Portal:Comics

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Introduction


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. 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. 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."). (Full article...)

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A black and white drawing of a man wearing a brimmed hat, seated at a drawing table, with his right hand on his forehead. He holds a cigarette in his right hand, and is surrounded by cartoon characters: a mouse on his hat, a long-billed bird looking over his left shoulder, a cat in front of him, and a dog to his right.
1922 self-portrait

George Joseph Herriman III (August 22, 1880 – April 25, 1944) was an American cartoonist best known for the comic strip Krazy Kat (1913–1944). More influential than popular, Krazy Kat had an appreciative audience among those in the arts. Gilbert Seldes' article "The Krazy Kat Who Walks by Himself" was the earliest example of a critic from the high arts giving serious attention to a comic strip. The Comics Journal placed the strip first on its list of the greatest comics of the 20th century. Herriman's work has been a primary influence on cartoonists such as Will Eisner, Charles M. Schulz, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Bill Watterson, and Chris Ware.

Herriman was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to mixed-race Creole parents, and grew up in Los Angeles. After he graduated from high school in 1897, he worked in the newspaper industry as an illustrator and engraver. He moved on to cartooning and comic strips—a medium then in its infancy—and drew a variety of strips until he introduced his most famous character, Krazy Kat, in his strip The Dingbat Family in 1910. A Krazy Kat daily strip began in 1913, and from 1916 the strip also appeared on Sundays. It was noted for its poetic, dialect-heavy dialogue; its fantastic, shifting backgrounds; and its bold, experimental page layouts.

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

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A play with panels in Winsor McCay's Little Sammy Sneeze strip.
Credit: Winsor McCay

A panel is an individual frame, or single drawing, in the multiple-panel sequence of a comic strip or comic book. A panel consists of a single drawing depicting a frozen moment. Newspaper daily strips typically consist of either four panels (Doonesbury, For Better or For Worse) or three panels (Garfield, Dilbert), all of the same size. The horizontal newspaper strip can also employ only a single panel, as sometimes seen in Wiley Miller's Non Sequitur.

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Statue of Koziołek Matołek in Pacanów, Poland

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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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