Portal:Comics

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Comics is a medium used to express ideas via images, often combined with text or other visual information. Comics frequently takes the form of juxtaposed sequences of panels of images. Often textual devices such as speech balloons, captions, and onomatopoeia indicate dialogue, narration, sound effects, or other information. Size and arrangement of panels contribute to narrative pacing. Cartooning and similar forms of illustration are the most common image-making means in comics; fumetti is a form which uses photographic images. Common forms of comics include comic strips, editorial and gag cartoons, and comic books. Since the late 20th century, bound volumes such as graphic novels, comics albums, and tankōbon have become increasingly common, and online webcomics have proliferated in the 21st century.

The history of comics has followed divergent paths in different cultures. Some scholars have posited a pre-history as far back as the Lascaux cave paintings. By the mid-20th century, comics flourished particularly in the United States, western Europe (especially in France and Belgium), and Japan. The history of European comics is often traced to Rodolphe Töpffer's cartoon strips of the 1830s, and became popular following the success in the 1930s of strips and books such as The Adventures of Tintin. American comics emerged as a mass medium in the early 20th century with the advent of newspaper comic strips; magazine-style comic books followed in the 1930s. Histories of Japanese comics and cartooning (manga) propose origins as early as the 12th century. Modern comic strips emerged in Japan in the early 20th-century, and the output of comics magazines and books rapidly expanded in the post-World War II era with the popularity of cartoonists such as Osamu Tezuka.

Comics has had a lowbrow reputation for much of its history, but towards the end of the 20th century began to find greater acceptance with the public and within academia. The English term comics derives from the humorous (or comic) work which predominated in early American newspaper comic strips; usage of the term has become standard also for non-humorous works. It is common in English to refer to the comics of different cultures by the terms used in their original languages, such as manga for Japanese comics, or bandes dessinées for French-language comics. There is no consensus amongst theorists and historians on a definition of comics; some emphasize the combination of images and text, some sequentiality or other image relations, and others historical aspects such as mass reproduction or the use of recurring characters. The increasing cross-pollination of concepts from different comics cultures and eras has further made defining the medium difficult.

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Bat

Batman is a DC Comics fictional superhero who first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in May 1939. He has since become, along with Superman and Spider-Man, one of the world's most recognized superheroes. Batman was co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, although only Kane receives official credit for the character. Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, billionaire industrialist, playboy, and philanthropist. Witnessing the murder of his parents as a child leads him to train himself to the peak of physical and intellectual perfection, don a costume, and fight crime. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superhuman powers or abilities; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, technology, and physical prowess in his war on crime.

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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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Matt Groening

Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening (/ˈɡrnɪŋ/ GRAY-ning; born February 15, 1954) is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell (1978–present) as well as two successful television series, The Simpsons (1989–present) and Futurama (1999–2003, 2007–present). Groening made his first professional cartoon sale of Life in Hell to the avant-garde Wet magazine in 1978. The cartoon is still carried in 250 weekly newspapers. Life in Hell caught the attention of James L. Brooks. In 1985, Brooks contacted Groening with the proposition of working in animation for the Fox variety show The Tracey Ullman Show. Originally, Brooks wanted Groening to adapt his Life in Hell characters for the show. Fearing the loss of ownership rights, Groening decided to create something new and came up with a cartoon family, The Simpsons, and named the members after his own parents and sisters — while Bart was an anagram of the word brat. The shorts would be spun off into their own series: The Simpsons, which has since aired 574 episodes. In 1997, Groening and former Simpsons writer David X. Cohen developed Futurama, an animated series about life in the year 3000, which premiered in 1999. After four years on the air, the show was canceled by Fox in 2003, but Comedy Central commissioned 16 new episodes from four direct-to-DVD movies in 2008. Then, in June 2009, Comedy Central ordered 26 new episodes of Futurama, to be aired over two seasons. Groening has won 12 Primetime Emmy Awards, ten for The Simpsons and two for Futurama as well as a British Comedy Award for "outstanding contribution to comedy" in 2004. In 2002, he won the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award for his work on Life in Hell. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 14, 2012.

Did you know...

Did you know?
  • ...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?
  • ... 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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There were other Batman writers throughout the years but they could never capture the style and flavor of Bill's scripts. Bill was the best writer in the business and it seemed that he was destined to write Batman.

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