Comics - Forms


Comics have been presented within a wide number of publishing and typographical formats, from the very short panel cartoon to the more lengthy graphic novel. The cartoon, traditionally containing satirical or humorous content in the manner of those seen in The New Yorker or Private Eye, originate from the mid nineteenth century. This form of comics is still popular, though the last few years has seen a reduction in the number of editorial cartoonists employed in the US media. There is dispute as to whether the cartoon is a form of comics, a precursor, or a related form—but some argue that since the cartoon combines words with image and constructs a narrative, it is a form of comic.

The comic strip is simply a sequence of cartoons that unite to tell a story. Originally, the term comic strip applied to any sequence of cartoons, no matter the venue of publication or length of the sequence, but now, mainly in the United States, the term refers to the strips published in newspapers as Sunday or daily strips. These strips are now typically humorous or satirical strips, such as Hägar the Horrible and Doonesbury, but have often been action themed, educational or even biographical. In the United States the term "comics" is sometimes used to describe the page of a newspaper upon which comic strips are found, with the term "comic" quickly adopting through popular usage to refer to the form rather than the content. Said pages are also referred to as the "funny pages", and comics are hence sometimes called "the funnies". In the United Kingdom, the term comic strip still applies to longer stories that appear in comics, such as 2000 AD or The Beano.

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