- Making Comics: The ever-evolving Marvel Style of Storytelling
- 10 Lessons From Comic-book Illustration Legends
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- The Dark Age (1980-1993)
- 13 Visual Storytelling Tips For Comics
- The amazing stylistic history of comic books
- Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
- Comic book style of storytelling tips
- Writing Advice from Neil Gaiman - Discover MasterClass - MasterClass
- Making Comics
- Comics: The Art of Storytelling
Comic books began as a dime-store novelty, and since then, they have gone through countless transformations, artistic explorations, public excises, declines and revivals.
The history of comic book styles is one as dynamic as the stories they contain, shaped not only by the hands of countless writers and artists but by millions of readers across nearly a century.
Making Comics: The ever-evolving Marvel Style of Storytelling
The Golden Age was truly an idyllic time. There was a clear stylistic distinction between good and evil, and superheroes were nothing more than happy-go-lucky do-gooders that battled and always defeated villains motivated by money or world domination. Dropping literally out of the sky to kick off the Golden Age, Superman represents the comic book origin story.
But Superman was the first super-powered musclehead to don a cape and skin-tight spandex to fight crime. Superman set the tone for every superhero to come after, even becoming the first to earn his own exclusive comic book dedicated to his adventures in a time when characters were typically restricted to one-shot stories in variety publications. These factors led to a decline in superhero stories and a rise in comic titles that would appeal to more adult sensibilities—the Silver Age of Comic Books.
Publishers explored racier genres, and by far the most successful was horror. These gruesome tales single-handedly rescued the industry from its fate as a half-remembered fad, and their influence stretched beyond comics to likes of acclaimed film director John Carpenter.
10 Lessons From Comic-book Illustration Legends
The visual styles mimed these darker themes, mixing in surrealistic and sometimes disturbing imagery. The result was a growing pains era of artistic experimentation, fast and loose writing and political suppression all rolled into one. Having exhausted just about every dastardly scheme a supervillain could hatch, comics gave its heroes even tougher enemies to confront. Spider-man is helpless, and his alter ego, Peter Parker, has no choice but to take the stage, relying solely on his gifts of persuasion and empathy to save the day.
The CCA opposed the inclusion of drug topics, whatever the message, but Marvel published the issue anyway with reader support. This caused the public to lose respect for the CCA and led to the end of censorship, paving the way for darker stories more on that later. Around this time, writer Chris Claremont revived a cancelled Silver Age series about a ragtag group of mutants called the X-men heard of it? While the Golden Age portrayed social topics like World War in typical Golden Age fashion—unfailing virtue and easy justice—Bronze Age comics dealt with the gritty realities of urban life in ways that had no real answer.
Maybe Captain America could smack Hitler in the face, but how does a superhero attack the intangible foes of bigotry and addiction? As the stories became more focused around gritty, realistic stories, the style of the imagery morphed to match.
Unlike the actual Dark Ages, this era was where comic books achieved enlightenment. Writers crafted characters who were psychologically complex, often dangerously so. Independent publisher Image Comics was born, and their flagship hero, Spawn, received unprecedented popularity, enough to spawn sorry!
The Dark Age (1980-1993)
Comic books were finally regarded as a legitimate art form, as malleable and open to creative expression as any medium. Advanced technology in film, television and video games has created an unstoppable juggernaut of adaptations, leading to an upsurge in comic book readers from all walks of life. No longer restricted to publishing giants Marvel and D.
Comic books can be as pulpy or as serious or as just plain weird as you want them to be. Like the invincible Superman of the optimistic Golden Age, now is a time when anything is possible.
13 Visual Storytelling Tips For Comics
Comic books have had a long and vibrant history—far too long to represent in one modest article. The references here represent but a handful of pivotal moments as well as some of my personal favorites.
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The amazing stylistic history of comic books
Art styles of the Golden Age of comics Though printed in booklet form, comics did not deviate far from their newspaper ancestors, telling a straightforward story through basic sequential images. Cartooning was simple as publishers were not yet at the level of investing in or attracting serious artists.
Panels were laid out in basic square grids, often full of more dialogue than imagery. Wonder Woman, the first female superhero, gained Amazonian strength from her lasso of truth but lost it whenever she was tied up by a man.
This led to her being tied up. A lot. Originating during this era was one of the most memorable vigilantes along with one of the most often memed panels. Covers like these that paired zombies with suggestive imagery were submitted to the Senate as being somehow inappropriate. Though realism was in, it was the 70s, and things got weird.
A hero does heroin, and the drug is featured boldly right on the cover. Pencilers dropped their cartoony style and brought realism to comics.
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
Sin City, the epitome of a dark comic, reinvented the crime noir tale with a style of detailed characters, minimal color and a world of ambiguous black and white shapes. Spawn is often depicted as entombed in his own costume—chains on his arms and his cape wrapping his body.
The influence of horror can be seen in Venom, with his unhinging jaw of razor teeth and body of black goo. In Spawn, comics literally went to hell, not surprising with character names like The Violator.
This pivotal comic traces their path through heartbreak and alienation with enough horror imagery to make David Cronenberg flinch.
Comic book style of storytelling tips
This comic invited readers to consider how a society that favors men might crumble, if they all just up and died.
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Writing Advice from Neil Gaiman - Discover MasterClass - MasterClass
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Comics: The Art of Storytelling
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