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Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631207535.1997.x


A series of sequential images that convey a story. Some comics are published in magazine forms called comic books. The word “comic” is a misnomer because, although many are humorous, most comic books today relate exciting adventure stories and drama. Despite the efforts of many publishers and critics alike to change the genre's appellation to “sequential art” or “graphic novels,” the term “comic” appears to have stuck. Comics have been praised as one of the few uniquely American art forms. Although comic art dates back to ancient times, such as cave drawings, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Greek vases, the idea of putting words and pictures together did not gain popularity until the 1700s. In 1754 Benjamin Franklin urged the American colonies to unite in his cartoon, “Join, or Die,” depicting a segmented snake that represented the disjointed colonies. During the 1800s many American artists created political cartoons, using such artforms as prints, woodcuts, and lithographs. Harper's Weekly regularly featured the extremely influential work of Thomas Nast. In 1832 the French artist, Honoré Daumier (known as the father of modern cartooning) served six months in prison for drawing a caricature of King Louis Philippe entitled Gargantua . It would not be the last time the comic artform would suffer such undue response. In February 1896 the New York World newspaper tested its new yellow ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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