Updated on 16 October, 2021
Comic books are comic strips that follow a particular theme, the comic book industry includes comic strips, comic book issues, graphic novels, comic minutiae, and in some cases special single issues. Comic books have achieved considerable popularity among American children and adults for more than fifty years. Comic books provide entertainment and convey messages about life that otherwise would not be possible. Comic books are widely recognized as an American cultural art form.
Comic books were popular for many years but during the last few decades, their popularity has declined. One reason for this decline in comic book sales is the increased popularity of superheroes like Spiderman, Batman, and Superman. In addition, the public have been exposed to an increasing number of cartoons related to comic strips including cartoons for children's TV shows, movies, video games, and late night television programs. Animation has also contributed to a decline in comic book sales.
Comic book art is created using a variety of media. Comic artists have creatively utilized several forms of art in order to express their opinions on comics. Comic artists have traditionally drawn their comic strips with pencils and pens. New digital tools, however, make it possible to create exceptional quality art that will appeal to a wide variety of viewers. This includes both adults who enjoy comic strips and children who enjoy the action and adventure that these comic books provide.
One method of comic book art includes creating panels that are composed of two or more panels that are arranged in a parallel fashion across the top half of a flat picture frame. Illustrators will often use this type of panel arrangement to depict an action scene or to display two or more simultaneous characters. Other uses of panels that are placed in a parallel fashion include:
Panels that are placed in a "cracked" format within the frame of a picture display usually represent one character or significant situation within a story. Two or more panels, however, can be used to depict a smaller conflict or other point of interest. Comic art uses a variety of visual methods in order to create unique images that accurately represent the content of an issue. A unique style and flair that is applied to comic art allows artists to present a unique creative opportunity to comic book readers.
Another method of cartoon-style comic book art involves creating panels that are composed of a single colored image or colored sequence of alternating color panels. Artists who create this type of graphic representation may describe it as "dramatic storytelling" since it evokes the dynamic nature of live storytelling. In essence, it utilizes basic cartoon drawing techniques in order to present an artistic perspective on a story. Although these panels may appear to be simple, they actually help advance the plot of the comic strip by providing a visual means of telling the story.
A variation of the cartoon-style panel layout is called "stacked panels." The panels are generally no taller than the surrounding space between them and consist of two to four panels stacked in a manner that gives rise to a feeling of a single, long panel. These types of comic book art forms are often used to provide a sequential appearance to a scene. Most modern comic book art comes pre-constructed and ready to place, making it easier for artists to create these types of panels. In addition, the creation of these panels permits an artist to add visual elements through shading, depth, and movement, expanding the overall appearance of the strip.
As mentioned previously, superheroes have become an integral part of our popular culture. We recognize these characters and identify with their unique abilities and histories. When creating comic books, writers and artists take advantage of this popularity by including superheros into the script. Many modern-day comic books feature various superheroes such as Wonder Woman, The Hulk, Spider-Man, and The X-Men. These superheroes not only make for interesting reading, but also provide entertainment to readers who enjoy these popular culture staples.