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

The English term comics is used as a singular noun when it refers to the medium itself (e.g. "Comics is a visual art form."), but becomes plural when referring to works collectively (e.g. "Comics are popular reading material."). Though the term derives from the humorous (comic) work that predominated in early American newspaper comic strips, it has become standard for non-humorous works too. The alternate spelling comix – coined by the underground comix movement – is sometimes used to address these ambiguities. In English, it is common 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 (B.D.) 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 definition difficult. (Full article...)

Selected article

Hergé wrote Tintin in the Land of the Soviets

Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (original French: Tintin au pays des Soviets) is the first volume of The Adventures of Tintin (Les Aventures de Tintin), the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. Commissioned by the conservative Belgian newspaper [Le XXe Siècle] Error: {{Lang}}: text has italic markup (help) as anti-communist propaganda for its children's supplement [Le Petit Vingtième] Error: {{Lang}}: text has italic markup (help), it was serialised weekly from January 1929 to May 1930. The story tells of young Belgian reporter Tintin and his dog Snowy (Milou), who are sent to the Soviet Union to report on the policies of Joseph Stalin's Bolshevik government. Tintin's intent to expose the regime's secrets prompts agents from the Soviet secret police, the OGPU, to hunt him down. Bolstered by publicity stunts including the April Fools' Day publication of a faked OGPU letter confirming Tintin's existence, Land of the Soviets was a commercial success, and appeared in book form shortly after its conclusion. Hergé continued The Adventures of Tintin with Tintin in the Congo (Tintin au Congo), and the series became a defining part of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition. He later came to regret the poorly researched, propagandist debut story, and prevented its republication until 1973.

Anniversaries for May 12

  • 1915: birth of Tony Strobl, American comics artist bets known for his work on many Disney comics
  • 1947: birth of catherine yronwode, American writer about comics, known for her work The Art of Will Eisner
  • 1950: birth of Tom Armstrong, American cartoonist and the creator of the daily newspaper comic strip Marvin
  • 1954: birth of Neil D. Vokes, American writer and artist, co-founder of now-defunct Crystal Comics
  • 2004: death of Syd Hoff, American comic strip creator best known for Tuffy

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The following are images from various comics-related articles on Wikipedia.

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San Diego Comic Con 2010 Joker Cosplay
Credit: He.Who.Wanders

The Joker is a fictional character, a comic book supervillain published by DC Comics. He is the archenemy of Batman, having been directly responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman's life, including the paralysis of Barbara Gordon and the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin. Created by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger and Bob Kane, the character first appeared in Batman #1 (Spring 1940).

Did you know...

Milt Gross

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Douglas Wolk
A lot of the people who read comics think of comics as a culture—or as a subculture; something with its own private codes that mark its members as belonging, and everybody else as not belonging.
Douglas Wolk, 2006


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