Comic books on display at a museum, depicting how they would have been displayed at a rail station store in the first half of the 20th century.
A common comic-book cover format displays the issue number, date, price and publisher along with an illustration and cover copy that may include a story's title.
A comic book or comicbook, also called comic magazine or simply comic, is a publication that consists of comic art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panels that represent individual scenes. Panels are often accompanied by brief descriptive prose and written narrative, usually dialog contained in word balloons emblematic of the comics art form. Although comics has some origins in 18th centuryJapan, comic books were first popularized in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1930s. The first modern comic book, Famous Funnies, was released in the U.S. in 1933 and was a reprinting of earlier newspaper humor comic strips, which had established many of the story-telling devices used in comics. The term comic book derives from American comic books once being a compilation of comic strips of a humorous tone; however, this practice was replaced by featuring stories of all genres, usually not humorous in tone.
The largest comic book market is Japan. By 1995, the manga market in Japan was valued at ¥586.4 billion ($6–7 billion), with annual sales of 1.9billion manga books/magazines in Japan (equivalent to 15issues per person). The comic book market in the United States and Canada was valued at $1.09 billion in 2016. As of 2017, the largest comic book publisher in the United States is manga distributor Viz Media, followed by DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Another major comic book market is France, where Franco-Belgian comics and Japanese manga each represent 40% of the market, followed by American comics at 10% market share.
Comic books are reliant on their organization and appearance. Authors largely focus on the frame of the page, size, orientation, and panel positions. These characteristic aspects of comic books are necessary in conveying the content and messages of the author. The key elements of comic books include panels, balloons (speech bubbles), text (lines), and characters. Balloons are usually convex spatial containers of information that are related to a character using a
tail element. The tail has an origin, path, tip, and pointed direction. Key tasks in the creation of comic books are writing, drawing, and coloring.