What is Comics: Definition and 18 Discussions

Comics is a medium used to express ideas with images, often combined with text or other visual information. It typically takes the form of a sequence of panels of images. Textual devices such as speech balloons, captions, and onomatopoeia can indicate dialogue, narration, sound effects, or other information. The size and arrangement of panels contribute to narrative pacing. Cartooning and other forms of illustration are the most common image-making means in comics; fumetti is a form that uses photographic images. Common forms include comic strips, editorial and gag cartoons, and comic books. Since the late 20th century, bound volumes such as graphic novels, comic albums, and tankōbon have become increasingly common, while online webcomics have proliferated in the 21st century.
The history of comics has followed different paths in different cultures. Scholars have posited a pre-history as far back as the Lascaux cave paintings. By the mid-20th century, comics flourished, particularly in the United States, western Europe (especially France and Belgium), and Japan. The history of European comics is often traced to Rodolphe Töpffer's cartoon strips of the 1830s, and became popular following the success in the 1930s of strips and books such as The Adventures of Tintin. American comics emerged as a mass medium in the early 20th century with the advent of newspaper comic strips; magazine-style comic books followed in the 1930s, in which the superhero genre became prominent after Superman appeared in 1938. Histories of Japanese comics and cartooning (manga) propose origins as early as the 12th century. Modern comic strips emerged in Japan in the early 20th century, and the output of comics magazines and books rapidly expanded in the post-World War II era (1945–) with the popularity of cartoonists such as Osamu Tezuka. Comics has had a lowbrow reputation for much of its history, but towards the end of the 20th century began to find greater acceptance with the public and academics.
The English term comics is used as a singular noun when it refers to the medium itself (e.g. "Comics is a visual art form."), but becomes plural when referring to works collectively (e.g. "Comics are popular reading material."). Though the term derives from the humorous (comic) work that predominated in early American newspaper comic strips, it has become standard for non-humorous works too. The alternate spelling comix – coined by the underground comix movement – is sometimes used to address these ambiguities. In English, it is common to refer to the comics of different cultures by the terms used in their original languages, such as manga for Japanese comics, or bandes dessinées (B.D.) for French-language comics. There is no consensus amongst theorists and historians on a definition of comics; some emphasize the combination of images and text, some sequentiality or other image relations, and others historical aspects such as mass reproduction or the use of recurring characters. The increasing cross-pollination of concepts from different comics cultures and eras has further made definition difficult.

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  1. BillTre

    Far Side Website with New Comics

    Is located here.
  2. Borg

    News Stan Lee: A Legend and Visionary in Comics

    Stan Lee passed away today. Rest in Peace and thanks for all the great comics.
  3. RosutoTakeshi

    Superman created virtual particles?

    Comic is Superman/Batman #80 Superman explains that virtual particles are always spontaneous generated And that he's using his heat vision to (excite) the vacuum in order to accelerate the process. He's generating more virtual particles So my question is, how much energy or heat did...
  4. R

    How much energy was Superman exposed to?

    In Action Comics #867, Superman survived the explosion of a sun What I would like to know is, how much energy was he exposed to? - I know there's the Inverse square law to consider - And I know because of that, he did not get hit by the entire energy of that explosion because his surface...
  5. jim mcnamara

    Let's use comics to answer some questions

    It might work! We've had several threads lately -- showing double suns, zig-zig stars and what not. Most of them are not presented as illusions or misinterpretations which is almost always what they are. Folks want answers. So - how about this approach: http://xkcd.com/1633/
  6. Living Tribunal

    Who is The Living Tribunal and Why Should I Care?

    Hello my friends i am a comic fan/science enthusiast and i found this site on Google so i join its a pleasure to meet everyone.
  7. E

    Solving Box Pulling Problem: Accelerating Comics to Stuart's Store

    Homework Statement Sheldon moves a box of comic books to stuarts comic book store by attaching a rope to the box and pulling with a force of 90 N at an angle of 30. The box of comic books has a mass of 20 kg and the coefficient of kinetic friction between the bottom of the box and the sidewalk...
  8. jedishrfu

    New Book from the author of XKCD comics

    Time magazine reviews the new book called What if? From the author of XKCD comics now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IYUYF4A/?tag=pfamazon01-20
  9. S

    Crazy observation on Ragestache Comics

    I just found this weird observation in Ragestache Comics. Anybody care to explain to me why one can Retain the troll face even after sometime ?? (Eg. I could Retain the figure in my mind for more than 4.5 mins ).http://cdn.ragestache.com/2012/1/23/ragestache.com_30398_1329012006.jpg BTW, could...
  10. G

    Comics: A Fun and Entertaining Way to Escape Reality?

    How many of you like love to read comics?
  11. Math Jeans

    PhD Comics Movie: Update & Trailer

    In case you were wondering how that's coming along: http://www.phdcomics.com/movie" EDIT: The link has a trailer for the movie, by the way.
  12. D

    PhD Comics: Updates, Discontinuation & More

    Does anyone know what going on with PhD comic? Their new strips come out like once every two weeks now. Are they going to be discontinued soon?
  13. EnumaElish

    Science in Comics: Vol. 1 & 2 of TV (Century) 21 Reprints

    I've just received vol. 1 and vol. 2 of TV (Century) 21 (comic strips) reprints. CONTENTS Volume 1: Fireball - The Astran Assassination Thunderbirds - Chain Reaction Stingray - The haunting of Station 17 Captain Scarlet - The Football King Lady Penelope - The Luveniam Affair T'birds - The...
  14. V

    Funny Comics and Stories: Need a Laugh?

    uhmm... does anyone here know any site about funny comics or stories? Can you please give me some site? I really mean FUNNY stories.
  15. P

    Comics can be educational. somewhat

    comics can be educational... somewhat... So I was going through xkcd and found this comic strip: http://xkcd.com/135/ I can do 1, but i have no clue how to do 2. any takers? thanks. and yes. i know I'm a nerd. :P it's all good.
  16. D H

    Xkcd: Web Comics for Smart Masses

    From [PLAIN]"xkcd.com"[/URL] :
  17. M

    Exploring the Meaning Behind Quantum Comics

    http://www.nearingzero.net/quantum/screenres/quantum003.jpg http://www.nearingzero.net/quantum/screenres/quantum004.jpg :confused: What are those comics mean? How is it associated with the vocabulary mentioned?
  18. M

    Electricity and Magnetism Comics

    Does anyone know where I can find some comic strips about electricity and magnetism.