Portal:Comics

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Comics denotes a hybrid medium having verbal side of its vocabulary tightly tied to its visual side in order to convey narrative or information only, the latter in case of non-fiction comics, seeking synergy by using both visual (non-verbal) and verbal side in interaction. Although some comics are picture-only, pantomime strips, such as The Little King, the verbal side usually expand upon the pictures, but sometimes act in counterpoint.

The term derives from the mostly humorous early work in the medium, and came to apply to that form of the medium including those far from comic. The sequential nature of the pictures, and the predominance of pictures over words, distinguishes comics from picture books, although some in comics studies disagree and claim that in fact what differentiates comics from other forms on the continuum from word-only narratives, on one hand, to picture-only narratives, on the other, is social context.

Comics as a real mass medium started to emerge in the United States in the early 20th century with the newspaper comic strip, where its form began to be standardized (image-driven, speech balloons, etc.), first in Sunday strips and later in daily strips. The combination of words and pictures proved popular and quickly spread throughout the world.

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Watchmen is a twelve-issue comic book written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. Originally published by DC Comics as a monthly limited series from 1986 to 1987, it was later republished as a trade paperback. It was one of the first superhero comics to present itself as serious literature, and it also popularized the "graphic novel" format. Watchmen is the only graphic novel (besides Frank Miller's 300)to win a Hugo Award, and is also the only graphic novel to appear on Time magazine's 2005 list of "the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present." Watchmen is set in 1985, in an alternative history United States where costumed adventurers are real and the country is edging closer to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. It tells the story of a group of past and present superheroes and the events surrounding the mysterious murder of one of their own. In Watchmen, superheroes are depicted as real people who must confront ethical and personal issues, who have neuroses and failings, and who are largely lacking in superpowers. Watchmen's deconstruction of the conventional superhero archetype, combined with its innovative adaptation of cinematic techniques and heavy use of symbolism and multi-layered dialogue, has changed both comics and film.

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Cover of Wow Comics 38 (Sept./Oct. 1941).
Credit: Fawcett Comics

Superhero comics is a form of American comic books. The form rose to prominence in the 1930s and 1940s and has remained the dominant form of comic book in North America since the 1960s. Superhero comics feature stories about superheroes and the universes these characters inhabit.

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Jean-Claude Mézières

Jean-Claude Mézières (born 23 September 1938) is a French comic strip artist and illustrator. Born and raised in Paris, he was introduced to drawing by his older brother and influenced by comics artists such as Hergé, Andre Franquin and Morris and later by Jijé and Jack Davis. Educated at the Institut des Arts Appliqués, upon graduation he worked as an illustrator for books and magazines as well as in advertising. A lifelong interest in the Wild West led him to travel to the United States in 1965 in search of adventure as a cowboy, an experience that would prove influential on his later work. Returning to France, Mézières teamed up with his childhood friend, Pierre Christin, to create Valérian and Laureline, the popular, long-running science fiction comics series for which he is best known and which has proved to be influential to many science fiction and fantasy films, including Star Wars. Mézières has also worked as a conceptual designer on several motion picture projects – most notably the 1997 Luc Besson film, The Fifth Element – as well as continuing to work as an illustrator for newspapers, magazines and in advertising. He has also taught courses on the production of comics at the University of Paris, Vincennes. Mézières has received international recognition through a number of prestigious awards, most notably the 1984 Grand Prix de la ville d'Angoulême award.

Did you know...

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  • ...that Harvey Pekar described his collaboration with Heather Roberson on the comic book Macedonia as one of the best working relationships he has ever had?

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You know, I distrust people who 'read' comics ... you don't read a comic book. You look at a comic book. While you're looking at a comic, sure, you read the words; as well, you learn to look at the panels in a certain order, in a certain way ... if you start out to 'read' a comic book, you're starting out with the wrong mind-set.

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Comics
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Formats: Comic book (minicomic)  · Comic strip (Comic strip formats, Daily strip, Sunday comics, Sunday strip, Topper· Digital comics · Graphic novel · Mobile comic · Motion comics · Trade paperback  · Webcomic (Hypercomics · Infinite canvas · Sprite comic)

Creators: Category:Comics artists · Category:Comics writers · Female comics creators (list)

Studies: History in the U.S.: Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Modern Age (Events)  · History in Japan  · Women in comics · LGBT themes in comics

Genres: Adult comics · Alternative comics · Autobiographical comics · Bad girl art · Crime comics · Fantasy comics · Funny animal · Good girl art · Horror comics · Romance comics · Science fiction comics · Superhero comics · Teen humor comics · Underground comix · War comics · Western comics

Tropes: Superhero · Supervillain

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