Monday, July 16, 2012

A video of 37 seconds which details my silly dream:
Please go like this video on YouTube, so I have the chance of winning an iPad. Thanks. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

British Comics

Historically called comic papers, British comics are the (optimistically named) 'funny pages' in the news paper.
They can also be sold in traditional American comic form, like with the Dandy or the Beano.

I've asked around the internet, and the general consensus seems to be that if you began reading British comics, you'll find them more entertaining than American ones.

^^^This site talks about one man's obsession with British comics and he says:
"Although I came across the American superhero comic-books, I'm afraid they just didn't do anything for me. Maybe it was because I started reading British comics first, and used the likes of Battle Picture Weekly and Action as a benchmark. Who knows, had I started reading DC and Marvel comics first, I might have thought that British comics were a bit bland."

Funnily enough, I began reading the Beano years before i knew what an American comic book was, although i seem to be a singularity.

British comics tend to be very dry and less focused on artwork. It was only until the 1990s that they were published in full colour.
They are usually aimed at children, and are rarely aimed at teenagers (and if they are, they're not funny).

The first British comic was Funny Folks (first published in 1874), according to most sources, but in the early 1800s there were 'penny bloods' and the 'penny dreadfuls' which were small pamphlets with a picture or two and a story in them. They were usually published weekly and provided poor people with a sort of book. (The printing press had just been invented, so books were still expensive, about 6 shillings each.)
The first penny blood was published in 1832 and was called the penny story-teller. There were 564 issues.
(example of a penny blood)>>>>

In the 1890s there seemed to be an explosion of British comics as they became more detailed, more popular and more widespread. The printing press helped greatly with this.

Nowadays, British comics tend to be less gorey, althoigh they're still aimed at the middle to lower classes.

to see some British comics online see:


Friday, May 14, 2010

The Flash (and the JLA)

My favorite character.
There have been four Flashes to date; Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West and Bart Allen.
In case you don't know (or couldn't work out from the name) the Flash has the power of super speed. All (except for Bart) got their power after some sort of chemical spill or inhalation.
Although it's been proven numerous times that he can't actually travel at the speed of light*, he still has his undoubted merits.

The Flash first appeared in the Flash Comics #1, from All-American Publications (one of the original companies that eventually became DC).
He's about as American as it gets, from the dashing good looks to the caffeine drenched journalist girlfriend.
He's chivalrous, successful, powerful and athletic (well, obviously), the epitome of the American Dream.

He plays an important role in the Justice League of America, defending Aquaman (see Geoff Johns, The Flash: Wonderland for an insight into this), and therefore plays an important role in the American comic-book culture.

The JLA was "founded"in 1962, slap in the middle of the cold war (okay, well the actual middle was 1969, but it's close enough). This was largely political, dealing with fears and paranoia extremely relevant to the day. These fears are 'fought' by the all American (and Kryptonian, Amazonian, Atlantic among others, but all were extremely American in spirit and were thinly masked to be The American Dream).

The villains are also thinly masked, with Despero, The Key, Shaggy Man, T.O. Morrow, closely resembling 'American Villains' of 1962, but most notable are Imperiex-Prime and Darkseid.

The JLA later slides into the Justice League of the Universe, which is much more politically correct, I suppose.

Anyway, the Flash is a very important character, a point which can't be stressed enough.
For proof, see this video:

This shows the Flash saving the world, complete with a call to the US president at the end.


This is just one of HUNDREDS of proofs

Friday, April 30, 2010


Typically Japanese, but used by us westerners to describe any comic in a certain style which developed in Japan in the late 18th century.
In Korea they call their comics manhwa and in China they're called manhua. Manga artists are called Mangaka.

In an extremely broad sense the common manga will contain either schoolgirls, robots, cutesy animals or monsters. Many westerners think that all mangas contain pornographic material, which is obviously untrue.
This can be insulting to many manga artists.

In 1945ish splits appeared in the styles of manga. This is to do with the US invasion of Japan. Some artists took
inspiration from the comic books the Americans brought over with them and cartoons introduced, such as Disney cartoons.
Other artists, notably Kinko Ito, stayed true to the Japanese cultures of comic writing and drawing.
However, many hybrid versions were also created. The modern mangas popular
in America, the UK and France would be a mixture of the two styles.

One of the most revered figures in manga and anime is
Osamu Tezuka. He's referred to as the 'Godfather of Anime' and the 'God of Manga'.
He created Astro Boy which has received numerous awards and is internationally renowned.

Mangas are nearly always in black and white and is published in binded volumes, unlike typical western comics, which tend to be colourful and sold in thin booklets. Despite their durability, they aren't that much more expensive, making collecting them much more practical than collecting comics.

There are several main types of manga, unlike American comics which are mostly aimed at the 9-15 age group.

The first group is Kodomo, which is for children. Shonen mangas are for boys aged 12-18, Shoujo is for girls aged 12-18.
Josei is for women over 20, mainly working women, while Seinen is for men aged 18-30.
Hentai is pornographic, and is most of the manga that reaches the internet and obscure comic book shops in the west.

A few more things.
Manga is read from right to left. Animated manga is called anime. There are many sub-cultures based around mangas and anime. One of the biggest American manga conventions is Wonder Con.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Samurai Jack

Samurai Jack started off as a animated television series on Toonami, created by cartoonist Genndy Tartakovsky.

DC later made a single comic about this series.

You may be wondering how this is relevant to the geography of comic books because there was only one issue, but it's very relevant.

Created by a Jewish Russian in America, the show is meant to depict a bizarre parallel futuristic Asia where our hero goes around slaying evil demons and the like.

It portrays the western ideology of the east and is one of the only such shows (and comic!) available in the west.
It is (astonishingly) more accurate in illustrating what oriental life is like than most mangas originating from the area in question.

The villain in called Aku, which means evil in Japanese.

His name and demeanor is similar to that of Akuma, the evil demon in Japanese mythology with burning eyes. This is another possible source for his name.
His origin is revealed in one episode (The Birth of Evil). Three gods, Norse Odin, Egyptian Ra and Hindu Rama are shown. In another episode Greek Zeus and Crono are shown. There are many other strong cultural references.

The show is based on Japanese epics and is similar to Japanese animes in that there are many episodes without dialogue with a huge emphasis put on artwork.
In the opening sequence, many scenes (including elephants with hookahs for trunks) depict Asian lifestyles and cultures.
The music is based on traditional oriental works and completes the feeling of the east.

For pictures:

For samurai jack episodes:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Comic books in general

Comic books, or comics, have been round for hundreds of years. in the early 1800s a Swiss newspaper published a small strip and in the 1860s it spread to America.
There were the Japanese mangas and the British humour strips around this time too.

Styles have changed and evolved, which can be distinct to the geographical area.
If you're looking for schoolgirls or giant robots with wings then Asia's your place( classic transformers), but if you're looking for superpowers and detailed technology then America's for you(marvel, DC).

Collecting comic books can be a difficult and expensive hobby, but it is a very popular one and with good reason.
Comic books can make people laugh, create a sense of awe and make people feel powerful all at once.
They are usually very political and up to date(unless you're collecting proto-comics).

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Hello, I'm Sarah.
This blog is going to be about the geography of comics.