Comics and Comic Books

Both comics and cinema had important forebears in the mid-nineteenth century, but they emerged roughly contemporaneously in the 1890s. Each medium was quickly adopted as a mode of popular visual narrative, sharing a common history of being perceived as inferior aspects of early-twentieth-century mass culture. While many film-makers sought to cast off these low associations through the construction of middle-class movie palaces and adaptations of classic works of literature, for the most part comics maintained their association with children's media. Thus, film underwent a thorough modernizing process, but comics, for the most part, did not. The history of these popular forms in the twentieth century can be read as film's rise from suspect technology to prominence as the most important art form of the age while comics retained their original degraded status and have rarely, albeit increasingly, been accorded the status of art.

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