Monday, July 16, 2012
Monday, May 17, 2010
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
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.
The Flash first appeared in the Flash Comics #1, from All-American Publications (one of the original companies that eventually became DC).
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.
Friday, April 30, 2010
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.
A few more things.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
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
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 samurai jack episodes: http://www.tvduck.com/Samurai-Jack.html
Friday, April 23, 2010
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.