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How Have We Changed Our Definition of the Comics Form Over Time?

Comic forms have developed ever since the creation of cave paintings 15,000 years. Although this is not what we would consider today as comics, cave paintings were the early rendition of modern comics. Cave paintings served as symbols while some were concerned with pictorial representations. The primitive form of comics started with pictures rather than words. As time went by, ancient writing became more abstract , causing a transformation of our definition of comics. Our definition of comics greatly changed when the modern alphabet and printing changed our form of communication.

As writing developed, pictures became less abstract while writing became more significant. By the 1800s western art and writing had shifted in the opposite direction, which meant that our rendition of comics did not exist until the twentieth century. Art experienced numerous transitions, such as expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. Not only did art go through transitions, language went through numerous. For example, over time language became more colloquial and simple. Some artists infringed the frontier over appearance and meaning, which became significant since paintings took on a more symbolic meaning. Ironically, the modern comic was born out of words and writing that changed directions and became united in a way that developed the comics we see today. Our definition of the comic form changed from separate words and pictures to a unification of words and pictorials.

Although the art form of comics is many centuries old, it has been identified as a new invention that has been criticized by the media. Even though words and pictures do not entirely describe the definition of comics, it has great influence on its growth. Usually one definition of comic form is associated with the art of storytelling. The comic form has been arranged into different categories: word specific, picture specific, duo-specific, additive, parallel, montage, and interdependent. Comics also share properties with other art forms that help us understand the definition of the modern comic form. according to McCloud, art has two instincts: survival and reproduction. Comics have affected everyone around the world. When picked up by young readers, comics are a whole new world that transition as readers get older and gain new perspectives. Our definition of the comic form has transformed since the existence of mankind. Since the early cave paintings, comic form has existed, but through the use of pictures and symbols. As art changed and society developed, the comic form slowly began to include words and pictures. It was not until the early twentieth century that the modern comic form became established creating the comics we know and love today.


J. Chambliss said…
Good job, keep in mind the historical context framing the development of comics as we move forward in class.

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