Publication in strip-cartoon form. Comic books are usually aimed at children, although in Japan, Latin America, and Europe millions of adults read them. Artistically sophisticated adult comics and graphic novels are produced in the US and several European countries, notably France. Comic books developed from comic strips in newspapers or, like those of Walt Disney, as spinoffs from animated cartoon films.
The first superhero, Superman, created 1938 by Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster, soon had his own periodical, and others followed; the Marvel Comics group, formed 1961, was selling 50 million copies a year worldwide by the end of the 1960s and found a cult readership among college students for such titles as Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk. In Japan 1.9 billion comics were sold in 1987—a third of all publications there.