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A walk down the world of Comic Strips


We have spent our entire childhood reading and living in the fantasy land of comic books, but as much as we have enjoyed reading it, we may have missed paying the same amount of attention to the art of comic strips and the hard work and creativity it takes. Here's a peek into the world of comic strips and its not so comic side!




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WHAT ARE COMIC STRIPS?


A comic strip can roughly be defined as a sequence of compartments or divisions, usually cartoons or anime characters, designed in accordance with a particular storyline. It also includes dialogues and narrations written in highlighted forms or cloud pop-ups. As the name suggests, their purpose is to be comical and a source of entertainment in varied age groups. They are usually found in weekly newspapers, magazines or children's books. In fact, there are some newspapers who have specified columns for the comic strips to be published.


HISTORY AND EMERGENCE


The one who designs the story in the form of comic strips is called a cartoonist. Comic strips have a history that goes way back to the time of the medieval period. One of the first emergence of storytelling through pictures is the Bayeux Tapestry. Even in the later Middle Ages, Bibles started coming with pictures and depiction of the scenes talked about in different verses of it.


Newspaper comic strips are the most popular amongst the different forms of its types. The first known comic strips in the newspaper were discovered in the 19th century in North America. Cartoonists and caricature artists are very closely associated with the style of comic strips, the difference being its sequence and accordance with a story or a traditional tale. China is known for the tradition of its block painting, and wooden textiles used to print texts. This form of writing and printing in China also incorporated with artworks and illustrations, thus, giving rise to the emergence of comic strips in the country as well.


FORMAT AND BASIC STYLES OF COMIC STRIPS


There are mainly two forms or styles in which comic art can be depicted:-

  • SINGLE PANELS

These refer to the division of the sheet into unequal blocks or shapes which are

usually taller than wider. It is not necessary for them to be in a

particular pattern or symmetry. Also called single gag panels, they are unequal

or in shapes, but in the order of the story.

  • COMIC STRIPS

These refer to the vertical or horizontal way of creating comic art, with equal

quadrilateral shapes, usually wider than taller. They follow a pattern or

a symmetry and are in accordance with the order of the story being depicted.




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INFLUENCE ON INTERNET


In addition to the traditional way of creating comic strips, comic art also had an influence over the digital world. This popularity made a way for the emergence of digital comic art being made by cartoonists using various apps and tools. Such comics came to be known as web-comics.


Web-comics can also be classified under digital artworks which have become quite prominent amongst all the styles, types and mediums of art forms. They may be used to depict social, cultural and political issues. Here, they may be depicted in a humorous and light-hearted way, but their purpose is to highlight the social issues and underlying causes or effects, in an unoffensive way.


Comics, be it in newspapers or magazines, or on the internet, have always kept the social and political issues as one of their main centre of interest and creativity. They might not be addressed as something primary or important, but they are the mirror of society and reflect all their truths. Even in older times, matters like liberalism and capitalism, or the emergence of democracy were made into comic strips in the local or cultural newspapers, hence giving all of it a reality check, as well as maintaining the humour and satirical sense.



COMIC BOOKS AND FAMOUS CARTOONISTS


A comic book refers to the book made with more than one story, depicted by cartoonists. They are available as a certain collection or as a part of magazines and other entertainment books as well.


SOME FAMOUS COMIC BOOKS AND COMIC ART ARE

  • The little bears

  • Blondie

  • Pearls before swine

  • Popeye the sailor

  • Terry and the Pirates

  • Little Orphan Annie

  • Gasoline Alley

  • Bringing up father

PROMINENT CARTOONISTS:

  • Bill Watson

  • R. K. Laxman

  • Mike Judge

  • Rube Goldberg

  • Albert Uderzo

  • Walt Disney

  • K. Shankar Pillai

  • Abu Abraham

  • Ralph Steadman


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