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An American comic book is a thin (typically 32-page) periodical containing primarily comics content.

While the form originated in 1933, American comic books first gained popularity after the 1938 publication of Action Comics, which included the debut of the superhero Superman. This was followed by a superhero boom that lasted until the end of World War II. After the war, while superheroes were marginalized, the comic book industry rapidly expanded, and genres such as horror, crime and romance became popular. The 1950s saw a gradual decline, due to a shift away from print media in the wake of television<ref name="Matthew J. Smith 2009. p. 40">Randy Duncan and Matthew J. Smith. 2009. The Power of Comics. Continuum. p. 40.</ref> and the impact of the Comics Code Authority.<ref name="Matthew J. Smith 2009. p. 40"/> The late 1950s and the 1960s saw a superhero revival, and superheroes remain the dominant character archetype in the 21st century.

Since the later 20th century, comic books have gained note as collectable items. Comic shops cater to fans, and particularly valuable issues have fetched in excess of a million dollars. Systems of grading comic books have emerged with plastic sleeves ("bags") and cardboard backing ("boards") available to maintain the condition of comic books.


American comic book sections
Intro  Format   Making comics   Independent and alternative comics  History  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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