“Comics aren’t just words + pictures. There is something magical that happens when the two combine and make something greater than the sum of their parts. It’s unique to the medium, and it’s what’s kept me loyal for fifteen years and counting.”
– Brian Wood (DMZ, Northlanders, Ultimate Comics X-Men, Star Wars)
I think this quote is a good way to start off this topic as I believe it rings true. Comics are a unique medium and there is nothing like them, with the closest you are going to get is if you read storyboards for a film. What makes them so unique? It is because it is the way it is uses text and images to engage a reader in a sequential format.
The writer and artists are able to control how the reader views the comic and they are the director of the story. They direct how your eye will look at each element on the page, how fast you view a sequence and can even use colour to set the time period.
Narratively speaking, comics are also unique in that anything is possible. All you need is a pencil, paper and your imagination and away you go. Due to this it is a visual medium that can achieve anything, which is something film cannot without a large team of people and a large Hollywood budget. Comics can create fleshed out universes in which the reader can escape into, where the sky is the limit. Aliens, robots, superheroes, monsters, adventure, romance, you name it – they have it.
One of the reasons I enjoy comics is for the varied and amazing artwork that goes in them. When you find a fantastic artist that you know has put hours upon hours into their work it is a masterpiece. It tells a story with every page and deserves repeat viewing.
So I highly recommend that you sit down with a comic book, either in print or digital and give them a go to experience something new and different. Who knows you may even learn to love them.
Comic Book Glossary of Terms
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