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Stories about imagined realms and unearthly beings have long intrigued the human race, and as much of the literature is text-based, readers use their own imaginations. Not so in comics and motion pictures. Image-based storytelling brings into existence the new creatures and worlds. A 1954 congressional investigation into the contents of comic books led to the self-regulating introduction of the Comics Code, which initially led to a decline in fantasy. In the 1970s, however, both mainstream and independent creators began to play with the genre, creating both parodies and beloved empires, including Howard the Duck and Elfquest.