This is Pulp Fiction
THE CINEMA AND THE COMIC BOOK
Two forms of expressionism that have been entertaining people for a good part of the 20th century. Each takes us from our daily hum-drum existence and catapults us into worlds of our own making. Exciting realities of fantasy and romance. Realms where one can soar above the earth or travel back through time. Worlds of fortune and fame. Places where we wish we could live out the remaining days of our lives.

Though the film industry has acquired the majority of the spotlight from it's smaller competitor, comic books still flourish today though they have been shunned by a large part of the populace. Comics have been deemed by the masses as "children's books" or literature for the insipid for they glorify costumed characters who live in mythical worlds or portray unbelievable elements of fantasy and/or science fiction. Despite this separation, the cinema and the comic book are both quite similar as they deal with plot, character development, and script. One of the most basic elements in creating a movie is the concept of the storyboard.

STORYBOARD: A sequence of pictures created by a production illustrator to communicate the desired general visual appearance on camera of a scene or movie.

The storyboard is a way to visually communicate a storyline before one frame of film is shot or one line of dialogue is uttered. It is the building block of which all films derive from. And what is a comic book, but a "sequence of pictures created to communicate a visual effect?"

HISTORY OF THE COMIC BOOK
In March 1897, Richard Outcault's "Yellow Kid" was first printed - which consisted of a collection of newspaper strips. Through the turn of the century into the late 20's, several other publications were printed depicting previously published strips. These collections included "Mutt & Jeff," "Barney Google," "Buster Brown," and "Foxy Grandpa." In 1929/30, thirty-six issues of "The Funnies" were printed in tabloid format with original comic pages, becoming the first four-color comic newsstand publication in the country.

In 1935, National Periodical Publications (later known as DC Comics) published a tabloid-sized comic publication titled "New Fun," later becoming "More Fun," which jump-started the industry as several other similar publications quickly followed suit. "Detective Comics", DC's third title, was published in 1937 and the following year, Action 1 hit the newsstands which would inaugurate the Golden Age of the comic book.

The premiere of Superman by creators Siegel & Shuster in 1938, as well as, the advent of the Batman in Detective Comics 27, the Submariner in "Motion Picture Funnies Weekly," and the Human Torch in "Marvel (Mystery) Comics" revolutionized the industry and formed the superhero genre.

The arrival of the forties saw more than 60 titles being published by various companies which included Fawcett Publication's "Whiz Comics" which introduced Captain Marvel. The following year, more than 160 titles were circulating and a slew of superhero characters were introduced to the general population. Some of the more popular titles/characters introduced were Captain America, The Shadow, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, "Planet Comics," "Police Comics," "Flash Comics" and "Daredevil." During this period, DC's "All Star Comics" was the first to introduce the concept of the superhero team or The Justice Society of America. Also getting titles of their own were "Mickey Mouse," "Archie," and "Bugs Bunny & the Looney Tunes."

As society shifted gears after WWII, so did the comic industry. No longer were superhero characters the main attraction and publishers began to experiment with other genres. Titles on war, romance, westerns, crime/mystery, sci-fi & fantasy began to appear but the most popular titles of the 50's were those published by EC Comics. Bill Gaines and company established a new trend in the industry with horrific tales of science, fantasy, and crime suspense. Titles such as "Weird Fantasy," "Tales from the Crypt," and "Haunt of Fear" would dominate the market.

Just as Hollywood and the film industry would undergo political scrutiny and suffer from McCarthyism and the headhunt for communist supporters, the comic industry also had their problems with the government. The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency investigated comic books believing they corrupted the youth of America and debased culture. The comic industry banned together and created the CCA (Comics Code Authority) which would serve as a self-monitor of the industry instead of letting the government do it for them.

A new era was arriving for the industry with the coming of the 60's decade. A few years prior, DC Comics published Showcase 4 in Sept/Oct '56 which re-introduced The Flash. This began the new Silver Age of comicbooks which would revitalize the superhero genre. A [new] company Marvel Comics Group, once known as Atlas Comics, would set the stage with the introduction of titles like "The Fantastic Four," "Amazing Spider-Man," "Incredible Hulk," and the "Uncanny X-Men." This new universe of Marvel characters would become the dominating force in the industry and would lead the way in sales and recognition well into the present.

The 70's and 80's saw several industry icons take the leap to the silver screen and television. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and the Hulk were no longer American heroes but international stars. Many new companies would enter into the arena, creating their own universe of characters and many smaller publishers added to the pile with cheaply made b/w comics which would eventually overwhelm the market with glut and investment speculators.

Today the industry still thrives though many of the popular characters of yore have undergone various changes to keep with the trends of a modern world; some even transforming into darker, gritty subjects. The price of a comic, once a dime, has now skyrocketed to the average of $2 making this once cheap entertainer somewhat costly. The most noted observation of today is how comics continue to adapt to society's trends, as does the cinema, and the persistent question raised is if comics and/or films reflect society or if its becoming the other way around?

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