Let’s talk comics and animation for a second. In early 1940’s America, we begin to see the emergence of animated shows, such as the Looney Tunes and Mickey Mouse: Meanwhile, although active for some time, we see a rise of interest in the world of comics. They’d already had the comic strips out for at least forty years, and those were mostly humour based works that were placed in the magazines and newspapers. As new genres began to unfold in the comics, we begin to see superheroes and villains emerge from the minds of writers and storyboard artists. Detective Comics’ Superman sparked a revolutionary success in the industry that would lead us to the world we know now: A world of superheroes and villains battling it out on the big screen. Although DC has grown into a huge franchise worth millions, there were a few problems internally in it’s infant years. The founder (Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson) would find himself ousted by Harry Donenfield, to whom he was in debt at the time. That didn’t stop the growth of the company in any way.
Of course, without competition there would have been less of an ideal time to put superheroes at the forefront of the comics industry.
Enter Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Originally, Stan Lee was hired as an office assistant by Martin Goodman, Timely Comics’ founder (but you know it as Marvel Comics today) in 1939. He was made the interim editor for Timely when Joe Simon (the original editor-writer) left in 1941. It was a position in the company that he would keep for decades, and see the rise of characters such as Captain America, as well as many of the superheroes we still see today. Timely then became known as Atlas Comics in the 1950’s, and the Marvel inception was born in 1961, which saw the launch of several different superheroes created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and many other staff members. Stan Lee would end up becoming one of the primary members of the staff that stood out, a “bad boy” of the comics world that would battle the Comics Code Authority and force them to adjust and revise their code.
As a fan of comics my entire life, it would make sense for me to look over the history of comics, as well as literature as a whole. I don’t know where I would be without comics in my life. My cousins would let me borrow the first X-Men comic (September 1963), and I would spend hours just looking at it even though I’d read it several times before. It was a world I could escape into when reality was weighing down too heavily on my mind. I decided from a young age that I would find a way to write; it didn’t matter if I had someone to draw it for me in a four panel or not, because words can create visions of their own. I want to draw out the emotions of a person and then stuff them back into their body so they can understand the emotion put into the histories I’ve built with characters. To have them fall in love with a character, or hate a character, or just want to kill a character in their minds because they can. If I can do that for just one person, then I’ve achieved something in my life, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted.