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Comics

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  • 1. ~ Comics Books ~ Norman Yee, Fall 2008
  • 2. Comic Books: aka comic strips, aka graphic novels, aka… <ul><li>Can be defined as visual narratives with juxtaposed images. </li></ul><ul><li>Words and text are not required, but in general adds to the narrative flow. </li></ul><ul><li>Comic Books </li></ul><ul><li>Comic Strips </li></ul><ul><li>Graphic Novels and Novellas </li></ul><ul><li>Comic Magazines </li></ul><ul><li>Fumetti (Italian) </li></ul><ul><li>Bande Dessine (French) </li></ul><ul><li>Manga (Japanese) </li></ul>
  • 3. History: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Wikipedia <ul><li>Prehistory – Cave Paintings </li></ul><ul><li>Ancient Times – Egyptian Hieroglyphics </li></ul><ul><li>1895 - Richard Felton Outcault’s The Yellow Kid , in Joseph Pulitzer’s The New York World newspaper </li></ul><ul><li>1930-1950 – The Adventures begin (The Golden Age) </li></ul><ul><li>1956-1971 – Creation of the Comic Code Authority (The Silver Age) </li></ul><ul><li>1971-1980 – Comics as Art (The Bronze Age) </li></ul><ul><li>1980-1987 – Death of a Superhero (The Iron Age) </li></ul><ul><li>1987-Present – Out of the Basement and into the Big Screen </li></ul>
  • 4. 1895 : Congratulations! It’s a Comic! <ul><li>Richard Felton Outcault’s The Yellow Kid – first “real” comic strip </li></ul><ul><li>Primarily humoristic – called the Funnies, the Famous Funnies, the Comics, etc. </li></ul>
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  • 6. 1930-1950: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! <ul><li>Jerome Siegal and Joseph Shuster create Superman in June 1938. </li></ul><ul><li>Detective Comics (DC) introduces Batman in 1939. </li></ul><ul><li>Marvel Comics introduces the Human Torch and Captain America. </li></ul><ul><li>Will Eisner’s The Spirit (1940). </li></ul><ul><li>World War II a boon for comic books. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DC stressed a common interest in public welfare and a strong government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marvel stressed patriotism </li></ul></ul>
  • 7. 1956-1971: It’s a Comic! Burn it with fire! <ul><li>Loss of readers after WWII due to lack of purpose and competition with television and radio. </li></ul><ul><li>Attracted attention of Senate investigations, particularly popular “horror” themed comics. </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Fredric Wertham’s The Seduction of the Innocent (1954). </li></ul><ul><li>Comics Code Authority – to self-police the industry. </li></ul><ul><li>Comic themes moved from consensus to critical. </li></ul><ul><li>Marvel introduces heroes with weaknesses such as the Hulk (i.e., anger management) and Spiderman (i.e., teenage angst). </li></ul>
  • 8. 1971-1980: We’re artists and we need money! <ul><li>Shift from social issues to an emphasis on form and stylistic details </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharp rise in non-superhero comics such as Conan the Barbarian and Ghost Rider. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reshuffling of comic creators and reimagining of popular characters. </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of the Academy of Comic-Book Arts (ACBA) and the Comic Guild. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Largely unsuccessful. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First update of the Comics Code Authority. </li></ul><ul><li>DC And Marvel began to license out their characters to movie and television shows deals to make revenue. </li></ul>
  • 9. 1980-1987: Why so Serious? :( <ul><li>Form becomes content. </li></ul><ul><li>Heroes began questioning their own heroism and face their mortality. </li></ul><ul><li>Growing popularity of anti-heroes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grim and gritty genres and stories. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comic distribution shifts to specialty retail shops. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rising prices and profits. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Targets loyal fanbase over casual readers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creates the “nerd niche” in comic book readership. </li></ul></ul>
  • 10. 1987-Present: From nerd closets to Summer Blockbusters <ul><li>Reconstruction of genre. </li></ul><ul><li>Comics become collector’s items by the 1990’s (TinTin @ A$1.32 million). </li></ul><ul><li>Marvel became first comic book publisher to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (as MVL ). </li></ul><ul><li>CGI: Superhero movies’ best friend. </li></ul>
  • 11. Manga: What the Neighbors were Doing <ul><li>Widely by readers of all ages. </li></ul><ul><li>Broad range of genres and subjects. </li></ul><ul><li>Increasingly popular worldwide. </li></ul><ul><li>Originated during the US occupation of Japan. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Influenced by the American comic books that were brought over by soldiers. (1945-1952) But held onto Japanese culture and aesthetic traditions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creation of Astroboy by Tezuka Osamu and Sazae-san by Hasegawa Machiko. </li></ul><ul><li>1969 saw the first major entry of women artists into manga. (Year 24 Group aka The Magnificent 24s) </li></ul>
  • 12. Manga Genres: Like Baskin-Robbins ice cream for your eyes! <ul><li>Shonen Manga </li></ul><ul><li>Action-Adventure – usually with a male hero with slapstick humor and themes of honor. </li></ul><ul><li>Popular settings and themes include: science fiction, sports, robots, technology, and the supernatural. </li></ul><ul><li>Shojo Manga </li></ul><ul><li>Romance – usually done along themes of self-realizations with emotional and intense narratives. </li></ul><ul><li>Superheroine – developed into teams of girls and women working together. </li></ul>
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  • 17. Web Comics: In your webs, stealing your work hours! <ul><li>T.H.E. Fox - Arguably the first webcomic published on Compuserve and Quantum Link in 1986. </li></ul><ul><li>The late nineties saw an exponential rise in webcomics. </li></ul><ul><li>Austin Osueke launches eigoMANGA in 2000, an independent comic book publisher that published his online “webmanga”. Garners attention from comic book industry and featured in comic book magazines. </li></ul><ul><li>Scott McCloud’s Reinventing Comics, a treatise on webcomics. Advocates digital comics as well as micropayments. </li></ul>
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  • 21. Cool Links: For the cool kids <ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.randomhistory.com/1-50/033comic.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/5537/hist.htm </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.wikipedia.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.mangafox.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Sample Webcomics </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.sinfest.net/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.snafu-comics.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.nuklearpower.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://penny-arcade.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.megatokyo.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://vgcats.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://keychain.patternspider.net/ </li></ul>

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