The Art of Comics & Graphic Novels
My talk on Graphic Novels
This hub came from a talk I gave at the premises of the local British Council Library,on the occasion of a nationwide exhibition of Graphic Novels. The link below will take you to what a leading newspaper thought of my talk.
Comic Books a.k.a. Graphic Novels
Mr Graphic Novel is Li'l Old Comic Book who has made a name for himself. He has been called other names by the publishing industry as well: illustrated book, picture novel... His ancestors were pretty interesting too and entertained our ancestors from cave dwelling times.
I have been a reader and fan of comics since kidhood, and a writer and illustrator of them for the last twenty years. Now I do a series called Rhy the Rhino for a children's magazine Toot.
I am taking three other routes to this exploration of comics, to try to understand the form better.
1. Historical Presence or Ancestry
2. Reading Habits
Come join me and have fun!
Ancestry of the comic form
Cave paintings were the earliest form of recording stories. Some of them, like the one on the right, portrayed an incident in sequential form. Sequential is the keyword. That is why cave art is the earliest known ancestor of Mr Graphic Novel, the most evolved form of sequential art.
The Egyptians painted the walls of their tombs with stylized portrayals of how agriculture was pursued in those days or what happens to the soul after death. Look at the one I put up, and see how similar the layout is to a single page comic? It even has text to explain things, just as comics have balloons and captions.
The Bayeaux Trapestry is a nearly 70 metre long portrayal of the events leading to the Norman invasion of England with annotations. British comic book artist Bryan Talbot called it "the first known British comic strip."
I rest my case.
Reading Ability & Growing Up
Now let's take the route of age-groups and reading ability, how we graduated from picture books to books with only text as we grew up.
I have been mostly illustrating picture books for the last twenty three years. And picture books are for the littlest ladies and gents. Kids start with alphabet and picture books, that have a big picture for each page or a spread, with minimal text.Then, as they grow up, the text gets smaller in size and more in wordcount. Between that and pictureless books, children pick up comics, which function as great bridges from big pictures to pictureless text. Some, like me, never outgrow comics, and never let go of that enjoyment. For that matter, I still love picture books!
These are two approaches we can take to understand the evolution of the comic form and appreciate its importance. The third, and most important one is to secure its place in Art, as I intend to prove that the comic form is one of the best representatives of contemporary art. Or Modern Art, as they have been calling it for centuries.
That's in my next hub, please!
- Amazon.com: Dynast: The Rise of Bherek White (Graphic Novel) Comic Book (9780986842870): Srivatsanga
Amazon.com: Dynast: The Rise of Bherek White (Graphic Novel) Comic Book (9780986842870): Srivatsangam Asvin, Rajagopalan Ashok, Cardoso Sebastian: Books