Comics are trendy. They have become an essential part of the licencing and film industry and at the same time have found their way back into the big newspapers and magazines. Almost every editor who knows his trade has one or several of the best known comic book artist working for them. Their usually fill the cultural pages, are featured in articles and on front covers or draw comic strips and stories to entertain the readers on a rare or regular basis. This concept isn’t new at all. And by the way: Telling stories has been an important tradition in any culture or society so far. For example "Bayeux". The famous tapestry in France tells the story of the Roman Conquest in 1066 – on an epic scale of 70 meters. And of course this isn’t the "first" attempt to etenalize a historic event by leaving behind a sequence of pictures. But it surely is a very good one, created ca. 1070. The comic books as we know them today finally originated at the end of the 18th century. A time which brought about many cultural and technical innovations also known as the "Victorian Age". A term that gets me thinking of powdered wigs, stiff upper lips and of course "Dangerous Liaisons". But still there was way to go from the first lithographic print
paper that made it possible to reproduce pictures under very difficult circumstances to the kind of mass production that today seems so normal. And I bet noone even dreamed of digital comics back then.
Source: More interesting stuff on Bayeux: wikipedia.org (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teppich_von_Bayeux)