Famous Funnies: A Carnival of Comics, 1933

Famous Funnies: A Carnival of Comics, 1933

Famous Funnies: A Carnival of Comics is the first modern comic book printed in America.

The first modern American comic book, Famous Funnies, demonstrates that there is a widespread consumer market for text and fixed image media. Marketing of comic books begins in earnest, and is primarily directed at young men and boys.

In the 1940s and 1950s, there are concerns about the negative influence of comic books on America's youth. To avoid government intervention, the Association of Comics Magazine Publishers (ACMP) formed in 1948. However, this association failed to bring about uniform changes. The Comic Magazine Association of America (CMAA) succeeded where its predecessor failed. Almost immediately, comic books began carrying the seal of the Comics Code Authority. The Comics Code seal of approval indicated that a comic had been reviewed for decency standards and was approved for a wide audience.

The Funnies was a rival publication put out in the 1930s and 1940s by Dell Publishing. Both Famous Funnies and The Funnies reprinted newspaper comics in magazine style collections. There was significant market demand for these products, which eventually led to the printing of original comics materials.
A History of the Comic Strip. Eileen B. Hennessy, trans. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1968.

“History of Comics Censorship.” Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. 2015. http://cbldf.org/resources/history-of-comics-censorship/.