Comics


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Comics

 

a graphic storytelling genre; a series of drawings with short texts forming a connected narrative. The genre’s antecedents are generally considered to be W. Hogarth’s series of paintings (later engravings) A Harlot’s Progress (1730–31) and A Rake’s Progress (1732–35) and W. Busch’s drawings in the book Max und Moritz (1865).

Contemporary forms of comics appeared in newspapers in the 1890’s and became widespread in the 1930’s, particularly the comics of W. Disney, the well-known producer of animated films. By the mid-century, comics became one of the most popular genres of mass culture. Most contemporary comics are no longer humorous but tell stories with a variety of themes and subjects, such as the “wild west,” superhero adventure, jungle adventure, animals, crime (the most “mass” variety), war, romance, science fiction, pseudohistory, and classical literature in condensed and simplified form.

The glorification in some comics of violence, cruelty, national superiority, and aggressive valor as well as the vulgarization and debasement of the classics are symptoms of the chronic and growing malaise of contemporary mass culture. In order to safeguard children, a number of countries, including Great Britain, France, Sweden, and the Netherlands, have officially forbidden the distribution of horror comics.

The unusually broad circulation of comics and their influence on the mass reader have aroused concern among Western artists. A forum of cultural leaders from many European countries and America met in Italy in 1965 to discuss the future of the most “mass” genre (the journal Inostrannaia literatura, 1965, no. 9, pp. 252–58).

Progressive foreign periodicals like L’Humanité have systematically used comics to popularize the classics and the best of adventure literature, as well as to create stories about the adventures of comic and fantasy characters. J. Eiffel’s albums The Creation of the World (3 vols., 1951–53) are an original form of comics. The Soviet children’s magazine Veselye kartinki (published by the CC of the Communist Youth League since 1956) often uses comics.

REFERENCE

Daniels, L. Comix: A History of Comic Books in America. New York [1971].
References in classic literature ?
It can be no sacrifice on their side, for it is highly comic.
A yard or two off his feet wouldn't be a disadvantage," chimes in the comic man, "especially as he seems so anxious to hide them.
It was a long while before I could get Harris to take a more Christian view of the subject, but I succeeded at last, and he promised me that he would spare the friends and relations at all events, and would not sing comic songs on the ruins.
I have always had a great love for the absolutely unreal, the purely fanciful in all the arts, as well as of the absolutely real; I like the one on a far lower plane than the other, but it delights me, as a pantomime at a theatre does, or a comic opera, which has its being wholly outside the realm of the probabilities.
You are a comic little figure, hopping from the cradle to the grave.
Just to show you, I wrote half a dozen jokes last night for the comic weeklies; and just as I was going to bed, the thought struck me to try my hand at a triolet - a humorous one; and inside an hour I had written four.
The comic supplement might bring a pallid smile to my face, and then I would fall asleep.
The "Hymn to Hermes" differs from others in its burlesque, quasi- comic character, and it is also the best-known of the Hymns to English readers in consequence of Shelley's translation.
Mr Lenville was a blooming warrior of most exquisite proportions; Mr Crummles, his large face shaded by a profusion of black hair, a Highland outlaw of most majestic bearing; one of the old gentlemen a jailer, and the other a venerable patriarch; the comic countryman, a fighting-man of great valour, relieved by a touch of humour; each of the Master Crummleses a prince in his own right; and the low-spirited lover, a desponding captive.
Midsummer Night's Dream'; 'The Merchant of Venice,' where a story of tragic sternness is strikingly contrasted with the most poetical idealizing romance and yet is harmoniously blended into it; 'Much Ado About Nothing,' a magnificent example of high comedy of character and wit; 'As You Like It,' the supreme delightful achievement of Elizabethan and all English pastoral romance; and 'Twelfth Night,' where again charming romantic sentiment is made believable by combination with a story of comic realism.
Am I to understand that you have ferreted out something comic in the history of Flora de Barral?
There are jests which you would be ashamed to make yourself, and yet on the comic stage, or indeed in private, when you hear them, you are greatly amused by them, and are not at all disgusted at their unseemliness;-- the case of pity is repeated;--there is a principle in human nature which is disposed to raise a laugh, and this which you once restrained by reason, because you were afraid of being thought a buffoon, is now let out again; and having stimulated the risible faculty at the theatre, you are betrayed unconsciously to yourself into playing the comic poet at home.