Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Simple Question About Comic Books



Doug: What is the best thing about comic books? Stick to one response at a time, with rationale. It may be interesting to see how the conversation grows. Thanks!





28 comments:

J.A. Morris said...

Art.

Martinex1 said...

Comics are like vegetables for the imagination; they are boundless.

Doug said...

The garish costumes that, yes - would look silly on the silver screen or in real life.

J.A., I also feel that the art is the draw to the medium.

And Martinex, it's that boundless imagination, that suspension of disbelief that separates comics from television or many aspects of film where we tend to want things just a bit more "realistic".

This is already tying together nicely!

Doug

Redartz said...

Variety. Comics have something to offer for anyone, regardless of your tastes. Humor, heroes, horror, Harvey kid's titles, and many other genres that don't start with "H"...

Anonymous said...

Continuity. I don't mean history or minutia or the like; I mean that every month (most of the time), you can sit down and read the adventures of your favorite characters. How many years did people have to wait for the next volume of Harry Potter? Only soap operas have a higher level of output.

Edo Bosnar said...

The juxtaposition of words and pictures. They're an essentially literary medium coupled with a rich visual (aesthetic) experience.

Doug said...

The gestalt of figures, colors, sound effects, logos, and the general lay-out of the page that moves the eye through the story. It's unlike any other reading experience, and it differs from a cinematic experience in that the eye can see what came before and what's is looming ahead. It's a complete picture.

Doug

Anonymous said...

Like Edo said, the merger and interaction of words and pictures. You can do just about anything with words and pictures.

- Mike Loughlin

Karen said...

The voyage of imagination they take you on; the million impossible things a single comic page can suggest that your mind takes and expands upon -something that no other medium, not even film, with all its tricks, can do.

Martinex1 said...

The ease of repeat enjoyment and review. It so easy to flip back through and grab a plot point; or to reread and enjoy again.

jim kosmicki said...

the combination of visuals and text allows storytellers to tell almost any type of story effectively.

J.A. Morris said...

The other great thing is that anything can happen in comic books. And you can explain anything with the phrase "because comics."

That's why Bruce Banner got hulkified by the Gamma Bomb, and Rick Jones didn't because he crawled into a hole that was 2 feet deep. That's we don't ask why Reed Richards took his girlfriend and her brother on a mission to the moon. That's why an android can cry.

Only in comic books could you get a double wedding where one couple consists of an android and a mutant, the other couple is a reanimated corpse and something called "The Celestial Madonna." Try explaining that one to your non-comic reading friends. But it worked, because comics.

And this is why I roll my eyes when creators decide that the Scarlet Witch shouldn't marry robot, or that the Hulk wasn't created by gamma poisoning, but was always part of Banner's psyche.

Martinex1 said...

To J.A's and Karen's and others' point anything can happen in a comic. Anything.

Jules Verne always got credit for being insightful and predictive; I think someday Stan and Jack (and others in comic creation) will have that reputation. It is funny how some of the things represented early on in Marvel and DC were so cutting edge and "impossible" to imagine, but today are nearly expected and common place. I find the Beetle's suit somewhat comparable to that real guy that flies over the Grand Canyon. And there is talk of Iron Man like suits being used in the military.

And as far as movies go, it only took about 50 years to have the technology to mimic what was done in comics day one. The films are not really adding much new (even if they have good stories; they are only mimicking what was already presented in comics. The comics were cutting edge (bleeding edge) and should continue to be so. The idea that comics should mimic film and reality is a bit backwards thinking. So far, film has not given us the Inhumans' refuge on the moon, a Galactus we can respect, Atlantis in all of its glory, the Watcher, Eternity, etc. Hard to believe that level of creativity was/is pumped out every month.

Anonymous said...

The stories...you can tell stories in a comic that you can't tell anywhere else.

Mike Wilson

david_b said...

Nothing new to add here.., the question harkens me back to those days of 1973/74 being in my parent's van going 'cross country somewhere, hot as blazes, and I've got a new Marvel comic in my hands, be it the FF, Spidey or ol' Cap.

Escapism for only 20 cents. My Mom still says of that period, 'Put a comic in his hand and he's quiet for an hour...'

"....True Enough."

Anonymous said...

As a child who loved to draw, it was the fact that the comics were handmade. It was tremendously exciting to see the different art styles, especially when I discovered someone like Neal Adams or George Perez, or when I was first exposed to the dynamic art of Jack Kirby in reprints of the Fantastic Four. I would pore over every line, just marvelling at the way they put the pages together. I also admired the inkers and quickly grew to identify their respective styles. Hell, I even followed the letterers. They brought so much energy to the pages, from logos, to sound effects, to cover copy, to the way they emphasized characters' words in speech balloons. Tom Orz. and John Workman were/are my big favorites in that category. How these artists labored, and what wonders they created, all by hand. -J.J. Tampa, FL

William said...

SUPERHEROES!

Comics and superheroes are synonymous. The Superhero was created specifically for the medium, and comicbooks thrived because of them.

Comic-BOOKS were basically reprint magazines until Superman came along and changed everything. With his incredible powers, and colorful eye-catching costume, he was an instant icon. (And the world would never be the same).

When it comes to comicbooks and superheroes, it's safe to argue that one would most likely not exist without the other. Despite the variety of storytelling in comics today, they are still mostly associated with the colorful crime-fighters we all know and love.

And no other medium (not movies or TV) can quite capture the magic and wonder of that world better than sequential art storytelling.

Anonymous said...

Youth.

M.P.

Graham said...

Escape. Growing up, I was a short, slow, fat, dumpy kid with no self-esteem or confidence at all. People made fun of me in school and I didn't feel that I measured up. Comic books were an escape for me, pure and simple. In the DC world of Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, and the JLA that I explored, problems were tough, but the hero prevailed in the end. At the time, I needed that in a big way.

Martinex1 said...

I agree. I think comics created a lot of "escape" for a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

Yeah it's something about the combination of a great story, compelling characters and awesome artwork that just makes comics a truly unique form of literature. Yes, I consider comics a legitimate form of literature! For me personally it's the same thrill I get from reading a great novel or watching an awesome movie - the sense of adventure experienced by persons who have superhuman abilties (or not). Whether it's Thor facing the Absorbing Man or Hulk battling the Abomination, reading comics is always a thrill to me.


- Mike 'literary critic' from Trinidad & Tobago.


Chim Brouer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chim Brouer said...

Opera. Comics are very similar to opera, where each generation of artists adds its own interpretation of classical pieces, ever expanding the narrative.

Chim Brouer said...

The Covers. As a child my imagination ran wild looking at a Jack Kirby cover. Comic covers are an art form in itself.

Chim Brouer said...

Roughness. Because of monthly time limits, comics artist have to work fast and if they are good this fast work transports a lot of energy. Usually in each art form, the sketches transport the most energy, even if you look at Picasso.

dbutler16 said...

To me, it's all about escapist fantasy. Comics give me a chance to get away form the real world and live vicariously through these characters. There are other great things about comics I could mention, as many other have here, but I'll go with that.

Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph said...

Lots of possibilities, but the art HAS to be good.

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