Comic Books – Exploring Your Imagination

gaA comic book, or comics for short, is a magazine or book containing sequential art in the form of a narrative. Since the formulation of the comic book format in the 1930s, young and old alike have enjoyed comics. However, the comic industry lost some of its popularity when it came down with a crash in the mid 1990s.

To promote its popularity once again the comic book industry is producing films based on the comic book stories. This method proved successful for few stories like Sin City, X-men and Spiderman but it failed miserably for other titles that flopped at the box office. So far this approach seems unable to rejuvenate the comic book industry.

Research shows that the main cause of downfall of the comic industry is the removal of comic books from shops and stores. But this cannot be the sole cause since comic books are now easily available on the internet, in movies and animations.

Another question that comes to mind is why Japanese animation or “manga” is doing better then traditional comic books? The answer is simple. The Japanese write a better story line and their animated movies are made for a wider audience. Often, Japanese comic books are framed as graphic novels containing 70 to 220 pages for a mature audience. The manga holds a more important place in Japanese culture, and is both well respected as an art form and also as a form of popular literature. On the other hand, comic books in Western countries are generally geared towards young teenagers rather than adults. This approach has made it tough for the Western comic industry to attain its dominant position.

Common misconceptions regarding comic books turning readers into out-of-touch delinquents have also hurt sale. Many parents fear that comics will brainwash children into believing that supermans and batmans actually exist in the world. For this reason, many parents forbid their children from reading comic books as in their view they carry no ethical or moral values. These attitudes have contributed to the lack of interest in comics as well as its drop in publication.

The comic book price guide also sheds some light on why comics are no longer sold. The price guide reveals that the cost of comic books has soared up with the success of movies like Batman, Spiderman, and Superman etc. making it unaffordable to many. Plus when it comes to buying storybooks parents prefer to buy their children fables or novels that will help them build up their vocabulary and learn proper English.

But these parents fail to realize that without fantasy and imagination as found in comics, a child”s creativity cannot develop. Comic books help break the monotony in children”s lives and refresh these young minds to face the challenges of daily life.

Creating a comic book

giComics are a great way to keep a topic reader friendly and often support kids to learn many things.

Whether it is about home assignment, health or disease awareness, comic books help them get going through many subjects of life. Kids get lots of fun while getting their work done easily and sometimes they feel a passion to create comic books.

An interesting fact about comics is they need just a topic to create a comic book. In America, there are nearly 900 schools which have taken the step to teach their students through comic books and give them training to create comics. Ask your kid, is he interested to draw a comic? If yes then it is very simple to create one through real imagination.

Does your kid usually draw pencil on wall or on paper? It means he got learnt to create a comic book, offer him comic books by buy from cartoon comics shop, online medical comic shop or from any other comic store on internet. As he gets himself familiarized with comics, heed towards followings:

  • Make sure that your kid can articulate an event or topic well. Does he interrupt while sketching a topic? Don”t worry, make segments of words and then store those in mind.

 

  • Let him draw the main points on a paper by organizing the topic in form of illustration. If your kid can do this practice make sure he does it regularly. Practice will polish his abilities of drawing.

 

  • Gather the ideas about comic characters and their role at each stage of segment. Filter the segments and skip additional segments that lengthen the topic. As you direct the topic, you will be able to shape in final orders of segments.

 

  • Use colors through crayons and markers to sketch segment and add spots to show the expression of character such anger, sorrow, pleasure and so on. Give a proper space for words and offer pencil to kids for wording the topic rather any other stationary.

 

  • Order all completed parts of topic and stick them on cover stock using glue. Give a title of comic on cover followed by number of authors, contributors and their names. Make a binding of your comic using binding tools such as stapler, fastening thread and punch. Assign a date and time to share a final copy with other kids to promote the comic passion.

 

  • Make sure that you keep a funny tone and mood all along the process and avoid criticism because it will not only affect badly on your kids personality but also on his education and growth.

You have to first enable your kid, develop a habit to read comic books. There are many categories of comics which you can offer like you can buy medical comic books, health related comics, educational comic books, informational comic books and so on.

You have to understand that the process may take long depending on the age of your kid and concept of topic. You have to first create interest in your kid for comic books before you initiate for creating one. If your kid gets bored or shows less interest than take him away and schedule another time.

Comics, where it all began

ASM098CVR_400We are all grown ups now, too old for comics… really? Are we actually too old for comic books now? I mean while standing on a newspaper stand, gazing through the latest edition of those flashy magazines, have you never had that temptation to just pick from one of the Top Comic Books available and perhaps read through a few pages?

No… never… um… actually just once… or… its OK, wanting to read a comic book is not a problem. After all why must you restrain yourself from the urge of enjoying, just for the sake of maintaining that intellectual image? All of us tend to look at the cartoon strips which find their space in perhaps the weekend magazine sections of all newspapers. Why the barrier? Anybody of any age can actually just pick up one of these funny collections and laugh it off. The jokes now sound silly of course but in the kind of environment we live or one can say we struggle to survive, something easy and perhaps silly like childish jokes can certainly relieve a considerable pain load.

