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§ Steven Grant looks at the 20 most important comics ever published, chronologically:

1) FAMOUS FUNNIES #1 (Eastern Color, 1934)

Max Gaines’ brainchild, the one that started it all, collecting reprints of popular comic strips in magazine form, monthly edition. (A one-shot collection, apparently to test the waters, had been issued the previous year.) It was so successful, even in the depths of the Depression, that it instantly spawned dozens of imitators vying for comic strip reprint rights, thus launching both the comic book industry and the legend that comics do well in times of economic downturn.

§ ICv2 looks at declining media revenues in the current credit catastrophe:

Media companies have been as subject to the difficult financial conditions as other companies in recent weeks, with stock prices reflecting declining confidence in their prospects and in some cases heading for a possible change of ownership. Perhaps the most apocalyptic description of the coming destruction has come from the UK. “We are standing at the brink of what will be two years of carnage for western media,” Emily Bell, the digital director at UK’s Guardian, said at a conference in the UK last week, as reported in the Guardian. “In the UK five nationals could go out of business and we could be left with no UK owned broadcaster outside of the BBC. We are facing complete market failure in local papers and regional radio. This is systematic collapse not just a cyclical downturn.”

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