Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Updated Terms - Sorry about lateness

Hi all,

Sorry this list wasn't up last night, I had internet connectivity problems :(. You'll notice at the end that Stephanie has already done her definitions for several terms, I thought that it might be a good guide if you're stuck for ideas/how to execute.



Alter ego

Cover art

Super villain

Trade paperback

Splash pages

Sequential art

Underground comics


collector culture
good girl art
comic book death

Crossover (intertextuality in Comics)


vertical theory
gender barriers
gender boundaries
golden age



Sound effect

Splash Balloon





The Fourth Wall



McGuffin - rather like a red herring, an item that doesn't have the significance one would originally assume.
epic - in relation to comics, rather than, say, Homer. Also defined in the OED as "characterized by realism and an absence of theatrical devices," but often used in contemporary speech to merely mean a long and dramatic
serial/serialize/serialization - whether single issues in a comic digest,
a collection of trade paperbacks, or even hardcover collector's editions,
there's more than likely one in a series of a story.
alter-ego - a big attraction in American superhero comics, how does this
duality shape other genres or nations of origin?
in medias res - overused plot device that many comic artists seem to
censorship - whether for propaganda or to remove excessive violence,
gore, and nudity, both comics and manga with more mature themes deal with
censorship, although perhaps at differing quantities during different
onomatopoeia/sound effects - seen through many kinds of comics, and can
often lend a different visual ambiance to the scene (such as mentioned in
seminar about Batman: Dark Knight Returns)

Cameos (
Past Character/Pop Culture)
comix (independent, non-mainstream comics: i got this term from the internet) 
Series (continuity of plot, characters)
Entertainment/Hollywood (connections between comics and the entertainment industry) 
Mint Condition
Anti- Hero

Superhero problematic

moral ambiguity
"Camp"/ "camp value

Cross Culture
Negative Space
Simple vs Complex drawings and words

Action Drawing


Magical Realism


expletives X symbols
verbalization of sounds
register – difference in characters' speech according to cultural context &
class etc.

the use of foreign languages – whether it's translated or only used for
extra local colour
lettering – typeface, contrast of regular/bold/italicized letters
capitals X lower case letters

non-sequitur stories
child hero
comic biography
comic journalism



Lauren, Crystal, Anne

From Lauren:

What I think would work is every student chooses what they think are the most interesting of the terms they've defined, maybe 2 or 3 of them, then they e-mail them to us with suggestions for how they can see them illustrated.


Comic Book Terms


Screen Tones

Frequently seen in manga, screen tones are used for shading or to show anything requiring a pattern of the same kind of brush strokes.  They can be applied by hand or created in digital imaging programs and added to the comic.  There is no limit to things that can have screen tones applied to them, ranging from skin (shading) to clothing (like plaid).  Screen tones can help a comic look more lively or dramatic.



Also frequently seen in manga are 'chibi' (ie: super-deformed/mini) characters.  They stand about two (normal human) heads tall, with their head being a normal size and their body being shrunk significantly.  Many normal characters will turn into their chibi counterparts for a cute or comical factor, with their facial features being highly exaggerated.



An identifying feature for comics, they are usually done in a stylistic manner that is easy to recognize.  It applies to both distributors of the comic (ex: DC Comics) and to the characters/comic titles themselves (ex: Batman insignia).


Cover Art

The cover art for comics can be seen as a kind of extra attached to the part of the comic for aesthetic appeal.  Cover art forms a part of the comic book package,  and for some editions of comics, special 'collectors' editions are released, with a limited number of comics with that cover being released.


Used primarily in graphic design, typography is the arrangement of type to make the letters neat and appealing to the eye.  Emotion and messages can be accentuated, with larger font and the right typeface. Good typography seeks to make a piece seem united and complete, and in comics, successful use of it can make the type seem like an illustration in itself. 



Thought and speech bubbles one of the base features in comics, allowing the reader insight to the character's personality and providing visual for communication in comics (helping readers "hear" what a character is saying).  Sometimes, text is not even placed inside a balloon, leading to extra emphasis or side thoughts/dialogue.  If a bubble has no text in it, this can refer to a character taking a breath of air (the bubble with have a "popped bubble" icon inside) or of silence.



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