We may think about myths and legends as stories from the past, but do the themes, ideas and characters appear anywhere in present day media?
Look at a range of comic book examples and characters. You could find some comics in the library or even have a look a look in the newspapers.
Think about the following questions:
1) In what ways do comic book heroes and story themes reflect the ideas and messages of myths and legends from the past?
2) What are they key similarities and differences?
3) Has present day society inherited certain messages from historical stories and reinterpreted them for a modern day audience?
Read about the History of DC Comics (from http://www.thekidswindow.co.uk/News/DC_Comics.htm)
The History of DC Comics
Comics have changed in the past 70 years and DC Comics remains one of the best in this industry. The DC comic group was responsible for bringing the characters of Superman and Batman to an adoring population of comic readers. This great publishing giant was part of the Golden Age of comic history but their talented artists and writers were also the creators of the Silver Age of comics, and introduced modern, superheroes that the public loved. Even the idea of making heroic teams of superheroes was the brainchild of the DC Company.
While the earliest years of DC's history produced some of the highest priced collector comics in the world, it is the Silver Age of Comics that many fans hold in even higher esteem. The original Superman #1 comic was published in 1939, although Action Comics #1 presented the debut appearance of Superman in June of 1938. These 10-cent comics today are each valued at nearly $300,000 (about £200,000). Now that is a lot of money for a glimpse of the man of steel!
The Silver Age of the comic world began about 1955 and lasted for around 15 years, although these dates vary according to some comic fans. These years were a time when superheroes ruled the world but they were still given many human problems and situations that they would have to face and overcome. Many great artists and writers were also introduced during this time.
The Justice League of America, Wonder Woman, Superboy, The Flash, The Green Lantern and Aquaman were just a few of the characters that generations of children grew up idolizing during the Silver Age of Comics. Many of the popular heroes had their beginnings in the 30s and 40s when comics were still in their earliest stages, but their characters were changed and modernized dramatically during the 50s and 60s and these are the ones that became icons for many kids and adults.
The initials DC stands for Detective Comics and this company actually began under the name of National Allied Publications and changed throughout the year as the company underwent new management and ownership time and again. Throughout many years, the logo that was prominently displayed on the cover page of many of their comics was that of Superman-DC.
It was during the eighties that the DC Comic company reached new milestones by turning their time and talents toward creating more mature comics such as the Sandman and the Dark Knight Returns. The heads of the publishing firm were attempting to attract older readers back to the comic world, and they were successful with many of these efforts.
DC also joined forces with the popular Archie comics to produce many stories with these perennial character favourites of kids throughout the world. Fans who loved the look and characters of earlier years quickly realized that they could still find their favourite comics by ordering them from stores or purchasing them at auctions or at online sites. Today many of the comics that featured Captain Marvel, Shazam and other cartoon greats are eagerly sought and collected because these types of characters and stories are no longer being produced.
When comics first were introduced, they sold for 10 cents, and this price continued until the early 60s when 12-cent comics moved into the market. Within just a few years the prices were changed to 15 cents and 25 cents and by the early 70s the scaled down, thinner comic books were being sold by retailers for 35 cents to 50 cents each. Today, DC comics are selling for over $2, and still there are many thousands of devoted fans that flock to purchase them at whatever price is being asked.
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