The comic book industry lives in a universe of complex professional trajectories involving several thousand individuals ranging from artists, cartoonists, and writers to employees of publishing houses. There is no typical career path in the comic book industry; comics artists may work in newspaper comics, animation, illustration, advertising, or even writing, whereas writers may find themselves in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, cinema, or literature. This chapter describes a succession of generations of comics creators by analyzing the history of the comic book industry as it has been represented by the creators themselves and their activities. It looks at four generations of creators: the pioneers such as Jack Kirby and Stan Lee; the postwar creators, including Carmine Infantino and Steve Ditko; the third generation that included Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams; and the fourth generation that included Dave Sim and the brothers Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez. The chapter also considers four professional associations: the Society of Comic Book Illustrators, the Academy of Comic Book Arts, the United Cartoon Workers of America, and the Comic Creators Guild.
Keywords: comic book industry, cartoonists, career path, comics artists, comics creators, professional associations, Society of Comic Book Illustrators, Academy of Comic Book Arts, United Cartoon Workers of America, Comic Creators Guild
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