Talk:American comic book

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WikiProject iconComics: United States / DC Comics / Marvel C‑class Top‑importance
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Comics, a collaborative effort to build an encyclopedic guide to comics on Wikipedia. Get involved! If you would like to participate, you can help with the current tasks, visit the notice board, edit the attached article or discuss it at the project's talk page.
CThis article has been rated as C-class on Wikipedia's content assessment scale.
 Top This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
Related work groups:
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by United States comics work group.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by DC Comics work group.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by Marvel Comics work group.
WikiProject iconUnited States: Comics C‑class High‑importance
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
CThis article has been rated as C-class on Wikipedia's content assessment scale.
 High This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Comics - United States comics work group.


This article was created to address concerns that the comic book article was too US-centric. See the discussion on that 'talk' page if interested ike9898 16:48, May 17, 2004 (UTC)

Discussion RE: This paragraph[edit]

The comic book saw a decline from a World War II high but has increased drastically during the last 30 years. This has been caused by a number of factors, including the advent of the underground comics, the influence from and rise in popularity of manga and the recognition of the comic medium among academics and literature critics not just as trivial childrens' entertainment, but as a serious form of literature and art.

I'm not sure the facts hold up above, and in any case they're not given or cited. From my understanding, there is only a core of about 100,000 readers, and this is down from even the early 1990s when a comic could still sell a million copies. I'm not sure there's been a million-seller in a while, so this seems a decrease rather than an increase.

The advent of of underground comics was 40 years ago, not 30, and either number of years makes me wonder how relevant their influence is to present recognigition as literature/art. Wouldn't the rise of naturalistic works such as Harvey Pekar's, the Hernandez Bros. and "Ghost World", from about the '80s on, be the more relevant influence?

Lastly, and as much as I like and respect manga, I'd have to question whether it contributes or actually takes away from the literature/art equation. Even a technical and aesthetic breakthrough like "Akira" has had mixed critical response on its story, and the overwhelming majority of manga titles I believe are aimed at youngsters, along the lines of "Sailor Moon". (Certainly I've read that's true in Japan.) I wonder if it's the European works ("Dylan Dog", Moebius. et al.) that might be more relevant here. Could we discuss? -- Tenebrae 13:41, 20 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think that point about naturalistic artists' influence is significant. I recall that Pekar and Los Bros Hernandez were referenced in most of the articles I read about indie comics in the 1980s. Both brought in new readers by "crossing over" into literary, jazz, and punk subcultures, putting the comics artform within other contexts. LBH aren't mentioned, either, and they were some of the most popular artists back then. Also, Spiegelman, LBH, and Pekar were all self-conscious about their work as related to literature, and they would discuss it as such, and to different degrees, strove to expand the artform. They also saw themselves as the next stage in underground comix. (Crumb also did a number of autobiographical stories at the time. Joe Sacco also influenced the form with his journalism.)

Manga's influences were on two fronts. There were a number of works that were naturalistic and got popularized as reprints in America, however, they aren't really considered mainstream. The "anime" style was far more popular, but what it seemed to bring to the form was more complex storytelling and some new twists fantasy and science-fiction themes. I think, in Japan, there's a division between these two types of manga.

Finally, the public perception of comic books isn't "trivial children's entertainment" but as a fantasy genre for young boys. Manga hasn't changed that very much, if at all. The comic "words-and-pictures" artform, however, has a measure of respect in the art world and in the academic spheres. It's holding its own, and the proponents have been doing their work. This should be recognized. -johnk 09:20, 7 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In Japan, manga titles like Weekly Young Jump, Business Jump, Weekly Young Sunday, Big Comic Spirits, etc. are all written for and marketed to adult men. Most of the strips contained therein probably have not been translated and sold in the west, so I don't know if this has had an impact in the U.S., but adult manga are a largish segment of the market in Japan. (talk) 12:14, 12 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

[1] Ref for influence of manga on American comic books. Tho 15 years on from beginning of this conversation perhaps less in question? Dakinijones (talk) 16:00, 12 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Frank Bramlett; Roy Cook; Aaron Meskin (5 August 2016). The Routledge Companion to Comics. Routledge. pp. 106–. ISBN 978-1-317-91538-6.

