What’s Hollywood got to do with it?

Since 2002, comic book related movies have come out on an average of one every 2 months for 10 years.    Hollywood has always had some interest in adapting comics for the big screen. In the 1970s, the comics’ field & the movie studios borrowed heavily from each other.  Star Wars: A New Hope hit the big screen in 1977, and spawned several comic book spin-offs, the most visible one being the Marvel version which ran from 1977-1986.  The reverse also happened, a short-lived live action Spider-Man TV series hit the small screen in the late 70s, but the audience wasn’t really ready for it.  The Incredible Hulk, starring Bill Bixby, was more successful, running from 1978-1982.














But the strongest Hollywood statement in support of comics in the 1970s was the feature film franchise Superman, starring Christopher Reeves. Beginning in 1978, the Superman franchise ran 4 films, and was witty and sophisticated, a new hope for fans of superheroes.    In order to reach mainstream audiences, each Hollywood vehicle had to present these characters in a more mainstream light in order to bring in larger audiences. The trend that continued in the Batman movies of the 1980s and 1990s, turned into infatuation with the movie Spider-Man in 2002.  Hollywood gave the comics industry a boost and it raised the visibility of comics, but it did very little to increase the credibility of serious graphic novels, although movie versions of graphic novels such as American Splendor & Ghost World were made.  Although movies like these were well received, mainstream audiences weren’t necessarily aware that these movies were originally graphic novels.

To learn more about the history of graphic novels, read my book, Faster than a Speeding Bullet: the Rise of the graphic novel, being solicited now

NBM in October: The Rise of the Graphic Novel

Here’s what we’ve got being solicited for in comics stores now. First up: an updated edition of THE book tracing the origins and evolution of the phenomenon of graphic novels in this country:

2nd Edition
Stephen Weiner
Introduction by Will Eisner, cover by Jeff Smith

Graphic novels have exploded off bookstore shelves and into movies, college courses and the New York Times Book Review, and onto the coffee tables of the cognoscenti. What’s fueling this explosion? Where did all the excitement come from? Stephen Weiner, a comics historian and children’s literature specialist, provides the answers in this groundbreaking book—the first history of graphic novels.
From the agonizing Holocaust vision of Art Spiegelman’s Maus to the teenage angst of Dan Clowes’s Ghost World, this book takes you into the heart of the graphic novel revolution. The author of 101 Best Graphic Novels now tells the whole history of this new medium—from the first modern urban autobiographical graphic novel, Will Eisner’s A Contract with God, to the hip indy comics of the Hernandez Bros.’ Love and Rockets, the dark mysteries of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, and the postmodern superheroics of Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight.
It’s all here, in this newly updated edition—the must-reads, the milestones, and what to look for in the future of this exciting new medium.

6×9, 80pp., B&W hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 9781561637027

Preview a chapter


A new edition of this classic now in hardcover collecting the long out of print paperbacks in thicker volumes:

Parris Quinn

After the light of day, some people like to unwind in the shadow and let out steam in unusual ways. One man likes to be his woman’s slave, one woman dares her boyfriend to watch as she services a group of bankers, another gets a leash on her collar and lets her animal instincts run wild in front of her lover’s camera… Some of the most beautifully rendered erotic comics you will ever see, holding nothing back!
8 ½ x 11, 128pp. B&W, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 9781561637157

See the amazing pages from this gorgeous edition in our Eurotica section (look for the October banner)


Our sister company PAPERCUTZ has a very busy line-up for October, the main news being an all-new Nancy Drew series where she’s only 8 and already solving mysteries! This features art by Stan (Archie) Goldberg.

Also in October:

A new Trondheim: Monster Turkey, the last in this charming series.

a new Geronimo Stilton

The Best of the 3 Stooges comics, vol.2

LEGO Ninjago #5


What Forces Led to the ‘Graphic Novel’?

One of the major drivers was the Comic Book Store

The world of comics was changing in the 1970s. The fan conventions and the head shops of the 1960s had led to the creation of the comic book store, where readers could buy new & used comics. The comic book store offered a wider variety of comics than newsstands, so readers who might have given up on comics in their teens could read undergrounds and other kinds of books. Through the undergrounds publishers knew there was an older comic book reading audience & the comic book store gave publishers a way to reach these readers. However, the 60s were gone and mature readers were interested in more than tales of sex crazed stoned out hipsters, so publishers experimented with more sophisticated genre tales. One of the first was Manhunter, published by DC Comics by the team of Archie Goodwin & Walt Simonson. Manhunter originally a 1940s hero, was in this incarnation revived by a Terrorist organization to be their assassin. The writing was smart and the artwork inventive. Equally important, the tone was bitter. Manhunter ran as a backup feature in Detective Comics, and was awarded 6 awards from the Academy of Comic Book Arts (the major industry award at the time) for a series 7 episodes long. Although it wasn’t collected in graphic novel form until the 1980s, it was one of the first commercial attempts to tell a completed genre story. The editors at DC comics realized that the time was right for this story partially because of the comic book store clientele. Others followed.

See more about the origins of the graphic novel in my upcoming 2nd edition of “Faster than a Speeding Bullet, The Rise of the Graphic Novel.” Being solicited in comics shops now.

Next: the Trade Publishing Influence