Comics Essay

1938 words - 8 pages


History of Comics

How did comics arise ? Their birth and evolution, illustrated with some examples
The comics weren't invented from one day to the next. It was a slow evolution the result of which is the comic-art of today with its many different branches.
According to Fuchs & Wolfgang, "history of comics "(11), a first comic or a "mother" of the comics doesn't exist. The whole story began with the pictures that were printed in newspapers and magazines to illustrate something that was written in an article. Because of the printing technique those pictures were in black and white, that's why the artists couldn't use paint. The content of those pictures was mostly a caricature of someone in the accompanying article. Fuchs & Wolfgang say this happened in the late 19th century.
The time came when newspapers were able to print photographs, nevertheless the caricatures didn't disappear from the pages. The caricature-picture made another step in the direction of the comic, it became a comic-strip.

A comic strip is what is also called a "cartoon". That means, a couple of pictures that are connected and make only sense if read together. You could compare it with a "flip book" which makes no sense if you look just at one picture but if you turn over all of the leaves rapidly they seem to get "alive".

You can find such cartoons, comic strips which tell you a joke or a story in just three or four pictures, still nowadays in every newspaper. The task of most of them is to make the reader laugh, nevertheless, you can find some political strips, too.

Some of the newspapers began to collect their comic strips (if they were very popular) and gave the cartoonist a chance to release them in a comic book. So the idea of comic books, as they appear today, was born. It didn't take long until different styles appeared and the comic began to conquer the world!

In 1938 the first Superman comic appeared, introducing a figure which is known by everybody all over the world still today. The Superheroes were born and they would multiply in a short time. The people seemed to like the mysterious strong men who came from nobody knows where, fought for the law, were armed with superhuman power, and (in case of Superman) could fly without any auxiliary material. Many more of this characters similar to Superman came to life after him. Concerning to Reynolds the most famous may be Batman which first could be seen in a "Detective Comics" issue in 1939.

Between 1939 and 1940 there were already 60 different series of comic books and by the end of 1941 the number had risen to 168. After that new releases grew like mushrooms every month.

About 1950 the animal comics of Walt Disney ( the target market are children ) began to boom. Today there are so many comics that it's impossible to read or even count all of them! (Reynolds, 1992:16)

Of course in different countries the comics had different tendencies to increase. The fact that you can find in...

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