Comics, the Art of Literature

Final version of Research paper (Comics, the art of literature) Shamim Ara Nipa (10203012) Do you know how many comic books are sold every month throughout the world? Between ten to twelve million comics magazines are sold every month. However, a million dollars are spent by comic’s fans. Comics are the most interesting and effective way of storytelling and it has started its journey since people painted narratives of animals and hunting on the walls of their cave. The purpose of this paper is to show how comics can worth literature and its reflection on education and our society.

For the paper’s flexibility I am taking the Avengers movie, different articles about comics and literature which will clearly show comics and its effect on literature. From the Avengers comics we can understand how comics can influence us. There arises much controversy that comics are a waste of time and it cannot be a part of literature. In my paper I will show that comics can be part of literature in three ways like it is the most interesting and effective way of storytelling, it can be educative and it has social influences. While starting we have to know what Comics are.

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Comics are ‘pictorial narrative’ or ‘visual narrative’. It is a sequence of separate images and tells several stories which are moral. It is actually an art of picture that speaks without any sound. By seeing comic images we can understand what it is actually say. The narrative can be understood without getting the picture. Prehistoric people painted scenes on the walls of their caves and the thought of comics came from this. The history of comics is profoundly linked to the history of art. We can find many comic books around us such as Avengers, Manga, Tin Tin, Mina, Pokemon etc.

Among them Avengers is one of the most prominent comic series in the whole world since the seventeenth century. Because of its narrative and appealing style it has gained immense popularity over the world. The Avengers is a team of super heroes who appear in comic books and it was published by Marvel comics. There are some heroes like Superman, Batman, Captain America, Spiderman, Hulk, Thor, Iron man, X-man etc who fight against social menaces. They are earths mightiest heroes, formed to fight the foes no single hero could withstand.

The Avengers are the most prestigious and powerful super hero team in the world, an ever shifting assemblage of super beings, adventures and crime fighters who are engaged to protecting the planet from menace beyond the scope of conventional authorities. The Avengers Movie, however, which was released to the general public on May 5, 2012 by Marvel Studios, takes a different track in how the superhero team comes together. While in the comics, the Avengers more or less fell into a team to battle a common foe. The movie version of the Avengers origin story takes a more deliberate and purposeful track.

In this movie we find such heroes who fight against a criminal called Loki who thinks of himself as a god. He wants the world to be ruled by himself. The movie is directed by Joss Whedon. Here in the movie we can find Captain America, Ironman, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk and the villain Loki. The heroes are fighting for protecting the planet from the villain. The movie is made from Avengers comics. Here is a little description of The avengers movie: S. H. I. E. L. D is an international peace keeping agency and Nick Fury is the director of it.

The agency is a team of Marvel Super Heroes, with Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When global security is threatened by Loki, Nick Fury and his team will need all their powers to save the world from disaster. In this movie Nick Fury comes at a research facility during an evacuation. The Tesseract, an energy source of unknown potential, has activated and opened a portal through space, from which the exiled Norse god Loki come out. Loki takes the Tesseract, and uses his power to control the minds of several S. H. I. E. L. D.

Fury reactivates the Avengers Initiative. Agent Natasha Romanoff who plays the role of the black widow in Avengers comics is sent to Calcutta (India) to recruit Dr. Bruce Banner, later he became hulk. Fury himself approaches Captain America with an assignment to retrieve the Tesseract from Loki. Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow travel to Germany to apprehend Loki, who is stealing iridium for stabilize the Tesseract’s power and demanding that the civilians kneel before him. After a battle with Captain America, Loki surrenders and is escorted back to the agency’s plane.

However, Thor, Loki’s brother and the Norse god of thunder arrives and attempts to free Loki to reason with him. Iron man and Captain America attempt to restart the damaged engines, Dr. Banner transforms into the Hulk, despite Black Widow’s best efforts to calm him down, and runs amok inside the ship, fighting Thor are both ejected from the ship. During a fight with Hawkeye, Black Widow discovers that a blow to the head powerful enough to knock Hawkeye unconscious is enough to break Loki’s mind control. The Helicarrier lands on the surface of the ocean, but Loki escapes and traps Thor in his cell.

Fury uses Coulson’s death to motivate the Avengers into working as a team. Iron man and Captain America realize that simply defeating them will not be enough for Loki, he needs to overpower them in a very public way so as to validate himself as ruler of Earth. With help from Hawkeye, Captain America and Thor evacuate civilians, while Dr. Banner transforms into the Hulk again and goes after Loki, beating him into submission. Meanwhile, Fury’s superiors attempt to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile at Manhattan.

