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Of Comics and MenA Cultural History of American Comic Books$
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Jean-Paul Gabilliet

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781604732672

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604732672.001.0001

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date: 15 January 2019

The Recovery of the 1980s (1980–1993)

The Recovery of the 1980s (1980–1993)

(p.85) Chapter 8 The Recovery of the 1980s (1980–1993)
Of Comics and Men

Jean-Paul Gabilliet

University Press of Mississippi

At the start of the 1980s, the comic book industry underwent a crisis of identity and stagnation. The preceding decade had seen underground comics yield its place to alternative publishers who were willing to grant more creative freedom to artists than their mainstream counterparts would allow. Thanks to the derivative products that were based on their comic book characters, Marvel Comics and DC Comics survived while the small publishers experienced a growing success not only because of the quality of the content on offer, but also because of a new visibility stemming from the growing network of specialized comic book stores. This chapter examines the recovery of the comic book industry during the 1980s after the instability they suffered in the previous years. It discusses the principal factors that contributed to this recovery, including the evolution of comics readership, the market’s adaptation to the proliferation of specialized bookstores, and the increasingly important role given to comics creators. It also looks at the debate among comics creators over censorship in comic books, the renewal of DC and its competition with Marvel, and the success of small publishers.

Keywords:   comic book industry, alternative publishers, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, small publishers, readership, specialized bookstores, comics creators, censorship, comic books

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