Well while reading comics books is a child’s fun time, creating a comic is certainly a serious task. It takes a lot to create even one chapter of a book. The characters are conceived, cartoonists and illustrators work, scripts are prepared, all components arranged together and thus with days of effort we get those tempting books ready. But do you know how and where did it all started? I mean who actually came up with the idea? How these comic characters got their identity?

For the intrigued, here is the info.

To begin with, there is no definite answer to these questions. Perhaps the art of story telling, which has existed since ever inspired illustrators to convert the narratives in a print form. Or maybe a grandfather, trying to entertain his grandchildren created something on papers and called it a comic book. Though there are no dates corresponding to establishment of comics, but somewhere towards the end of 19th century and early 20th century, the art gathered recognition. It was through newspapers and magazines that the famous comic characters explored their world. In fact the available early works are not essentially to entertain, but are more directed towards the purposes of religious awareness. Other subjects of social and political nature too found comic books a proliferation medium.

Since those times however, comic books have failed to maintain the critical attention, they were supposed to gather. Over the years the journey saw a clear transformation to the current responsibility of entertaining. Comics now are created with humorous slant, committed to indulge children and adults.

While it’s all cool with comic books, the only serious concern in this domain is the possible destructive impact on children. Especially in geographies like US there have been protests to ban the daily comic supplement in the newspaper. However, like all sections of art, while there are few exceptions, the Comic Booksotherwise enjoy public popularity.

Tips for A Great Comic Book Collection

caIn a world where there isn”t exactly enough time for all the things people have to do, almost everybody still finds themselves hooked to a certain hobby. Collecting baseball cards or stamps, buttons even, knitting, wood crafting, landscaping, what have you. And in this long list, comic book collection seems to place itself amongst the top.

The popularity of comic books gained momentum during the 1960”s. However, comic book enthusiasts would remember the story of the Yellow Kid in Hogans Alley published in two leading newspapers in 1895, now considered as the first ever comic strip in history. From then on, comic characters have risen from the creative minds of writers and illustrators such as Stan Lee and the others.

The idea of comic book collection came out naturally as fanatics developed. While people started out collecting comic books for fun, others collected for profitable interests. This occurred after newspapers featured certain comic books that prove to be of economic value.

However, many a consumer would often than not be misguided on what comic book to collect and how to appropriately collect.

Whether you collect for the hang of it or for profit, here are some pointers that are sure to perk up your collection.

1. Pick a comic book title that interests you and start your collection from there.

Picking the comic book to collect is crucial. Good comic book titles are continually associated to popularity. For novices, titles from DC Comics and Marvel Comics -the two largest comic book publishers- are good to start with.

A collector may also view magazine lists such as the Wizard Magazine for the 100 best-selling comic books.

2. Do not stick to one comic book title. Related titles also become hot pursuits for collectors.

To cite, Spiderman related titles will also do well in the market especially if they were featured as lead characters in the original Spiderman issues.

3. Look for titles that are not popularly known to the public but are considered valuable to collectors.

Famous illustrators have more than one featured work. Their other comic works will also offer good profit for their names, although they may not be famous for many readers.

4. Remember to buy different covers of one comic book issue.

Some publishers release more than one cover for a comic book issue to increase market sales.
5. First issues and first appearances are sure to increase in value over time.

Certain comic book titles such as the Amazing Spiderman offer first appearances of other characters such as the Punisher. The worth of these titles is significantly higher than that of others.

6. Look for comic books worth purchasing in different places and events.

Certain conventions have been held around the globe for comic book collectors. These events offer good deals for certain comic book titles. The most famous of which is the San Diego Comic Convention held in the United States.

Online purchasing may seem less expensive. Collectors on the other hand would have to deal with additional charges such as shipping.

7. Trading is also a good means of expanding your collection, especially when you have more than one copy of a certain issue.

When trading, always check the value of the comic book you are pursuing. The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is a good source for old comic book titles.

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8. Preserve your comic books very well. The condition of the comic book will also dictate its value.

Comic book conditions will range from Very Poor to New/Mint. Be sure to assess the condition of the comic books very keenly.

Collectors may purchase mylar sleeves or display books to individually preserve their comic books. Comic book boxes are also available in the market for stacking your comic books all-together.

The comic book industry, however, experienced its decline during the 1990s. Collectors since then have become more careful. Reprints of coveted titles such as the original issues of Superman and Captain America have been released in the market, still bearing labels as first editions.

Despite the difficulties in comic book collection, the fun and thrill collectors get from doing it still attracts a considerable number of people. Most still do it not for the money anymore. Most do it to meet people and to have a break from a day of work, just as how a hobby should be. Well, just imagine kids running across their dad”s old comic book collection. Now, is that not just plain nice?

Anti-Communist Comic Books Are A Collector’s Find

bithWhen discussing comic books on this website I’ve mainly mentioned superheroes but that’s not the only type of rare comic book that does well at auction. Heritage Auctions’ upcoming Vintage Comics and Comic Art auctions feature another shadowy section of the comic book world. The sales include a large selection of esoteric comic books from the collection of Pennsylvania collector Todd Warren. Mr. Warren’s collection delves into an intriguing subset of the comic book world, anti-communist comic books.

