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Did you know that the Famous Funnies, considered as the very first true American comic book, was published in 1933? Back in 1837, the way stories were told changed, as a character named Obadiah Oldbuck was drawn as a series of pictures accompanied with text captions. Although it was originally created as a distraction for its creator Rodolphe Töpffer and a few of his friends, it suddenly grew in popularity in both the United States and France. Considered as the first comic ever created, Töpffer was seen by many as the father of the genre, being honored annually during the yearly Comic Book Day. While Töpffer’s Obadiah Oldbuck was considered to be the first comic, the 1933 publication known as Famous Funnies was dubbed as the first actual comic book, produced from the United States from a collection of strips that had appeared earlier in newspapers. Famous Funnies would eventually run 218 issues, inspire imitators, and launch a new form of mass medium. Despite being used for telling stories of all kinds, debates and arguments raged for a long time as to whether or not comic books can be considered as literature.
The introduction of Superman in 1938 turned comic books into a major industry, thereby ushering the Golden Age of Comics, wherein the archetype of the superhero came into fruition. The success of Superman spawned a series of spin-offs and a whole new genre of masked characters with secret identities, superhuman powers and abilities, and colorful outfits.
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