It is hard to tell exactly when the history of comic books began. Some people claim that the hieroglyphics of the ancient peoples were actually comic because they told a story using pictures. When comic books first appeared balloons were added to show the speech of the characters. Some of the first comic books that ever appeared in print included:
The history of comic books as we know it came into its own during the time of the stock market crash in 1929. It was during this time that characters such as Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy and Tarzan appeared on the pages of comic books. The early years of comic book history have been called the Golden Age of comic and three essential genres emerged - detective stores, jungle adventures and science fiction. The first character wearing a costume in comic books, the Phantom, made his appearance at this time and set the stage for the next generation of heroes in costume.
The typical American hero, Superman, played an important part in the history or comic books. This character became the model of superheroes and his development marks a turning point in the comic book industry. After this comic books became a part of culture, especially during the period of the Second World War, when no less than 400 different superheroes were created. Batman, Captain Marvel and Captain America were among the new characters that went to war and battled the enemy in their own territory.
The darkest period in the history of comic books was during the 1950's. Comic books were blamed for the ills of society, juvenile delinquency and the violence of youth. During this time many people burned comic books and many titles were banned. Spiderman seems to be the superhero that turned the tide and started another period in the history of comic books, known as the Silver Age.
Comic books are still popular today and new characters are always emerging. Many of the older comics have been made into movies, resulting in a resurgence of the popularity of some titles. There are extensive collections of these books, some of them worth fortunes.