Comic Books as a Form of Art

The tradition of stories in pictures dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries, when in Valencia and Barcelona they began to sell pictures for the people, most often on religious subjects. The predecessors of comic books include political European cartoons of the 18th century. The engravings of the English artist, illustrator William Hogarth (1697-1764) were extremely popular and were a series of drawings telling a certain story. One of the founders of the comic book genre is the German satirical poet and artist Heinrich Christian Wilhelm Bush (1832-1908). His witty satirical poems in pictures are popular all over the world. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, comics began to take on familiar outlines, and took on the form that is now commonly called the modern comic.

The twentieth century brought a major shift in worldview as a result of changes in the economy, politics, ideology and culture. The latter, in turn, showed rapid development in new forms of creativity, collective and individual self-expression. At this time, there is such a phenomenon as mass culture. One of the essential phenomena of this era, which continues to this day, is comics.

The word “comic” was formed as a result of the merger of two English words: comic (comic, funny) and strip (strip, picture). In June 1938 in the USA, on the pages of the first issue of Action Comics, a significant hero for the first time appeared, endowed with superpowers – Superman, whose name subsequently became a household word throughout the world. The image of this superhero was created by Jerry Siegel (Eng. Jerry Siegel) and Joseph Schuster (Eng. Joseph Shuster).

Interesting fact: In February 2010, the original release of Action Comics # 1 was auctioned off for $ 1,000,000.

The appearance of Superman was so successful and overwhelming that it led to the appearance of many other superhumans on guard of justice. Seeing the success of Action Comics and Superman in particular, the publisher made a request to Bob Kane and in 1939, Batman appeared in Detective Comic # 27.

Batman quickly became popular, being a more realistic and close character to the reader. In 1941, the Marvel publishing house purposefully created the character Captain America. Charismatic, thoroughly saturated with patriotism “knight without fear and reproach.” Captain America, painted in the colors of the American flag, personified the struggle against Nazism during the war years, which made him popular at that time, but also played a cruel joke after. In the postwar period, people began to forget about him more often.

Many characters created at that time were further developed. Some quickly lost popularity, were forgotten and never returned to them.

Incredible Comics Artists

One of the most popular modern graphic artist Jim Steranko is famous for his surrealizm style.

John Romita is an American comics artist best know for his work for Marvel Comics:

Tim Sale is an American Award-winning artist mostly known for his Batman.

Frank Quietly is a Scottish comic book artist  best known for his frequent collaborations with Grant Morrison on titles such as Batman, We3, New X-Men etc.

Greg Capullo  is an American comic book artist best known for his work on Quasar, X-Force, Angela, Spawn, Batman.

Share your favorite comics in the comments!