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Comics and manga commentary For this area of work we have looked at a number of different styles of comics. We looked at both western style comics (superman, batman etc) and Japanese manga. The practical coursework requirements were to make a western style comic book cover and create a manga double page spread. A comic book is made up of images with some text, usually in word balloons. Comic books are used all over the world, and not just by children or teenagers as most people think. The term ‘Comic Book’ started because the first comic books mainly used humour however comic books come in a number of different genres. The European and Japanese comic book markets show this because lots of different genres are read however in America the Super hero genre dominates the market. The first comic book appeared in the United States of America in 1934, this was a reprint of the earlier comic strips used in newspapers. Thomas Rowlandson was born on the 14th of July 1756, he was known for Dr Syntax a series of books he made which were very popular during his time. Rodolphe Topffer who was born Geneva gained his fame from the comedic stories he used to write in his spare time which was not initially intended for publication. However after seeing how popular they were with his students he continued to publish more stories. A Penny Dreadful was a type of British fiction publication in the nineteenth featuring stories that would appear in parts over a number of weeks each part costing a penny hence the name, penny dreadfuls. Penny dreadfuls were printed on cheap pulp paper and were aimed primarily at working class adolescents. Marvel produces American comic books, Marvel comics are well known all around the world, they have countless successful comic book characters such as Spider man, Iron man and Hulk. The comic book arm of the company started in 1938 under ‘Timely Publications’ then by the late 1950s it became generally known as ‘Atlas Comics’. It then became Marvel Comics in 1961, the same time the Fantastic Four and a few other super hero titles created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were released. Most of Marvels fictional characters are set in a single reality known as Marvel Universe, with locales set in real life cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Batman was created by artist Bob Kane and the writer Bill Finger, Batman features in DC comics and is once DC’s most popular super heroes, Batman first appeared in Detective comics in May 1939. In early 1938, the success of Superman in Action Comics prompted editors of the comic book division of National Publications (DC Comics) to ask for more heroes for its titles, So Bob Kane got the idea of a Bat-man, with Bill Fingers help Bob Kane came up with a story and a look for his new super hero, however even though Bill Finger had helped he was not credited at co creator until after his death. Batman is also known as The Dark Knight, The Cape Crusader or just simply The Bat. Even though Batman was very popular when it was first released by 1964 sales had taken a drastic fall, nearly causing DC to simply kill batman off althogether. However instead they chose Editor Julius Schwarz to give Batman a while new look. Later in 1966 the first ever Batman T.V series was made, the success from the T.V series increased the comic book sales. In the T.V series batman was shown as more ‘campy’ and eventually when people got tired of it the show was cancelled and comic book sales fell once again. In 1969 writer Dennis O’Neil wanted to distance himself as much as possible from the earlier T.V series, where batman was not shown as a dark scary character but rather a bit of a joke. Batman’s main target audience would probably be teenagers however people of all ages can read a copy of a batman comic book and still be entertained. The seduction of the innocent was published in 1954 and was written by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, the book managed to make parents more aware of what was in comic books; Fredric Wertham believed there were hidden messages in comic books which were corrupting young children. Following the publication of the seduction of the innocent, a US Congressional launched an inquiry into the comic book industry. He also believed violent comic books were to blame for teenage violence. In the end the Comics Code Authority was voluntarily established by publishers to self-censor their titles. For my front cover I chose to do a villain instead of a Super Hero this would allow me to use different colours to everyone else, for example most people would use colours such as red, blue, white but I was able to use green and black making my front cover stand out more. My front cover would definitely be modern age, as it is very dark. My villain is called Animal, I chose to put a forest green background as I thought this would go with character, I added a effect to make the forest look more like it was in a comic book rather then it being real trees. My villain has a mix of powers including super speed and strength and the ability to see in pure darkness, I thought these powers would suit my villain because of his name being Animal he needed similar strengths to some animals, for example cheetahs are very fast and so is my villain. I thought the idea of being able to see in the dark would be very useful as my villain basically stays in the forest. To create my villain I used a super hero creator, and then to make the whole cover I mainly used Photoshop, but I also used comic life for the text. Manga Manga is made up of comics and print cartoons, in Japan people of all ages read manga because there is so many different types, for example sports and games, action- adventure, romance and even business!. There really is a manga for everyone. Manga is hugely popular in Japan representing 406 billion yen market in 2007; manga is also increasing in popularity around the world to. There are two main manga styles moe and seinen, seinen manga is mainly aimed at 18-30 year old male audience, while moe is aimed more at younger children. Moe manga includes characters with big eyes and are usually eager and perky. Osama Tezuka is considered to be the father of manga, he was a Japanese manga artist, animator and producer he was also a medical doctor, although he never practised medicine. Tezuka is known for his imaginative stories and his Japanese adaptations of western literature. Osama Tezuka loved watching films that came from the west; his first artwork was basic and inspired by Disney. At times his work was gritty and violent however he stayed away from graphic novels. Osama Tezukas most popular manga anime would probably be Astro Boy. Astro Boy was so popular it was made in to a T.V series and was shown all over the world. Astro boy is sci-fi series set in the future where robots and humans co exist together. Double Page Spread My manga double page spread is Seinen, I chose to do this because my originally idea was about a gang war, so I knew that if it was going to have violence it would need to be seinen. The narrative is that there are two main gangs fighting for power in Tokyo, and one day the leader of one gang decides he wants to take over so decides to attack the other gang but one by one his gang end up dying instead, till only he is left and is forced out of the city. For my double page spread the two main programs I used were Photoshop and comic life, I used Photoshop to edit my images and then comic life to set it up in a comic format. In conclusion I think I have learnt a lot about something that I wouldn’t of known anything about if he we didn’t learn it. I think my Photoshop skills have improved in some ways, comparing my front cover with other professional ones, I don’t think mine looks that bad and that maybe if I added some thing and made it look slightly different people wouldn’t be able to tell I made it. I learnt nearly everything there is to know about manga, when it started, the different genres and who was responsible for starting it. From now on if I watch spider man or superman I wont just be watching the movie, but also thinking about where it originated from.
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