Bronze Age[edit]

I added a Bronze Age section which I'm surprised didn't already exist. Unfortunately, some of it ended up being redundant with the Silver Age article, but I felt the Bronze Age was too important to just omit. Other people can fix the redundancy if they wish. Ken Arromdee 30 June 2005 02:34 (UTC)

Having a look, it appears the bronze age does exist, however on wikipedia its discussed as the modern age of comics. Do people think the modern age should be broken out into the bronze age and the modern age, or should the bronze age remain a part of the modern age in discussion here? If it is decided to break it out, then the articles need to be better edited to reflect that, particularly Modern Age of Comic Books Hiding 30 June 2005 07:16 (UTC)

Even this article pretty much associates the Modern Age with the mid-1980's, except for that paragraph about the direct market. I've never seen 'Modern Age' or any variations used to describe the period from the 1970s to the present. Ken Arromdee 30 June 2005 14:07 (UTC)

Um, did you actually have a look at the article Modern Age of Comic Books, to which Bronze Age of Comic Books redirects? It looks to me, especially in this article, that here on wikipedia the consensus so far has been to define the silver age and the golden age, but to leave any periods afterwards to be defined as the modern age. Whether that consensus is right or wrong I do not know, but I think there should at least be consistency across all the articles that refer to this period. Hiding 30 June 2005 15:43 (UTC)

I did a Google search and it does seem that Modern Age can be used for the post-1970 period. On the other hand, much of this is use by dealers, who have less motivation to distinguish the Bronze and Modern Ages because they don't differ in price much. (On the gripping hand, most Google pages dealing with comics seem to be related to dealers.)

Even then, redirecting Bronze Age to Modern Age doesn't make sense if you're also defining Modern Age as 1970 to present. If Modern means post-1970 then Modern includes Bronze, but Modern isn't the same as Bronze.

On Google, "Modern Age" -"bronze age" "comic books" gives me 11100 references and "Bronze Age" "comic books" gives me 32100. Ken Arromdee 30 June 2005 20:54 (UTC)

All this talk of "XXX ages" though they were set terms accepted by a consensus really isn't a serious treatment of the topic of comic history. First off, searching Google for just the words contained in the title doens't prove anything. If you want to use these kinds of names, you need to show that there is a very clear consensus among serious comic historians about these terms. I've looked at serious literature about comics and so far I can't find a trace of agreement with the terminology. Secondly, all this "Gold" and "Platinum" and whathaveyou really smacks of peacock terms and it makes the articles look a lot less serious than they really are.
Mind you, I'm not criticizing the content, which looks great, it's just that this kind of era naming isn't compatible with serious history writing whether it be about medieval castles or comics. You need to give these article more neutral and less whimsical names that reflect more than just your own views on the topic.
Peter Isotalo 06:45, 27 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps you'd care to peruse Superhero Comics of the Golden Age: The Illustrated History (Taylor History of Comics S.) or The Comic Book Heroes: From the Silver Age to the Present or The Silver Age of Comic Book Art or The Silver Age of Comic Book Art for starters. Hiding talk 16:58, 27 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One book does not make a consensus. There are "Golden Ages" of pretty much every aspect of history, but very few of them are set terms in themselves. You need to show that a majority of comic historians agree on this term. The same most certainly goes for "Platinum" and "Silver" ages.
Peter Isotalo 17:16, 27 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whilst I can, and would normally be willing to provide more sources, there seems to be little point as you seem unwilling to accept or consider them. Please also advise me as to where in Wiki policy it specifies that a consensus of sources is required before one can input datum. Hiding talk 16:03, 28 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We're talking past each other here. I'm not trying to ignore that some or even a lot of sources use this kind of terminology, but I just am very skeptical that it should be considered encyclopedic. There's a problem of POV, since "Golden Age" implies very distinct connotation of superiority; an age that is undisputably better and more prestigious than previous or following periods. While it's certainly valid to explain that many refer to certain periods as "a golden age" or even "the Golden Age", it's an entirely different matter to actually name articles this way. And where does "Platinum Age" come from? Is this used in any literature at all and what is it supposed to mean? Are all comic book periods per definition better the older they are?
What I'm asking for here is wide consensus among experts and aficionados about terminology. You don't need to start counting source or Google hits, just give a proper thought to how this affects the neutrality of the articles.
Peter Isotalo 18:23, 28 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See, I object to the point about encyclopedic. There doesn't seem to be an agreed standard of encyclopedic, it simply equates to POV, yours or mine. As to using the names themselves in section headers and articles, your best bet is to RFC then. They are established terms, but I can see your point and would not personally object to section headings which use dates with the terms mentioned in the text as used by [insert sources].
Per Platinum age, I'll give you three Platinum age cites, google would give you more but I'm sure you know that:
  • Beerbohm, Robert L. 1997. The American Comic Book: 1897-1932. The Beginning: The Platinum Age. in The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, 27th ed. by Robert M. Overstreet, New York: Avon Books and Timonium, MD: Gemstone Publishing: 1-15
  • Star Collector: Robert Beerbohm - Platinum before gold. Diamond Dialogue (January): 48-49
It's a recent term Beerbohm has coined but seems to have become adopted by comics scholars, if you need further confirmation your best bet is to join and ask at the comics scholars mailing list.
If you need to cite terms, the comics research bibliography will probably be useful to you. Yes the naming conventions are based upon being superior. Bronze Age and Platinum Age are recent terms, I'm not sure of the coining of the first two terms though. Hiding talk 19:31, 28 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The first reference I ever saw of Bronze Age was in Wizard magazine when I talked about modern horror titles (some of which go all the way back to the mid 60's) Glad to see that Jamie Coville (History Of Comic books) is not the only one to use Platinum age as a reference for the 1897-1938 period. The Modern Age beginning tends to be marked by Crisis and Secret Wars and some have come up with a host of names for it- Iron Age, Gimmic Age, etc.--BruceGrubb 12:46, 3 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

