reading comics comics and graphics traditions methods

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Reading Comics

Reading ComicsComics and GraphicsTraditionsMethodsComics/ReadingsComics : a format defined by the speech balloonGraphics: a message defined byCanal: paper, wall, surfaceCode: image OR combination of image and textGraphics and pictures: A common tabularity (propriety of the tabula, table, a system of signification enclosed on a surface)But a succession of pictures uses another code than a picture alone

Graphics, comics, image: all defined by the same medium and the possibility of a common codeAn essential distinction: plural/singularAnother distinction: format, status of the canal chosenCaricature, stripNewspapers and Magazines/booksA distinction of value: comics/graphic novelsAudience (children, teens, adults)Quality of the objectSystem of distribution

Graphic novels/comics?- a same code- a different system of distribution (bookstores, web), presentation (book), appreciation (art)-a different tradition, recent, artistic, independent- a different audience: FRAN 325

A graphic novel is a narrative work in which the story is conveyed to the reader using sequential art in either an experimental design or in a traditional comics format. The term is employed in a broad manner, encompassing non-fiction works and thematically linked short stories as well as fictional stories across a number of genres.


Graphic novels are typically bound in longer and more durable formats than familiar comic magazines, using the same materials and methods as printed books, and they are generally sold in bookstores and specialty comic book shops rather than at newsstands. Such books have gained increasing acceptance as desirable materials for libraries which once ignored comic books.WikipediaComics?Comics (from the Greek , kmikos "of or pertaining to comedy via the Latin cmicus) denotes a hybrid medium having verbal side of its vocabulary tightly tied to its visual side in order to convey narrative or information, seeking synergy by using both visual (non-verbal) and verbal side in interaction. 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 (image-driven, speech balloons, etc.), first in Sunday strips and later in daily strips.Comic strips were soon gathered into cheap booklets and reprint comic books. Original comic books soon followed. Comics are non-linear (tabular) structures and can be hard to read sometimes. However, it depends of the reader's "frame of mind" to read and understand the comic.In some circles, comics are still seen as low art. The hierarchies of High and Low are changing, though, and are not universal.

Codes?Devices such as speech balloons and boxes are used to indicate dialogue and impart establishing information, while panels, layout, gutters and zip ribbons can help indicate the flow of the story.

The expressive function?A speech scroll, also called a banderole in Western art history, is an illustrative device used to denote speech, song, or, in rarer cases, other types of sound.Developed independently on two continents, the device was in use by European painters during the Medieval and Renaissance periods as well as by artists within Mesoamerican cultures from as early as 650 BC until after the 16th century Spanish conquest.

Bubbling codes and conventions

Scream bubbles indicate a character is screaming or shouting, usually with a jagged outline or a thicker line which can be colored. Their lettering is usually larger or bolder than normal. Broadcast bubbles (also known as radio bubbles) may have a jagged tail like the conventional drawing of a lightning flash and either a squared-off or jagged outline. Letters are sometimes italicised without also being bold. Broadcast bubbles indicate that the speaker is communicating through an electronic device, such as a radio or television, or is robotic. Whisper bubbles are usually portrayed with a dashed (dotted) outline, smaller font or gray lettering, which indicates the tone is softer as most speech is printed in black. They indicate that the speaker is whispering. Icicle bubbles have jagged "icicles" on the lower edge, representing "cold" hostility. Similarly the speech balloons of monsters may have an outline that suggests dripping blood or slime. Colored bubbles convey the emotion that goes with the speech, such as red for anger or green for envy. This style is seldom used in modern comics.

Shapes but also Scripts

The big Z

It is a convention in American comics that the sound of a snore can be reduced to a single letter Z. Thus a speech bubble with this letter standing all alone (again, drawn by hand rather than a font type) means the character is sleeping in most humorous comics. This can be seen, for instance, in Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strips.

Onomatopeias and Cratylism?Captions are generally used for narration purposes. They are generally rectangular and positioned near the edge of the panel. Often they are also colored to indicate the difference between them and the bubbles used by the characters, which are almost always white.A panel is an individual frame, or single drawing, in the multiple-panel sequence of a comic strip or comic book. A panel consists of a single drawing depicting a frozen moment.Newspaper daily strips typically consist of either four panels (Doonesbury, For Better or For Worse) or three panels (Garfield, Dilbert), all of the same size.

The word panel may also refer to a cartoon consisting of a single drawing; the usage is a shortened form of "single-panel comic". In contrast to multi-panel strips, which may involve extended dialogue in speech balloons, a typical panel comic has only one spoken line, printed in a caption beneath the panel itself.

A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions.

TraditionsThe cartoon and the caricatureEphemeralTabular (only one image)History?Cave paintingsStained glass windowsNewspapers, children booksMagazines

Rodolphe Tpffer (1799 - 1846)

Histoire de M. Vieux Bois, 1837published in English as The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck

Christophe (Georges Colomb) (1856 1945)

La Famille Fenouillard appeared in Le Petit Franais Illustr from 1889 until 1893.

Winsor McCay (1869 1934) Tales of the Jungle Imps by Felix Fiddle (1903) Little Sammy Sneeze (1904 to 1906) Dream of the Rarebit Fiend (190413) The Story of Hungry Henrietta (1905) A Pilgrim's Progress (1905 to 1910) Little Nemo in Slumberland (1905 to 1914, 1924-1927) (1911-1914 under the title In the Land of Wonderful Dreams) Poor Jake (1909 to 1911)

1905La Semaine de SuzetteMadame Bernard de Laroche et Joseph Porphyre Pinchon

For girlsWith a female character

Rudolph Dirks

The Katzenjammer Kids (1901)

La Ligne Claire dHergGeorges Prosper Remi (1907 1983)

Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, by "Herg", appeared in the pages of Le Petit Vingtime on 10January 1929, and ran until 8May 1930. The strip chronicled the adventures of a young reporter named Tintin and his pet fox terrier Snowy (Milou) as they journeyed through the Soviet UnionCharles de Gaulle once said "My only international rival is Tintin

25 albums, a publishing house, a magazine, an empire

A classic?

The Blue Lotus, the fifth Tintin adventure. At the close of the previous story, Cigars of the Pharaoh, he had mentioned that Tintin's next adventure would bring him to China. Father Gosset, the chaplain to the Chinese students at the Catholic University of Leuven, wrote to Herg urging him to be sensitive about what he wrote about China. In 1934 Gosset introduced him to Chang Chong-jen (Chang Chongren), a sculpture student at The two young artists quickly became close friends: "Chang Chong-Chen" and Tintin in The Blue Lotus.At the end of his studies, Chang returned home to China, and Herg lost contact with him during the invasion of China by Japan and the subsequent civil war. More than 20 years passed before the two friends would meet again.

Time and space

Reading pact and mirrors-The first and last panels-The first page-Tchang!

Album, Page, Panel, Strip: unities of measurement