It was not until the 1930's that comic book publishes really came into their own in the book publishing industry. Prior to this time, the comic book as we know it today did not exist. It was Max Gaines, a salesman for a book company that came up with the idea of publishing all the funnies in the newspaper into a book format. In 1938, DC Comics published an anthology of comic books, in which Superman made his debut. It took a while for the company to realize that they had a winner on their hands with both the idea and the superhero.
Marvel, another of the comic book publishes, starting putting out their line of comics under the name of Timely Publishers. They released a comic book with two superheroes - the Submariner and the Human Torch. According to the comic book guides, this is the book that collectors seek most of all. This company also decided to get away from the crime-fighting genre and released the first Archie comic in 1941.
The success of the these two comic book publishes gave rise to hundreds of new publishers in the next few years, with new genres, titles and characters. It seemed as if the comics had reading material for every interest. Superheroes were still the norm, but there were teenage characters, westerns, romance, jungle stories and crime stories.
In an effort to keep up, many comic book publishes added horror into the genre and because of this many parents became concerned about their children's choice of reading material. Comic books were all but banned in the 1950's with groups claiming that they added to juvenile delinquency and vandalism. As a result, many of the smaller companies did not make it into the next decade and had to close their doors.