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The Rise of the American Comics ArtistCreators and Contexts$
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Paul Williams and James Lyons

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604737929

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604737929.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

How the Graphic Novel Changed American Comics

How the Graphic Novel Changed American Comics

(p.3) Chapter One How the Graphic Novel Changed American Comics
The Rise of the American Comics Artist

Stephen Weiner

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the influence of the graphic novel on American comics. It looks at two factors that indirectly led to the creation of the graphic novel in the 1970s and 1980s: the introduction of the “direct market” in which publishers sold comic books directly to specialty comics stores; and challenges to the Comics Code Authority that regulated the newsstand comic book industry. The chapter also shows how, after a series of unstable economic and material conditions, graphic novels have emerged as common fixtures in libraries and bookshops independent of the comics shops and newsstands. It provides a background on the Comics Code Authority and how it worked in tandem with the production, distribution, and reception of American comics. Moreover, the chapter considers the Comics Magazine Association of America, founded in 1954 by several major comics publishers to govern the content of comic books. It describes the rise of black and white “alternative” comics published by cartoonists, along with self-publishing and small press publications. Finally, the chapter focuses on three comics publishers: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Dark Horse Comics.

Keywords:   graphic novels, comics, direct market, Comics Code Authority, comic book industry, Comics Magazine Association, comic books, alternative comics, self-publishing, small press publications

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