By the way, to what do you refer when you say you have access to serious comics literature? Be aware Sabin for one is thought sloppy in places. Do you have access to any Kunzle, his work is reputedly the best, but sadly out of print. Hiding talk 19:35, 28 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My vote goes to have a standalone Bronze Age entry. 1976 is 30 years ago; that's far more than separates the Golden from the Silver, and there's a highly recognizeable difference in style, theme, conventions, and accepted industry standards between the post-Silver Age '70s, and today. Here's an example: An interracial romantic kiss was never done to my knowledge pre-1970s. It's common today in the Modern Age. What was in-between? Its controversial first occurrance in the Bronze Age, when Don McGregor and P. Craig Russell pioneered it in the "Killraven" feature in Marvel's Amazing Adventures. I give just this one of many possible examples by to indicate the demarcated step-process between Silver Age and now: Between taboo and commonplace, there's a distinct territory where boundaries are tested, and conventions redefined.
Related to this change and distinction is the early-70s updating of the Comics Code, the first since its inception in 1954. The subsequent initial blossoming of creators newly liberated in certain respects — testing what these new liberties meant — marks a different era than today, when standards are much more established.
The Bronze Age, I'd suggest, also has a pantheon distinct from the Silver and Modern Age. Creators such as Gerber, Englehart, McGregor, Gulacy, etc., while certainly active and producing good work, had the same resonance, fan-following, etc., that Bendis, Millar, Moore, etc. do today. While there's a cycle to audience likes and dislikes, you can compare this to the movies following the start of MPAA ratings in 1968 -- there were 1970s stars and directors like Burt Reynolds, Peter Bogdanovich, Bob Rafelson, Faye Dunaway, etc., who are still around and doing quality quieter work, but the feel of movies in the 1970s, just after the studio system broke down and filmmakers were newly liberated in certain respects — testing what these new liberties meant — and marking a different era than today. -- Tenebrae 15:10, 31 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As someone who grew up and started reading comics in the 1970's, I definitely believe there is a distinction between Bronze age and "modern" age comics. The writing and characterization changed rather drastically in the mid/late 80's, from a more naturalistic/realistic style, which showed both the highs and lows of the characters, to a stylized, grim and gritty, joyless, almost cyberpunk style, with many "heroes" revealed as either corrupt or as tortured victims of abuse. Compare the Dark Phoenix Saga, or the early New Teen Titans, to something like The Dark Knight Returns or Grendel. Now, of course, this is all my own subjective opinion; but then so is the difference between the other comic Ages. I don't agree that "serious comic historians" should be the only ones to define the terms or ages used in the article; this smacks of non-neutral POV, by rendering a value judgement on who is Serious and who isn't. The terms Golden, Silver and (to a lesser extent) Bronze Ages are in frequent use among comic book professionals and comic dealers; is their use less valid than armchair historians?

