by Alan Porter
When I utter the word ‘comics’ most people immediately think of spandex-clad superheroes, talking animals or a gang of perennial teenagers who never seem to graduate high-school. There is a common misconception that comics are a genre with a limited range. They aren’t. In fact they aren’t a genre at all.
Comics are a medium. Just like film, theater, prose, poetry or any other process of telling stories comics can be used to convey all sort so information about a wide variety of subjects to multiple audiences. Comics can make you laugh, cry, gasp in wonder, or shake in terror, and they can also make great instruction manuals, training aids, white papers, or any other type of business or technical communication you can think of.
I define comics as a graphic medium in which images are utilized in order to convey a sequential narrative.
- Studies have shown that humans as a species are hard-wired to understand certain sequences of symbols and icons. We understand the basic language of comics on a fundamental level.
- Comics can transcend language and cultural boundaries. Outside of the Anglo/American cultural sphere comics are the most widely read medium.
- Even the CIA considers comics as the most powerful communications medium, as most of its propaganda leaflets drops over the years have been in the form of comics.