The Many Languages of a Comic



Comic books can range in a variety of ways. They tell stories with pictures rather than words. Whether it be for educational purposes, enjoying a comic on your down time, or to relive someone else’s experience, you are really getting a good idea of what is actually going on rather than imagining whats going on in as if you’re reading a novel. Graphic novels can be extremely satisfying; seeing the picture is much easier on the brain then straining through a book that perhaps you wouldn’t ever want to read. All comics have a unique language, and style. No two comics are the same.  

I strongly agree with Spiegelman as he defines comics in a recent talk as “a medium using words and pictures for reproduction” (768). He thought to himself that if a single picture could creative a narrative, why not incorporate that into a novel, but instead of using text, replace them with pictures and tell a unique story only using images.

 “A Harlot’s Progress”, perhaps one of the first ‘picture stories’ known to man, was a “sequential pictorial narrative” (769). Hogarth used paintings in sequence to express his ideas across the page, instead of using text. Later on In the mid nineteenth century, an author by the name of Rodolphe Töpffer established the use of comics with word and text, calling his work a “picture story.”

 Comics are being used all around the globe, more and more each day. They have been popularized by famous cartoons such as batman and superman, and by newspapers all over the world. It just goes along with our more simplistic lifestyle. Why read a book when you can read a “picture story” and pick up the same ideas, if not more? Imagine reading through the entire series of superman comics in one long, boring book. You wouldn’t even know what superman looked like besides what the book revealed to you. In comics, you get a fuller, more idealistic point of view of what you’re reading about.

 Comics have changed the way we view the many languages of reading. Not only have comics made reading more fun, but they give you a better idea of what you’re reading about, rather than just using your imagination throughout the book. 

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