A comic book or comicbook, comic magazine, or simply comic, is a publication that consists of comic art in the form of sequential, juxtaposed panels, each representing individual scenes. The panels are often accompanied by brief descriptive prose and written narrative, usually dialog contained in word balloons, which are emblematic of the comics art form. Despite their name, comic books are not necessarily humorous in tone. Although comics has some origins in 18th century Japan and 1830s Europe, comic books were first popularized in the United States, during the 1930s.
Recently, there has been an enormous presence in the mass media of "superheroes" that first appeared as fictional characters in comics.
A less-known aspect is that many of the well-known comic characters and "superheroes" were developed by Jews. A large Jewish influence in the media and Jewish ethnic networking may possibly have contributed to the prominence of these characters.
Jews involved in the industry, like others Jews, sometimes changed names to sound less Jewish. Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber) was behind Marvel Comics. Joseph Henry "Joe" Simon (born Hymie Simon) was behind the "Golden Age of Comic Books" and served as the first editor of Timely Comics, the company that would evolve into Marvel Comics. Jack Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg), an artist, writer and editor, was the most influential creators in the comic book medium. Joseph "Joe" Shuster and Jerome "Jerry" Siegel (alias Joe Carter, Jerry Ess, Herbert S. Fine) created the DC Comics character Superman, first published in Action Comics. Bob Kane (born Robert Kahn) and William "Bill" Finger (born Milton Finger) created the DC Comics character Batman.
Related is that some such "superheroes" (and in particular persecuted groups of "superheros") have been argued to be designed to represent Jews and to be subtle propaganda. More recently, individuals from other minority groups, such as homosexuals, have sometimes also identified themselves with such fictional groups and have been argued to use them for propaganda purposes. See the "External links" section.
- X-men, mutants, Jews, and Homosexuals
- Uncanny X-Men
- The Jewish Heart Of Black Magneto
- Supermensches: Comic books’ secret Jewish history
- Kosher Komics: Archie Dies Saving Homosexualist Buddy
- How the Jews Stole the Comic Book Industry
- Marvel executive says emphasis on diversity may have alienated readers