Media History 5 th  session: Comicbooks Steen Christiansen [email_address]
Comicbook History <ul><li>What are comicbooks?
Why are comicbooks relevant?
The history of comicbooks
Comicbooks and popular culture
Remediation </li></ul>
What are comicbooks? Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence. Little Sammy Sneeze , Winsor McCay
What are comicbooks?
What are comicbooks?
What are comicbooks? Histoire de Monsieur Cryptogame by Rodolphe Töpffer (1830)
What are comicbooks? The Yellow Kid/Hogan’s Alley,  Richard Felton Outcault
What are comicbooks? Rudolph Dirks’  Katzenjammer Kids
Why are comics relevant? <ul><li>9 th  art </li><ul><li>Architecture
Drawing / Painting
Sculpture
Literature
Music
Theater
Dance
Photography </li></ul><li>As old as photography </li></ul>
Mass production reduces status <ul><li>Obeys the rules of commerce
Popular equals vulgar
Humor as opposite harmony and the sublime </li></ul>
Influence on children <ul><li>Fredric Wertham,  Seduction of the Innocent
Blacklisted for corrupting their only audience </li></ul>
Visual forms subordinate to language <ul><li>We need words to understand the image </li><ul><li>Anchorage </li></ul><li>Th...
The imprisonment of the word
Artistic mediocrity </li></ul>
William Blake
Four-fold symbolic handicap <ul><li>It is a hybrid
Story-telling that appear to remain on the level of sub-literature/paraliterature
Connected to caricature, which is thought inferior
Propose a return to childhood </li></ul>
The history of comicbooks <ul><li>Newspapers
Comicbooks
Cartoons and animated films
Alternative comix
80 – comics revised
90 – comics
00s </li></ul>
Newspapers and comics <ul><li>Comic strips are found in newspapers and seen as a way to sell more newspapers </li></ul>
Newspapers and comics <ul><li>Comics aren’t seen as independent, but as light entertainment at the end of the paper </li><...
Newspapers and comics <ul><li>This means that the strips are short, concluding and typically humorous
Otherwise, they will use cliffhangers </li></ul>
 
Cartoons and animated films
Cartoons and animated films
Cartoons and animated films
Cartoons and animated films
Cartoons and animated films
The American Comics Industry
The American Comics Industry <ul><li>Only slowly do magazines emerge solely dedicated to comics
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Media History 5

