Today, adult comics are part of the cultural landscpae in a way that would have been unimaginable a decade ago. In this first survey of its kind, the history of comic books for older readers is traced from the end of the 19th century to the present, taking in the pioneering titles pre-Great War, the underground titles of the 1960s, "fan"-dom in the 1970s and 1980s, and today's boom (including "graphic novels" and "Viz"). An international section, covering comics in the US, Europe and Japan, and a thematic discussion, including the role of women, the graphic novel in context, and cultural overspill is included. By taking a broad sweep, Sabin demonstrates that the widely-held notion that comics "grew up" in the late 1980s is a mistaken one, largely invented by the media.
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Roger Sabin is a freelance arts journalist, living and working in London. He has written about comics for several national newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Independent, and New Statesman and Society.
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