Even when they were not "making fun," they used the comics and the characters to tackle serious topics. Many comic strips are about good versus evil. Comic writers have also used their art to tackle subjects such as genocide and segregation.
Comic books continue to be popular, but over time, many of their characters have also been pictured in television shows and in movies.