Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Knew You Were Trouble

Iconography Part 5 - Visual Vocabulary of Graphic Novels, Comic Books and Comic Strips

There are different categories of iconography used in comics. Today we are going to discuss:

Emotions and expressions of mental state

First, we have emanata.

Emanata - 1. Any lines indicating the emergence of a substance, such as steam blowing from a bull's nostrils, which suggest anger and about to charge. 2. What emerges from the character's head such as musical notes, hearts or stars that in intense situations can form a halo around a head.

Hovering above head 
! - surprise

? - curiosity, questioning 
Little hearts emanating as a character gazes in adoration - love, infatuation, desire, falling in love

Circling birds/stars -  wooziness, dizziness, partial consciousness, pain (usually the result of  contact between entities
Doozex - Zzzz - sleep  
Dark Scribble - bad mood (somewhat tornado shaped) 
Curly lines, tornado or corkscrew line - indicates frustration

Black cloud (with lightning) -  depressed or out of luck

Skull and crossbones -  avarice, wanting someone dead

Light bulb - an idea, inspiration
Lightning bolt – anger, rage  
Plewds: The scattering of liquid drops from the head indicating working hard, stressed, fear, cold sweat, anxiety, panic. worried, nervous, frustration or anger.
Squeans: small asterisk-like bursts or circles that signify nausea, intoxication, dizziness or sickness. Usually occurring in threes.
Spurl - spiral above the head to indicate unconsciousness, usually due to being knocked out.

From eyes
knife or dagger from eye - hate
teardrops - crying

On Face
Scribble (or red) on cheeks - embarassment

Next we have oculama.
Oculama  - The cartoon science of substitutions for eyes to convey an expression

Hearts - love, infatuation, sexual desire
Dollars $ - greed, desire for money
Spirals – mesmerized, hypnotized
Crottles - the Xs used to replace the eyes of an unconscious figure and often indicating death.

to be continued…

Remember…Just Create!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Attack of the Jargon!

Iconography Part 4 - Visual Vocabulary of Graphic Novels, Comic Books and Comic Strips

Jargon ©2013 H. Simpson

Before we dive into tomorrow's tasty morsel, let's get some perspective.

Every profession and industry develops their own jargon that is understood in that restricted environment. Real words acquire different meanings in these environments. Gutters in the comic industry means the space between panels, while in the outside world gutters mean something that drains off rain water.

Likewise, some professions find the need to make up their own words. Some remain real words only to those who understand them in the proper environment. They are unknown and misunderstand to the outside world. Then there are cases where the jargon leaks out and becomes commonly used in the outside world. Not only is it commonly used, but graduates from jargon to mainstream word and gets into the dictionary.

I'm going to use an extreme example. Band-aid is a made up word that started life as a trademark for a company. Because of falling into common usage it is now a dictionary word that means an adhesive bandage with a gauze pad in the center, used to cover minor wounds.

Most of the words from yesterday and ones I'm going to cover are made up and are used only within the specific context of comics. But hark, some words have left this rarified atmosphere and have reached the ear of the common man. So be not taken aback if ye shall one day find these definitions in a dictionary.

So once again and I will give credit where it is due. Mort Walker created these words as a joke for the National Cartoonists Society magazine. He put them in a book titled Lexicon of Comicana. He considered it a humor book. Alas, it became a case of satire falling flat. The bookstores stocked his book under Art Instruction and so it remains, as people actually do use the words. After all we need to call them something, right? I 'm not using every word he coined. I'm changing where needed.

to be continued…

Remember… Just Create!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I'm Going to Wash Your Mouth Out With Soap

Iconography Part 3 - Visual Vocabulary of Graphic Novels, Comic Books and Comic Strips

When we last met we talked about how obscenicons have degenerated to shifted keys on the keyboard. Now let's take a closer look at what they were before the keyboard invasion.

Obscenicons now seem to be the typographic self-censorsing characters use for offensive and negatively valued words and expressions.

Let's look at the graphics used to do the same thing. We can thank Mort Walker for the names here from his book Lexicon of Comicana.

Quimps are mostly astrological symbols.
Jarns are usually different types of spirals.
Nittles are bursting stars.
Grawlixes are squiggly lines that represent "ostensibly obliterated epithets, cursing, cussing, swear words and profanities."

Finally, there is The Ultimate. the character is so mad they cannot express themselves in words and only with iconic images, such as anchors, tornadoes, lightning bolts, skull and crossbones, knife, candle, pitchfork, gun, explosion, tombstone, skunk and knife through heart, etc. Your imagination is the limit.

If you learned something today, share it with a friend.

to be continued…

Remember… Just Create!

Monday, September 16, 2013

We'll be back on track tomorrow

Let's congratulate Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang for being one of the finalists nominated for the 2013 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Marvel Settles Ghost Rider Co-Creator Lawsuit

A small victory for creators. 

Ghost Rider co-creator Gary Friedrich gets some justice in copyright case against Marvel.

Read more here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Moving On!

Moving Time!

Fear not my faithful followers.  We will be continuing our wondrous look at iconography in comics.

I've been busy looking for place to live and then moving. Things will get back to normal soon. Well maybe not so normal. I will have my first guest blogger +Zon Petilla  I'm looking forward to that and you should also. More about that later.

Remember... Just Create!