Iron Man intercepts the missile and takes it through the portal toward the Chitauri fleet before running out of power and plummeting back to Earth, but the Hulk catches him as he falls. Thor escorts Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard, while Fury notes that the Avengers will go their separate ways until such time as a new world-threatening menace emerges. By the extreme race the Avengers team won and free the world from Loki’s control. And from this we understand how comics influence our life. We learn how we can save the earth from worse grasp. The film is the inspiration that how good works against worse.

Comics the evaluation of storytelling: Comics are the updated forms of our ancient forbearer’s myths and oral tales, these things actually reflected their society. Good stories can be told by any medium but in this case comics play the vital role of narrating stories. Comics are the theme of graphic storytelling and visual narrative. In comic books pictures tell the whole story; it does not need any narrator. According to the article ‘Defining Comics’ it is said that comics are essentially narrative. Modern comic books especially the super hero genre has played a great role in comics.

Super heroes are like ancient gods like Thor, Hercules etc appear in comics and society never giving up their ancient heritage and that is why comics have got a big role in storytelling. Comics are basically visual narrative and it is the way of giving message. We find comics in everywhere in the world in newspaper, magazines and find messages about social, political, cultural, environmental etc. From our country’s perspective every day we see political leader’s funny pictures in the newspaper and by this we get the messages that how they deal with the country’s progress.

All the time they tell about the progress but they do not have any care for the country. Avengers have a very sequential organization and it has gained its popularity from 1963 for its excellent way of narration. Every super hero has their own super natural power and by their power they save the planet from different devils. Each of the heroes is famous for their contribution in making social changes. By these, Avengers comics gained vast popularity over the world and it is a great medium of storytelling. Comics make different concepts understanding through stories. Comics influence the life of Childs.

More important is the content and the context is the Meta communication. It is actually the “relationship aspect” that follows a communication and communicates how the information or data that convey messages is taken by the audiences. ( Lindsey. D . B Heeren. J. 1992). Manga is a Japanese comic constitute the most popular kind of reading material in Japan. Kanagaki Robun and Kawanabe Kyosai created the first manga magazine in 1874. Manga is such kind of comic book which is read by the Japanese from infancy into adulthood. The manga format has been used to introduce classic stories in literature and history.

Even in English-speaking countries, stories of famous figures in history and stories from the Bible are available in comic format. These kinds of manga were available in school libraries. Teachers can go further and use popular manga to introduce students to the idea of dealing with multiple texts. For example, the classic manga, set in 18th-century France, is a story based on Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. As students compare information in their history text-book with that in the manga, they could learn how writers use information to present a particular. oint of view and more important, focus on what information has been left out and the reasons.

This kind of critical reading need not be confined to historical manga. (Allen. K ; Ingulsrud. J. E 2003). Comics can be part of education: There is much controversy that comics are wastage of time. It cannot be educative. However, comics play a great role in literature and it has a great influence in education. Comics are the imagination of our mind and any kind of imaginative writing can be literature. According to ‘Reading Comics to Learn’ more than a billion comic books are sold each year in United

States. It has a great appeal among children and adults. In spite of the great appeal most teachers and parents reject this material as instructional aides. Teachers and parents have various reasons for rejecting comics. They say comics distort established truth. They put undue emphasis on crime and violence. The stories are not true. Most parents think that by reading comics children become detached from their institutional education. From the article named ‘Comic Book in Art Education’ we find that, comics can be used to educate readers of fine arts and social issues.

In 1995 D. C. Comics began producing a comic book series called Chiaroscuro: the private lives of Leonardo Da Vinci. The series was based upon the life of Leonardo Da Vinci and possible adventures that might have taken place during his life time. If there is such story in comics which gives lesson about our life and teaches moral education then comics can obviously be part of education. In Avengers we have found that mighty heroes are fought for protecting the earth from menaces. From this we can learn how to differentiate between good and evil. Topics like child sexual abuse can be included in the comics to teach children how they can protect themselves.

In Manga Each of the volume can contain up to 20 serialized stories, which are printed on recycled newsprint and except for the cover and a few pages of advertisements, are usually set in black print on white or light-colored paper. They are inexpensive and quickly read. One of the main reasons why manga are so popular is that they are easy to read. The format is the limited amount of text combined with many illustrations seems to be more accessible than the solid text of books, as shown in the following student’s response that they do not have to read lots of sentences .

