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Comics & Animation 1 - Comics & Animation 2

Action Comics began in 1938, with the introduction of Superman. Action Comics was originally a comic book series that was started by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Superman character. This was the first time that a costumed superhero was the center of a comic book storyline. It revolutionized the concept of what a comic is or should be.

Action Comics is still in publication in a monthly format. For a time, there were other stories that accompanied the Superman comic. They included Zatara, Hayfoot Henry, Congo Bill, and Tommy Tomorrow. When Supergirl was introduced, however, all other non-Superman storylines were eliminated from the Action Comics series. Today it is nothing but a Superman publication.

From about 1930-1955 the concept of a superhero in a comic book reigned supreme, mostly due to the popularity of the Superman character. Even though humor, science fiction, Westerns, and romance comics were all genres of comics, nothing could top the drama of a superhero battling the forces of evil. Some of this may have had to do with the Depression and World War II's influence on American culture.

The Action Comic that was once the hallmark of superhero comics was under investigation by the late 1940s and early 1950s though. It was not specifically aimed at the Superman character, but at the concept of superheros all together. Many politicians and conservatives felt that the comics contributed to the delinquency of children, poor grades, drug use, crime, and homosexual undertones. A Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency was formed to investigate these concerns. Some schools and parent groups held public comic book burnings in order to express their concerns over the content of the comics. Because of these fears of delinquency, circulation of the comics dropped sharply and superheroes were virtually wiped out as a genre by 1952.

Cathryne L. Parish 2005

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