Portal:Comics

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Introduction

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Carl Barks, Donald Duck comics artist

Carl Barks,
Donald Duck comics artist

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.

More about comics...

Selected article

Art Spiegelman

Maus is a graphic novel completed in 1991 by American cartoonist Art Spiegelman (pictured). It depicts Spiegelman interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The book makes use of postmodern techniques—most strikingly in its depiction of races of humans as different kinds of animals, with Jews as mice, Germans as cats and non-Jewish Poles as pigs. Maus has been described as memoir, biography, history, fiction, autobiography, or a mix of genres. In 1992 it became the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize. A three-page 1972 strip by Spiegelman, also called "Maus", was the impetus for Spiegelman to interview his father about his life during World War II. The recorded interviews became the basis for the graphic novel, which Spiegelman began in 1978. Maus was serialized from 1980 until 1991 as an insert in Raw, an avant-garde comics and graphics magazine published by Spiegelman and his wife, Françoise Mouly. It was one of the first graphic novels to receive academic attention in the English-speaking world.

Selected picture

A Junior comic book cover.
Credit: Fox Feature Syndicate

The Junior comic books were published by Fox Feature Syndicate. This is the cover of the last issue published in July 1948, likely drawn by Al Feldstein.

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Selected biography

Alexander Gillespie "Alex" Raymond (October 2, 1909 – September 6, 1956) was an American cartoonist, best known for creating Flash Gordon for King Features in 1934. The strip was subsequently adapted into many other media, from a series of movie serials (1936–1940) to a 1970s television series and a 1980 film. Raymond's father encouraged his love of drawing from an early age, leading him to become an assistant illustrator in the early 1930s on strips such as Tillie the Toiler and Tim Tyler's Luck. Towards the end of 1933, Raymond created the epic Flash Gordon science-fiction comic strip to compete with the popular Buck Rogers comic strip and, before long, Flash was the more popular strip of the two. Raymond also worked on the jungle adventure saga Jungle Jim and spy adventure Secret Agent X-9 concurrently with Flash, though his increasing workload caused him to leave Secret Agent X-9 to another artist by 1935. He left the strips in 1944 to join the Marines, saw combat in the Pacific Ocean theater in 1945 and was demobilized in 1946. Upon his return from serving during World War II, Raymond created and illustrated the much-heralded Rip Kirby, a private detective comic strip. In 1956, Raymond was killed in a car crash at the age of 46; he was survived by his wife and five children. He became known as "the artist's artist" and his much-imitated style can be seen on the many strips he illustrated. Raymond worked from live models furnished by Manhattan's Walter Thornton Agency, as indicated in "Modern Jules Verne," a profile of Raymond published in the Dell Four-Color Flash Gordon #10 (1942), showing how Thornton model Patricia Quinn posed as a character in the strip. Numerous artists have cited Raymond as an inspiration for their work, including Jack Kirby and Bob Kane. George Lucas cited Raymond as a major influence for Star Wars. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1996. Maurice Horn stated that Raymond unquestionably possessed "the most versatile talent" of all the comic strip creators. He has also described his style as "precise, clear, and incisive." Carl Barks described Raymond as a man "who could combine craftsmanship with emotions and all the gimmicks that went into a good adventure strip." Raymond's influence on other cartoonists was considerable during his lifetime and did not diminish after his death.

Did you know...

Did you know?
  • ... that the graphic novel Building Stories by Chris Ware was published as a box that contained fourteen printed objects, including cloth-bound books, newspapers, broadsheets, and flip books?

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Selected quote

Grant Morrison
The comics medium is a very specialized area of the Arts, home to many rare and talented blooms and flowering imaginations and it breaks my heart to see so many of our best and brightest bowing down to the same market pressures which drive lowest-common-denominator blockbuster movies and television cop shows. Let's see if we can call time on this trend by demanding and creating big, wild comics which stretch our imaginations. Let's make living breathing, sprawling adventures filled with mind-blowing images of things unseen on Earth. Let's make artefacts that are not faux-games or movies but something other, something so rare and strange it might as well be a window into another universe because that's what it is.

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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

By country: Argentina · Australia · Belgium · Brazil · Canada (Quebec· China (Hong Kong)  · Czech Republic · France · Germany · Hungary · India · Italy · Japan · Korea · Mexico · The Netherlands · Philippines · Poland · Spain · Serbia · Thailand · United Kingdom (Wales)  · United States

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