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Media History 5

  1. 1. Media History 5 th session: Comicbooks Steen Christiansen [email_address]
  2. 2. Comicbook History <ul><li>What are comicbooks?
  3. 3. Why are comicbooks relevant?
  4. 4. The history of comicbooks
  5. 5. Comicbooks and popular culture
  6. 6. Remediation </li></ul>
  7. 7. What are comicbooks? Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence. Little Sammy Sneeze , Winsor McCay
  8. 8. What are comicbooks?
  9. 9. What are comicbooks?
  10. 10. What are comicbooks? Histoire de Monsieur Cryptogame by Rodolphe Töpffer (1830)
  11. 11. What are comicbooks? The Yellow Kid/Hogan’s Alley, Richard Felton Outcault
  12. 12. What are comicbooks? Rudolph Dirks’ Katzenjammer Kids
  13. 13. Why are comics relevant? <ul><li>9 th art </li><ul><li>Architecture
  14. 14. Drawing / Painting
  15. 15. Sculpture
  16. 16. Literature
  17. 17. Music
  18. 18. Theater
  19. 19. Dance
  20. 20. Photography </li></ul><li>As old as photography </li></ul>
  21. 21. Mass production reduces status <ul><li>Obeys the rules of commerce
  22. 22. Popular equals vulgar
  23. 23. Humor as opposite harmony and the sublime </li></ul>
  24. 24. Influence on children <ul><li>Fredric Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent
  25. 25. Blacklisted for corrupting their only audience </li></ul>
  26. 26. Visual forms subordinate to language <ul><li>We need words to understand the image </li><ul><li>Anchorage </li></ul><li>The image as attractive and hence dangerous
  27. 27. The imprisonment of the word
  28. 28. Artistic mediocrity </li></ul>
  29. 29. William Blake
  30. 30. Four-fold symbolic handicap <ul><li>It is a hybrid
  31. 31. Story-telling that appear to remain on the level of sub-literature/paraliterature
  32. 32. Connected to caricature, which is thought inferior
  33. 33. Propose a return to childhood </li></ul>
  34. 34. The history of comicbooks <ul><li>Newspapers
  35. 35. Comicbooks
  36. 36. Cartoons and animated films
  37. 37. Alternative comix
  38. 38. 80 – comics revised
  39. 39. 90 – comics
  40. 40. 00s </li></ul>
  41. 41. Newspapers and comics <ul><li>Comic strips are found in newspapers and seen as a way to sell more newspapers </li></ul>
  42. 42. Newspapers and comics <ul><li>Comics aren’t seen as independent, but as light entertainment at the end of the paper </li></ul>
  43. 43. Newspapers and comics <ul><li>This means that the strips are short, concluding and typically humorous
  44. 44. Otherwise, they will use cliffhangers </li></ul>
  45. 46. Cartoons and animated films
  46. 47. Cartoons and animated films
  47. 48. Cartoons and animated films
  48. 49. Cartoons and animated films
  49. 50. Cartoons and animated films
  50. 51. The American Comics Industry
  51. 52. The American Comics Industry <ul><li>Only slowly do magazines emerge solely dedicated to comics
  52. 53. Generally considered kids’ entertainment </li></ul>
  53. 54. Superhero Mania <ul><li>” Comic books were a ghetto. I sold my part of the enterprise to my associate and then began The Spirit . They wanted an heroic character, a costumed character. They asked me if he'd have a costume. And I put a mask on him and said, 'Yes, he has a costume!'&quot; </li></ul>
  54. 55. Comics are genres <ul><li>Superhero
  55. 56. Horror
  56. 57. Detective
  57. 58. War stories </li></ul>
  58. 59. Comics are publishers <ul><li>DC (Detective Comics
  59. 60. Marvel
  60. 61. EC (Entertaining Comics)
  61. 62. Dark Horse </li></ul>
  62. 63. Comics retail <ul><li>Usually, comics are sold at newsstands or other non-specialist shops </li></ul>
  63. 64. Comics panic
  64. 65. Comics panic
  65. 66. Comicbook stores <ul><li>As comics get their own magazines, shops dedicated only to comics emerge </li></ul>
  66. 67. Comicbook stores <ul><li>Comics gain a subculture
  67. 68. Readers follow every issue
  68. 69. Stories change, as a result
  69. 70. Continuity emerges as a law </li><ul><li>Today, people are employed to make sure continuity is maintained. </li></ul></ul>
  70. 71. Alternative comix
  71. 72. Hippie comics
  72. 73. Comics industry <ul><li>Comics return to books when they gain cultural recognition </li></ul>
  73. 74. The 80s – years of change <ul><li>Two major changes </li><ul><li>RAW and Maus
  74. 75. The British Revision of the American Superhero </li></ul></ul>
  75. 76. RAW Magazine <ul><li>Intellectual underground
  76. 77. The medium is broadened
  77. 78. New subject matters introduced </li></ul>
  78. 79. Maus <ul><li>Comics become morally complex
  79. 80. They treat serious topics such as Holocaust
  80. 81. Graphic novels are introduced </li></ul>
  81. 82. Superhero Revision <ul><li>Superheroes become morally suspect
  82. 83. “Who watches the watchmen?” </li></ul>
  83. 84. Superhero Revision <ul><li>The Comics Code Authority is challenged </li></ul>
  84. 85. Superhero Revision <ul><li>Fascism is brought to the foreground </li></ul>
  85. 86. The 90s – diaspora and a bursting bubble <ul><li>The comicbook market collapses
  86. 87. All manner of comicbooks emerge
  87. 88. DC and Marvel both make ‘art-house’ imprints </li></ul>
  88. 89. The Sandman <ul><li>DC’s biggest success without superheroes </li></ul>
  89. 90. Sin City <ul><li>Will Eisner, The Spirit
  90. 91. Frank Miller </li><ul><li>Daredevil </li></ul></ul>
  91. 92. Comicbooks and Popular Culture
  92. 93. Comicbooks and Popular Culture
  93. 94. Comicbooks and Popular Culture
  94. 95. Comicbooks and Popular Culture
  95. 96. Remediation <ul><li>The visual style is maintained, despite the loss of realism </li></ul>
  96. 97. Remediation <ul><li>Cross-over inspiration
  97. 98. Comics work as inspiration for movies and games </li></ul>

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