As a cultural form, comics have come a long way in the last half century. At the time of writing, ‘alternative’ comic books, whilst not rivalling prose or film in terms of sales or critical recognition, have reached audiences in ways that would have seemed inconceivable 60 years ago. Comic books in North America have gone from being a marginalised and even outlawed medium in the 1950s and 1960s to, in certain cases, a widely recognised and celebrated artistic form. A few instances from the past decade can illustrate the genre’s prodigious rise and current esteem. In 2006, Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese (2006) was the first comic ever to be shortlisted for a National Book Award. Marjane Satrapi was nominated for an Oscar in 2008 for the film adaptation of her comic book Persepolis (2000). In 2009, the New York Times launched two categories for ‘graphic books’ on their bestseller list (hardback and paperback) alongside a separate category for Japanese manga. The work of Chris Ware now regularly appears alongside traditional gag cartoons in The New Yorker, and in 2012 the Modern Art Museum in Paris exhibited a collection of work by the outlaw cartoonist Robert Crumb.