Noclevername 17:03, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your point would be better take if you weren't an anonymous IP. Not registering can be perceived as a way of avoiding accountability. But read on through the last paragraph; this isn't as bad a posting as it sounds.
Comics scholarship does exist, in that professors teach it in colleges, and in that journalist/authors such as Ron Goulart and Les Daniels are hardly "armchair" historians. I could be wrong, but I detect an anti-intellectualist bias in your statements. Yes, someone who studies and writes or teaches about a topic is more authoritative than someone who doesn't. And in any case, the phrase we usually find is "during the period that fans and historians called the Golden Age of comic books", etc., so fan opinion is note.
And in any event, the point is moot. If the term Bronze Age is in common useage — and, yes, personally, I very much think it is, so I do agree with your in principle — then it won't be hard to find citations. Simple as pie, everybody goes home happy and verified! --Tenebrae 02:48, 8 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(Yeah, I'd typed in the dashes and then forgot the tildes! 30 seconds later ... I was too late!) -- Tenebrae 02:49, 8 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nope. Not anti-intellectual bias (there's too much of that these days), just not wanting to eliminate pragmatic sources as opposed to scholarly ones. This is essentially a pop-culture subject, and the common usages of dealers (and, yes, fans) should be taken into account, I believe. Sorry if I didn't make my emphasis clear before; I'm not denigrating historians, I just wasn't aware of the extent of comic book scholarship. Noclevername 09:13, 8 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All good; and yeah, I agree with you completely. If you haven't already got it, ask for Gerard Jones' Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book (Basic Books, 2004; trade paperback ISBN 0-465-03657-0) for a present. What a great read!
Now let's find us some cites, brother!--Tenebrae 16:47, 9 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In The Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels, (2010 ISBN 978-0-313-35746-6 edited by M. Keith Booker), there is an article on ages of comic books by Tim Bryant, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Buffalo who teaches about Alan Moore's Watchmen in one of his courses. He writes that historians refer to Golden, Silver, Bronze and Modern (or Iron) Ages, and that the era before "the rise of the superhero in the 1930's is often referred to as the Platinum Age. ... Some commentators label the period between the mid-1940's and the mid-1950's as the Atomic Age because of comics writers' preoccupation with nuclear proliferation and the burgeoning arms race."(p.12-13) Dongord (talk) 12:59, 12 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So he's saying that historians' consensus is Golden, Silver, Bronze and Modern (or Iron) Ages, and that some uncited, unspecified commentators — who may be fans posting on forums and other non-WP:RS sources; he doesn't specify, so we don't know — are making a fringe claim of an era that a consensus of historians doesn't include. That's exactly what I'm I've been saying. --Tenebrae (talk) 23:35, 12 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Those who are following this discussion might want to check out as well. Dongord (talk) 06:11, 13 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Italic2ثظ - (talk) 17:43, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Merge/Consolidate with "History Of"[edit]

If someone familiar with the two main articles on American comics could clarify to me why they both have gigantic "history" sections… Someone needs to either merge the articles or reduce the "history" on this page to a summary. --Honestly, Bodhi 21:53, 4 October 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bodhi Peace (talkcontribs)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on American comic book. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 18 January 2022).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 22:00, 3 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Were is the general article about American comics?[edit]

This article was linked on Wikidata with general articles about Comics in the United States in various language (as fr:Comics). I corrected the mistake by creating a new Wikidata item for articles about the comic book form in the US. I'm nevertheless astonished by this lack of a general article about American comics (currently a disambiguition page) on this Wikipedia (even if History of American comics does exist). Kokonino (talk) 18:10, 8 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comic book advertisement[edit]

I think a link somewhere for comic book advertisement would be good. I added a link with a bit of conent but it was reverted. Rather than reverting, how about modifying it to keep the content with the link? Ping User:JasonAQuest.

Anna Frodesiak (talk) 22:55, 6 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Taking out the inaccurate guessed-at details would've just left a statement that comic books "had" advertising at some unspecified past time, which wouldn't have been particularly informative. I've added a "see also". -Jason A. Quest (talk) 01:09, 7 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sounds fine to me. Thanks. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:13, 7 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]