Max Gaines (Max Charles Gaines) was the most influential figure in the creation of the comic book. Gaines created the publishing format and distribution through newsstands as well as the first comic featuring a single character, as well as inventing many characters.

Gaines literally created the first four-color side stitched newsprint pamphlet for Dell Publishing in the early 1930s, thus inventing the format still used to this day.

He is also credited with creating the superhero genre through bringing in Superman when he was publisher of DC Comics. He also created All American, the first all-superhero line of comics, with Green Lantern, The Flash, and the Justice Society of America, and directly inspired the creation of Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston paid tribute Max Gaines in creating his pseudonym Charles Moulton, which combined his own middle name with Gaines' middle name.

Gaines was also publisher of Educational Comics, which concentrated on Bible Stories and funny animals. Gaines left Educational Comics to his son, William Gaines, who turned it into Entertaining Comics and later created MAD Magazine.

Gaines died August 20, 1947 in a boating accident.