Marvel has been publishing comics since 1939, and they're still going strong today. This article takes a closer look at how comics have evolved and achieved unprecedented levels of success in recent years, as well as exploring the factors that have contributed to this phenomenon. Comic book culture has become an all-encompassing amalgam of passionate fans from all walks of life, each with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, due to their delicate nature, comics are only available for research purposes under special conditions. By the 1980s, several independent publishers, such as Pacific, Eclipse, First, Comico and Fantagrahics, had started to produce a wide range of styles and formats, from color superhero comics and detective stories to black-and-white science fiction and Latin American magical realism in magazine format.
It is said that the 13th century Cantigas de Santa María could be considered the first Spanish comic book, although comics (also known in Spain as tebeos or historietas) made their debut around 1857. The key components of comics include panels, balloons (dialogue bubbles), text (lines) and characters. However, comic book culture has now been embraced by the mainstream audience thanks to the popularity of comic book movies; even Martin Scorsese has publicly expressed his admiration for them. Furthermore, many artists and writers have auctioned off books and artwork to raise money for charity; DC artist Jim Lee drew a series of superheroes every day for two months and sold them on eBay in their thousands to benefit comic book stores. With comics such as Maus being banned in certain school districts, this is likely to drive readers to seek them out even more. Noting that comics can also be a great tool for children to get into reading, his store has a huge section dedicated to comics specifically designed for kids. For the many experienced proprietors who own and run these comic book stores, their expertise and extensive back catalogues are second to none and cannot be replicated. The Diamond shutdown caused a virtual standstill in the comic book market and created cash flow problems for the distributor, delaying payments to publishers.
Nevertheless, comics now appear to be undergoing a kind of revival which may be largely due to the increasing diversity that has recently populated the medium. For some of the earliest modern comics (those that began being published in the 1930s), collections start from the early 1940s. Nearly twenty years later, the event is still going strong, as is the comic book industry it helped save.