The Significance of the Graphic Novel A History

The idea of the modern superhero first came about in 1938 with Action Comics, a launch title from then newcomer National Publications

The book featured the first appearance of Superman, a creation from the minds of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Superman has since then been considered the definitive example of the superhero

After the comic's success, the genre exploded with the popularity of Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, the Justice Society of America, and other titles

The graphic novel, a book-length collection of comic content, was said to have began in 1978 with Will Eisner's A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories

Rather adult in its themes and images, the novel was marketed towards those who grew up with superhero comics in the 1940's and 1950's

During what is known by comic fans as The British Invasion of the 1980's, graphic novels were once again revolutionized and brought the comics industry into the realm of classical English and American literature

Writers like Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison are considered geniuses in the medium and have written works that are to this day being studied and analyzed by aspiring writers

Most credit Alan Moore's Watchmen (1986) and V for Vendetta (1988) for bringing comics into a darker and more politically charged spectrum

The first noticeable success of this format in mainstream comics was 1988's The Killing Joke

While Moore has gone on record stating that this book was written in his career's low point, The Killing Joke was a hit with both critics and readers

It has since been known as the definitive Batman and Joker story

Many graphic novels have come and gone since then, but very few have defined the genre

Titles like From Hell, Kingdom Come, Sandman, Marvels, Saga, and East of West have proven time and again that the art of comic books is more than just children's entertainment

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