Comic Heroes, American Heroes

Reflecting on the history of the graphic novel, I found it interesting to dive in to how comics gained most of their popularity. I found an article online from CNN that actually talks about how the superheroes of graphic novels rise to the occasion both in comic books and to the American people during hard times. The article actually reflected on how in the 1930’s, the era of the Great Depression and extremely troubling times in America, graphic novelists actually turned to creating American superheroes in order to serve as a source of hope and inspiration for everyone. In addition, the article also talks about an exhibit made in Los Angeles that celebrates the superheroes of the “Golden Age of Comics.” This exhibit focuses a lot on Jewish authors because they were often the ones who focused on creating ideal American superheroes in order to overcome to repression imposed on them by Hitler and other oppressive groups. What I found so interesting about this article is that the American people were able to find such comfort and hope through a medium that many do not respect like they do nonfiction or modern novels. I actually think what makes the appeal of the comic so strong, especially in that time period, is that the graphic novel is easily accessible on a surface value for the average citizen to indulge in. Overall, I thought that this article was really valuable because it brought to light a new dimension of the graphic novel that I had not previously recognized: how important it was in shaping the hopes of the American people at a time when things were very grim.


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