Demanding Respect: The Evolution of the American Comic Book by Paul Lopes

By Paul Lopes

How is it that comedian books—the as soon as reviled type of lowbrow renowned culture—are now the fad for Hollywood blockbusters, the foundation for bestselling games, and the muse for literary photograph novels? In not easy admire, Paul Lopes immerses himself within the discourse and practices of this artwork and lifestyle to supply a social historical past of the yankee comedian publication over the past seventy five years.   Lopes analyzes the cultural creation, reception, and intake of yankee comedian books all through American historical past. He charts the increase of superheroes, the proliferation of serials, and the emergence of photograph novels. challenging recognize explores how comedian books born within the Nineteen Thirties have been perceived as a “menace” within the Fifties, merely to later turn into creditors’ goods and at last “hip” fiction within the Nineteen Eighties via this present day.   utilizing a theoretical framework to ascertain the development of comedian e-book culture—the artists, publishers, readers and fans—Lopes explains how and why comedian books have captured the public’s mind's eye and received a enthusiast cult following.

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They agreed in 1938 to sell the rights of Superman to National for a ten-year contract with a weekly salary of 130 dollars to produce the comic book. When Superman began generating a million and a half dollars in profits in only a few short years, the artists were able only to negotiate profits of seventyfive thousand dollars annually from National, which they used to support their art studio in Cleveland. The artists remained bitter and eventually sued National in 1947 for their rights to Superman.

And the Hollywood tradition of representation in animation certainly had a strong influence on comic books. Film animation not only contributed characters and the unique styles of their artists to very successful comic books, but it also established one of the most enduring and successful genres in comic books—funny animals. 4 The field of pulp magazines, however, had the greatest direct influence on the structure and rules of art in the new field of comic books. 5 Most of the publishers that established the comic book as a mass medium were, or had been, involved in the highly profitable pulp industry.

91 The first few comic books were produced by Eastern Color Printing as premium giveaways for companies like Proctor and Gamble, Kinney Shoes, and Wheatena. Like Funnies on Parade these giveaways featured reprints of comic strips. Eastern and the pulp magazine publisher Dell Publishing quickly entered into a joint effort in 1934 to sell a comic book at retail. Dell ordered thirty-five thousand copies of Famous Funnies and distributed them in department stores where they quickly sold out at ten cents a book.

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