Blood Is The Harvest, shown at right, is from 1950, and shows a Red Army firing squad on the cover aiming their guns at blindfolded peasants. This comic is a rare book. According to Steve Borock, Consignment Director at Heritage supposedly only 13 copies exist.

The auction also includes If The Devil Would Talk, another rare one with only 80 existing copies and The Red Iceberg, with a cover that shows a giant red iceberg (representing communism’s spread) with an Uncle Sam figure in a rowboat. Other comics from Mr. Warren’s collection include similar themes with titles such as How Stalin Hopes We Will Destroy America, Is This Tomorrow, Double Talk, and Two Faces of Communism. “These are a real time capsule of the Cold War days, from the time period when comics were considered one of the more effective ways to reach a mass audience,” Borock said. A same grade copy of Blood Is The Harvest last sold at Heritage for over $3,000 back in 2003. This one should do at least as well.

by Deidre Woollard

Marvels – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

SHIELDHere we have the new full trailer for the new Agents Of Shield TV show.

The show is based around the missions of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.

Creators: Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Joss Whedon

Stars: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton

“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” premieres Tuesdays this fall on ABC.

Injustice Gods Among Us – Batman vs Superman

bvs

OK, its only a game but watching the video does raise some old ‘Who would win in a fight?’ questions.

 

What do you think?

Brief Beginners Tips

cb8For budding comic book collectors out there, you will be very surprised at how wonderful the world of comic book collecting is. Of course, comic book collectors have their own personal reasons at why they want to collect such.

But you have to know why you are collecting them in the first place. Be aware that the popularity of a comic book can be short-lived. However, whether you are for the art or story lines, it is the prospect of selling them in the future that really counts for a comic book collector.

Tips on purchasing your comics

Buy comic books at a comics bookstore because they are most often handled with care in these places. They are well-protected with its package and are not exposed to most people.

Most often there are discounts offered. This is advantageous for those who buy several comic books every month.

For those who live far away from the comic book stores, make a list of the comics you want. This way, you get to prepare yourself at what titles and issues you want to avail of next.

Things to remember

If you are the type who wishes to sell comic books in the future, remember that fingerprint marks on the dark colours on the cover page may affect its value.

Unless it is part of the artwork, avoid buying comic books whose spine has whitened through wear and use.

Most importantly, avoid those that have folds, tears and curls or other characteristics that can be considered as damage.

Remember to take your time in buying comic books. As much as possible, choose the ones that have few damages in it. Put them in a bag that has protective cardboard backing. So when the time comes when you sell it, you can be proud of how well you took care of it. Also, the profit is well-deserved.

What is a Graphic Novel?

watchmen-coverOne of the most common mistakes made in our medium is the confusion of Comic Books with Graphic Novels.  This is sort of like referring to a Magazine as a Newspaper; while they may contain similar information, they are entirely different formats.

 

A graphic novel is a type of comic book, usually with a much more lengthy and complex storyline similar to those of novels, having many more pages and content than a comic book and often aimed at mature audiences (but not always). The term also encompasses comic short story anthologies, and in some cases bound collections of previously published comic-book series or chapters of manga. Graphic novels are typically bound in longer and more durable formats than familiar comic magazines, using the same materials and methods as printed books, and are generally sold in bookstores and specialty comic book shops rather than at news stands.

 

The evolving term “graphic novel” is not strictly defined, and is sometimes used, controversially, to imply subjective distinctions in artistic quality between graphic novels and other kinds of comics. It suggests a story that has a beginning, middle and end, as opposed to an on-going series with continuing characters; one that is outside the genres commonly associated with comic books, and that deals with more mature themes. It is sometimes applied to works that fit this description even though they are serialized in traditional comic book format. The term is commonly used to disassociate works from the juvenile or humorous connotations of the terms “comics” and “comic book”, implying that the work is more serious, mature, or literary than traditional comics. Following this reasoning, the French term “Bande Dessinée” is occasionally applied, by art historians and others schooled in fine arts, to dissociate comic books in the fine-art tradition from those of popular entertainment, even though in the French language the term has no such connotation and applies equally to all kinds of comic strips and books.

 

Its increasingly popular for typical ‘comic book’ characters to appear in graphic novels. There are also graphic novels for kids, as well as popular more adult series like Watchmen and The Walking Dead.

Comic Jargon

cb10The comic book world has its own slang and jargon just like any other hobby. Here are some must know terms you should know when getting into comic books.

Grade – The condition that a comic book is in.

 

Graphic Novel – A thicker glue bound comic book that is often a collection of other comic books or a stand alone story.

 

Mylar Bag – A protective plastic bag designed to protect a comic book.

 

Comic Book Board – A thin piece of cardboard that is slipped behind a comic book in a mylar bag to keep the comic book from bending.

 

Comic Box – A cardboard box designed to hold comic books.

 

Subscription – Publishers and comic book stores often offer monthly subscriptions to different comic books. Like a magazine subscription.

 

Price Guide – A resource used to determine the value of a comic book.

 

Indy – A term used for, “independent,” often referring to comic books not published by the mainstream press.

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