150 Years Of American Comics, From Uncle Sam To The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Political cartoonist Thomas Nast is often credited with popularizing the image of Uncle Sam — a mid-19th-century cartoon personification of the U.S. government.
Fast forward 150 years, the comic industry is more than alive and well.
Graphic novel sales are booming. And the Marvel Cinematic Universe — the film adaptations of Marvel Comics, originating in 1939 — encompasses more than 20 blockbusters.
How did we get here?
In “American Comics: A History,” author Jeremy Dauber chronicles the interplay of American comics and American values over the last 150 years.
The story of American comics is the story of America’s last 150 years: the development, growth, and transformation of cherished American institutions, cultures, and practices, and comics’ frequently central role in their business and their appeal. It’s a political story of how a long-marginalized, at times even despised medium helped shape American thought and action. It’s the story of a changing American audience: of American immigrants and American fears, American ideals and American anxieties, all in word-and-image form, a perfect vehicle for addressing contemporary issues.
We talk with Dauber about the evolving landscape of American comics.
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