Comics Information

Comics is a graphic medium in which images convey a sequential narrative. The term derives from the mostly humourous early work in the medium, and came to apply to all forms of the medium including those far from comic. The sequential nature of the pictures, and the predominance of pictures over words, distinguishes comics from picture books, though there is some overlap between the two. Most comics combine words with images, often indicating speech in the form of word balloons, but pantomime strips, such as The Little King, are not uncommon. Words other than dialogue, captions for example, usually expand upon the pictures, but sometimes act in counterpoint.

Early precursors of comics as they are known today include Trajan's Column and the work of William Hogarth. By the 19th century, the medium as we know it today began to take form among European and American artists. Comics as a real mass medium started to emerge in the United States in the early 20th century with the newspaper comic strip, where its form began to be standardized . The combination of words and pictures proved popular and quickly spread throughout the world.

Comic strips were soon gathered into cheap booklets and reprint comic books. Original comic books soon followed. Today, comics are found in newspapers, magazines, comic books, graphic novels and on the web. Historically, the form dealt with humorous subject matter, but its scope has expanded to encompass the full range of literary genres. Also see: Comic strip and cartoon. In some circles, comics are still seen as low art, though there are exceptions, such as Krazy Kat and Barnaby. However, such an elitist "low art/high art" distinction doesn't exist in the French-speaking world , where the bandes dessinées medium as a whole is commonly accepted as "the Ninth Art", is usually dedicated a non-negligible space in bookshops and libraries, and is regularly celebrated in international events such as the Angoulême International Comics Festival. Such distinctions also do not exist in the Japanese manga, the world's largest comics culture.

Wikipedia, Comics, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comics (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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