A comic book is a magazine, rarely a book, printed on cheap newsprint or toilet tissue, which is rarely funny, or "comic," so it should be renamed, but those in the industry are lazy, preferring to draw poorly executed pictures that illustrate barely literate narratives (stories) in bold and fancy fonts.
Due to the imbecilic level of their "reader's" intelligence and literacy, these magazines are often referred to simply, but erroneously, as "comics" (i. e., comedians who deliver jokes in person to live audiences). An abbreviated form of the magazine, for the truly illiterate, is the comic strip which consists of pictures only of women stripping.
Although countries besides the United States also publish comic books, they are (other than in England, Britain, and the United Kingdom) seldom in English and, therefore, are not worth reading (or viewing) or reading about. This article, which is highly ethnocentric, will skip these foreign comics altogether.
Early comic books were collections of comic strips called Tijuana Bibles because they were printed in Tijuana, Mexico, and, because of their risqué content, they were often hidden in Bibles, especially during Sunday school or church services, where teachers, nuns, or rabbis might object to them, fearing that they might be "crib sheets" for examinations concerning anatomy lessons.
American comic books are aimed exclusively at sex-obsessed adolescent males.
However, some men of low intelligence also "read" them. Women seldom peruse comic books, although some girls occasionally look at romantic comic books such as Playgirl, Cosmopolitan, or Curves.
The Comics Code Authority rates comic books as:
- G - good (accomplished art, understandable plot, believable characters-well, sort of)
- PG - pretty good (not-bad art, only somewhat confusing plot, questionable characters)
- R - rotten (terrible art, muddled plot, unconvincing characters)
- X - shit
Comic books have been blamed for illiteracy, rising teen violence, escalating teen pregnancy, pimples, blindness, masturbation, and excessive salivation (drooling). In the 1950's, they came under fire in Congressional hearings when senators and congressmen, having nothing better to do to occupy their time and to waste taxpayers' money, grilled comic book producers for hours, haranguing them over the exploits of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
One of their chief accusers was a shrink, Dr. Fredric Werner, who believed that comic books were a Communist ploy (or possibly an attempt by the neo-Nazi Third Reich to resurrect itself as the Fourth Reich), and argued that these periodicals contained "recurring morbid themes such as 'injury to the eye'" and subliminal sexual images (female nudity hidden "in plain sight" in pictures of muscles and tree bark) and depictions of Batman and Robin as closeted "homosexual lovers." In general, he contended, comic books had harmful psychological effects on the adolescents who perused them.
Comic books continue to decline in sales and subscriptions, due to a variety of factors, not the least of which is the Internet's easy access to pornography targeting teen and pre-teen curiosity about sex.