Comics International

Whoever thought colors in comics are chosen at random is mistaken.

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Modern comics

Modern comics

A comic is the telling of a story through a fixed sequence of images, which are usually drawn. But there are also, for example, photographic variants. The origins of this art dates back to antiquity. In principle, one can already understand early cave paintings as a precursor of pictorial narrative, although no text elements were present then. The latter are incidentally not mandatory and there are many comic stories that do not require any text. Although the connection almost imposes, Egyptian hieroglyphics are a different category, because here the images are not used for the telling of a story, but to express certain sounds.

Modern comics began in newspapers

The present form of the comic stories is not so old. Although there have beem illustrated stories for several hundred years that are very similar to comics, classic expression forms such as speech bubbles and panels are found only in the last hundred years inlet. At that time the variations were still very limited because the comic strips mainly appeared in daily and weekly newspapers. So they were bound by the requirements of the respective newspapers, both in terms of the length of the narrative sequence and format that is. However, soon from the first very short strips, evolved a single continuing story that was every day (or every week), supplemented by a small part. This has made it possible to show complex courses of action. At the same time it served in a way the promotion of newspaper sales, because similar to the literary serial novel, the reader would of course not want to miss any episode to stay up to date. But at the end of the 19th Century, there were artists who could not be stuck in a certain drawer. So many works of the famous creator of "Max and Moritz", Wilhelm Busch may be associated with modern conceptions of comics. Since the term "comic" is brought in common parlance rather with funny stories, other terms such as "graphic novels" have been prepared to address a "more serious" audience.

Heyday of the Super Heroes

Only in the 1930s ome publishers (especially in the U.S.) were about to publish the stories as their own books or comic books. Mostly, these were short stories by various artist and genres. A very popular representative of these early publications was "The Shadow". A existing icon until today, however, was Superman, who soon got its own book series. In addition to the very popular super heroes and detectives of course there was the rather funny shape, in which often anthropomorphized animals played the main role, as in the Disney universe. After the war, the media was finally also brought into the German culture. Especially popular were the super heroes in their heyday of the 1960s. At that time also other manifestations developed that complemented the magazine to albums and paperbacks. The sales took place mainly through the normal newsagents, while in almost every major city now there is at least a specialized comic book shop, where you can get all the new releases. Especially for collectors these shops have an important function, as many older works are only to get via second-hand-sales.

Other cultures love picture stories as well

Also very popular in the past thirty years have been the Japanese narrative form called manga. It is characterized by its very own character style that regardless of the author and has a certain sense of recognition. Texts are read from right to left in Japan, the manga is also created in this way. In order to publish them in Western countries, there are therefore two forms of implementation. Firstly, the books are printed "back to front", so that no further changes are necessary. On the other hand, there are publishers who reflect all sides of the story, so that they can as usual be read from left to right.

Pulp fiction?

Some educators and parents see comics very critical. They are often dismissed unreflective and collectively as "silly" or "violent", particularly the use of speech was long considered a symbol of linguistic impoverishment of youth. However, like all media also here the content should decide on the value of a story and not the appearance. Who, for example, reads the German translations of the early Disney stories by Dr. Erika Fuchs, finds that they satisfy very high standards linguistically. Not for nothing, these works have a real cult status today.