We also do not have to think anything when we read Manga. We can get an image of the stories instantly. Even when the content is thought to be uninteresting, the format, especially the illustration style, makes manga seem readily accessible as students said that Pictures make it easy to read and attractive despite boring content. Comics not only convey stories but it has some moral messages that how to build good relationship with others, how to differentiate between good and evil etc. They help us to think vastly.

Comics can be a part of recreation for children and it can be a motivational, inspirational and educational tool. Allen. ( K & Ingulsrud. J. E 2003). Libraries have also been important in the reconsideration of the place of comics as appropriate text for children in their literary and acquisition. Recently, many librarians arguing for the introduction of comics into library collection, usually in the form of graphic novels, as a way to get children into the library and interested in reading. Graphic novels can compare with video games, television and movies.

We can use comics to greater effectiveness in our teaching at all levels by helping us to learn students with the critical literacy skills they need to negotiate diverse systems of meaning making. By embracing the idea of multimodal literacy in relation to comics, then we can help students engage critically with ways of making meaning that exist all around them, since multimodal texts include much of the content on internet, interactive multimedia, newspaper, television, film, instructional textbooks and many other texts in our contemporary society. ( Lindsey. D. B & Heeren. J,1992).

Comics have social influences: Comics are the reflection of our society. Whatever good or evil things are taking place around us we can find it in comics. From Avengers we find that every hero has provided an example of different social changes. Comics convey social messages and it actually unites people. Comics can influence us more than the magazines, more than the newspaper. Comics are part of literature and as we enriched ourselves by our educative aids comics can be used as an educative medium. Comic books have reflected contemporary society in their focus and intended readers.

In our country “Mina” comics and cartoon has played a great role in social change. It is both educative and social. By this we can learn how to clean the environment, how to lead a healthy life. Basically it teaches the children and makes them aware of health and education. It also teaches us how to respect our elders which is a social concept. By reading comics we can make ourselves a perfect social person. From the movie The Avengers we find that the villain wants to destroy the planet but he does not get success. Different super heroes unit together and dismissed the evil from earth.

It actually convey the message that evil does not exist forever, it has to die. Today various people discuss the comics as serious threats to the best in any civilization. Many intelligent and public spirited men and women seem to feel it necessary it muster all forces to stop this “menace”. But just what does all his phenomenon mean and that does all this excited hostility signifies? (Grunberg . S. M ,1944). The most frequent criticism of the comics is directed at the crudeness of their drawings and drama, at the relatively immature level of their language, humor, sentiments.

In short the comics are deficient in subtlety, delicacy, sophistication. As art many of the comics are crude. As literature, they are ideas and sentiments in the simplest term. For better or for worse, they are more potent than many of our other instruments for influencing people’s understanding and attitudes. ( Grunberg . S. M,1944). At another level, manga may be used to focus on the pragmatics of language use, especially the conversations in speech balloons. Students could analyze the kinds of speech acts used in selected manga.

For example, they could examine instances where conversational norms have been either maintained or flouted (as cited in Allen. K & Ingulsrud. J. E,2003). There are a different ways to use comics in the classroom. Without banning comics teachers can include comics in the class text and make the students busy with comics. Students may become more critical readers if teachers equip them with the necessary skills to understand the variety of messages that comics can represent. This approach can be more effective than forbidding students to read these types of text.

Comic is the part of the enjoyment and entertainment, due to the fact that it is not encouraged in school and can be a way of resisting the power of teachers and school. Teachers and critics also need to understand that reading manga is not a mindless exercise. It is an activity that requires a great deal of skill. Readers have to interpret the conventions of text, illustrations, and format. Because the kinds of texts read in the classroom reflect the type of reading that is socially valued (as cited in Allen. K & ingulsrud. J. E 2003), by ignoring the popularity of manga teachers are perhaps underestimating students reading abilities and also their out-of-class rooms.

However, teachers and critics are often uncomfortable with students reading manga because of the content. This says that manga are read in one way and that there is a single meaning. It might be more effective to help students read manga critically so that they may develop their reading skills. For the students that were interviewed by Ingulsrud, it was a matter of course that manga are banned from schools.

To them it is self-evident that the literacy of school does not include the literacy of manga. Popular culture is to be enjoyed in free time, not school time. Comics have a magic and charm and through this it can reflect our mind. Comics are the imagination of our mind and in literature any imagination can be part of literature in this sense comics is also literature. Sometime it has been said that comics are not part of literature. If educational aids gives us suggestion to distinguish between evil and good than comics can also give us the path to learn moral lessons.