Comic Crusaders Creating Change with Cartoons
Superheroes and their fantastic exploits have exploded once again upon popular culture, and fandoms worldwide are rejoicing. This isn’t just a sign of the times, however, because the history of comic books is as colorful as the characters and storylines that fill their pages.
Sparking Changes with Clever Doodles
Since the beginning of time, humans have conveyed their thoughts through drawings. If an artist can succinctly capture a concept in a single drawing or painting, they have the power to influence society in strong, yet subtle ways.
Comic strips and comic books have been used to satire, entertain, educate and provide social commentary in daily news publications in Europe for a few hundred years now, according to the general consensus of comic historians. In the USA, they have been an integral part of American culture even before the nation itself was born.
Cartoons with Attitude
Most comic historians will agree that the origins of modern comics are firmly rooted in satirical cartoons from the 17-1800’s. As printing processes evolved, inserting art into printed works became commonplace. Early printers and publishers employed engravers to etch images into press plates that cheaply reproduced images, expanding the news and printing industry into new territories.
Satirical cartoons lampooned political and social happenings in newspapers, pamphlets and tracts. Artists portrayed celebrities and the common man alike, and the general public has developed a love for comics that is separate and distinct from that of other artistic mediums.
Comic (Book) Relief in a Topsy-Turvy World
From single pane caricatures of social issues in the past to the cinematic representation of comic heroes and villains today, comic creators have brought to life our wildest imaginings. We turn to these familiar characters and themes in times of esoteric introspection, public unrest, and when we just want to step out of reality for a moment.
Gathering the Geeks
Fans of comics have ridden the waves of social acceptance and ridicule for over a hundred years in the U.S. As diverse as the genres of comics themselves, comic book fans are a surprisingly tight-knit community that encourages empowerment and respect for others.
Attend any Comic-Con gathering, and you’ll quickly see how inclusive and diverse these fans are. Since the 1980s, comic conventions have grown in popularity and have become a mainstay in the comic world. As media and genres continue to cross over with the buying and selling of comic franchises shifts ownerships, fans have adapted and often embraced the changes.
Comics Help Us See the Heroes Within Ourselves
The countless psychological studies that have been done concerning comics and humanity since the 1930s seem to indicate one basic reason for our love of comics. Simply put, these colorful picture books help us see the world around us with a more empathetic eye. When we indulge in comic books and movies, we are looking to find the same heroic characteristics in ourselves. Comics remind us to strive to be the best versions of ourselves.