A comic book is a form of illustrated literature.
Some popular comic books include:
- Superman and Action Comics.
- Batman and his related books: Detective Comics, Robin, and Nightwing
- The X-Men family of books: X-Men Legacy, Uncanny X-Men, Young X-Men, and X-Force. Following the adventures of a group of heroes and villains who believe themselves evolved.
- Green Lantern, and the related book, Green Lantern Corps.
- The Amazing Spider-Man
Translated comic books from Japan, known as "Manga" are also popular with children and teens.
In 1954, the Comics Magazine Association of America found a disturbing trend with indecent subject matter becoming more prominent in comic books. Supposed homosexual subtext in many superhero related publications was brought to attention by the Dr. Fredric Wertham's book Seduction of the Innocent, for example the book misinterpreted Batman's relationship with Robin as homosexual . After a testimony from William Gaines in an attempt to defend the books his company published, the code was placed on all books which followed a strict list of regulation.
As the CMAA had no legal authority, during the sixties, there was a large underground comic movement, driven by talent such as R. Crumb. By the seventies, the Comics Code Authority logo was no longer sought as publishers went ahead and became socially conscious, like a popular run on Green Arrow by Neal Adams and Dennis O'Neil wherein issues such as Heroin addiction were addressed.
The last publisher with every book approved by the Comics Code Authority was Archie Comics, abandoned the code in 2010 rendering the Code defunct.
Comic Books have come to be accepted as literature over the years, for example, Art Spigelman's graphic novel Maus won the Pulitzer prize, an honour also held by the Classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Alan Moore's Watchmen received overwhelming critical acclaim, attracting many adults to comic books, and appeared on Time's "All-TIME 100 greatest Novels" list.