Is a comic only a bunch of illustration thrown together into a book-like form?
Ian Hague in his “Beyond the visual: The roles of the senses in contemporary comics” compared reading a comic to more physical, not only two- but three-dimensional, experience. He focused on 3 senses: touch, smell and hearing.
How different is reading a printed comic to one that we can find online? Every detail is massively important. Something printed on very cheap “metro”-like paper, would get much less care while handled, than a printed on nice, but bit more expensive, glossy paper. Use of different colours will communicate different information. All of these and many more aspects have got an impact on the reader and its thoughts.
How has comic changed over the years?
In early 20 century comics were made a mass medium. Printed in the newspapers as a short story. Weren’t too precious, rather something to be read once and then recycled or put in a bin. Enormous companies were employing illustrators and artists to draw their all shift in an office, or rather a small cubicle box and wouldn’t even mention their names in the print. Sadly, many great artworks are made by an anons.
To speed the process up making comics got into many smaller jobs. There were people who would sketch the story, someone else would contour that with ink, another person would add the text etc.
Nowadays comic definitely has establish its place on a higher shelf. There are many religious comic’s fans, that would queue up for hours, just to get a new number of their favourite one.
On our theoretical studies we have paid special attention to two iconic comics: Maus and Palestine. Both of them touch very problematic and controversial topic.
Palestine is a story of a reporter, who went there there to document what is day to day life on these grounds. He’s work was printed in nine issues over three years (1993 – 1995), later re-printed into two volumes of a comic books. Sadly, in my opinion, artist’s message was profaned. The original covers were replaced with two much easier to look at.
Where primary 9 covers were a short story itself. Just by looking at them we could say that this comic is a difficult report on delicate topic. They bring us closer to a person rather to a place, while the reprint in comic books works in completely opposite way.
Hoverer the Maus is a little palm-size comic that was attached to back cover of RAW magazine. The comic is drawn in black and white, but its cover is bright red with a Nazi mouse and swastika symbol. This definitely leaves unforgettable mark on readers mind and communicates straightforward what the story is about.
For an exercise we were given an example of a catalogue entry for comic: