It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s…National Comic Book Day soaring into a community near you this September 25. The holiday celebrates one of America’s most famous literary exports —the comic book. These publications —as we know them today —first originated in the United States in the 1930s. While they were first typically humorous in nature, it didn’t take long for authors to apply the comic style to all genres of storytelling. Today, comic books are celebrated by trading, collecting, attending conventions, online discussions and more. The genre has grown to include full-length novels, or graphic novels, and inspired countless movie adaptations. How will you celebrate?
National Comic Book Day - History
Underground comix developed
They reflected youth and drug counterculture
Marvel creates some of its major superheroes
Among them are the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man
It ushered in the Golden Age of comic books
First modern comic book released
It was called Famous Funnies
First prototype comic book released
It was called The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck
National Comic Book Day Activities
1. Have your own Comic-Con
Can’t make it to San Diego for the internationally renowned Comic-Con? No problem. This September, invite your friends over to trade, display, discuss or even re-enact your favorite stories. And of course, don’t forget your costumes.
2. Try writing your own
If you’ve been reading comics your whole life, you may not even realize how familiar you are with their structure. Take some time to put together a storyline, invent some characters, and let your imagination run wild. If you’ve got a knack for illustration, go for it, or get together with a friend who’s already mastered that talent to help you complete it. Who knows, maybe the next Stan Lee is hidden in you, waiting to be let out.
3. Track down a collector's copy
The internet has completely changed how collectors procure their comic copies. Now, through message boards like Reddit, you can track down your unicorn far easier than ever before. Looking for a limited edition Shadow in mint condition? It’s out there waiting, you’ll just need to find it.
3 Facts You Need To Know About Comic Books
1. The Incredible Hulk was originally meant to be gray
Ink problems with printing created the mean, green monster as we know him today.
2. There was an actual comic book superhero named the Green Lama
He was a Buddhist whose powers included reincarnation.
3. Stan Lee got his start by writing obituaries
They were for celebrities in New York.
Why We Love National Comic Book Day
A. They’re timeless
Who knew that a form of literature popularized in the 1930s would still be among the most widely consumed forms of media in the 21st century? In 2017, comic books saw their highest retail sale numbers in 15 years, with 8.5 million copies of the top 300 comic books sold.
B. They’ve inspired record-breaking movies
For the last decade, movie adaptations of beloved comics have shattered box office records, and continue to do so. To date, Marvel’s original Avengers movie has brought in more than $623 million. The batman reboot The Dark Knight has raked in nearly $535 million, and Marvel’s Avengers sequel has made about $459 million.
C. They help kids learn to read
While comics have historically been the villain when it comes to what kids should be reading, that’s all turning around. Parents have found that offering comic books to children makes them more interested in learning to read, builds reader confidence, improves vocabulary, and exposes them to real-life situations. Seems more like a superhero than a villain to us.