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The Collaborative International Dictionary

comics \com"ics\ (k[o^]m"[i^]ks), n. pl. The section of a newspaper containing mostly comic strips; -- called also funnies and funny papers. Many but not all newspapers have a comics section.


funnies \fun"nies\ (f[u^]n"[=e]z), n. pl. The section of a newspaper containing comic strips; called also funny papers and comics. Rarely encountered in the singular.


n. 1 (plural of comic English) 2 An artistic medium consisting of juxtapose pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer (also, ''comix'') 3 A collection of comic strips 4 (context US English) The page of a newspaper especially devoted to comic strips


a medium used to express ideas by images, often combined with text or other visual information. Comics frequently the form of juxtaposed sequences of panels of images. Often textual devices such as speech balloons, captions, and onomatopoeia indicate dialogue, narration, sound effects, or other information. Size and arrangement of panels contribute to narrative pacing. Cartooning and similar forms of illustration are the most common image-making means in comics; fumetti is a form which uses photographic images. Common forms of comics include comic strips, editorial and gag cartoons, and comic books. Since the late 20th century, bound volumes such as graphic novels, comic albums, and have become increasingly common, and online webcomics have proliferated in the 21st century.

The history of comics has followed different paths in different cultures. Scholars have posited a pre-history as far back as the Lascaux cave paintings. By the mid-20th century, comics flourished particularly in the United States, western Europe (especially in France and Belgium), and Japan. The history of European comics is often traced to Rodolphe Töpffer's cartoon strips of the 1830s, and became popular following the success in the 1930s of strips and books such as The Adventures of Tintin. American comics emerged as a mass medium in the early 20th century with the advent of newspaper comic strips; magazine-style comic books followed in the 1930s, in which the superhero genre became prominent after Superman appeared in 1938. Histories of Japanese comics and cartooning () propose origins as early as the 12th century. Modern comic strips emerged in Japan in the early 20th century, and the output of comics magazines and books rapidly expanded in the post-World War II era with the popularity of cartoonists such as Osamu Tezuka. had a lowbrow reputation for much of its history, but towards the end of the 20th century began to find greater acceptance with the public and in academia.

The English term comics is used as a singular noun when it refers to the medium and a plural when referring to particular instances, such as individual strips or comic books. Though the term derives from the humorous (or comic) work that predominated in early American newspaper comic strips, it has become standard also for non-humorous works. It is common in English to refer to the comics of different cultures by the terms used in their original languages, such as for Japanese comics, or for French-language comics. There is no consensus amongst theorists and historians on a definition of comics; some emphasize the combination of images and text, some sequentiality or other image relations, and others historical aspects such as mass reproduction or the use of recurring characters. The increasing cross-pollination of concepts from different comics cultures and eras has further made definition difficult.

Usage examples of "comics".

Supermans and Batmans, Action comics and Detective, the Classics Illustrateds that Joey had mined for all his book reports, horror comics and crime comics and air-war comics, and best of all, their treasure-an almost complete run of Jetboy comics.

There was a bright red-and-blue sign above the door: Home of the Cosh Comics Company.

I knowJetboy Comics have been selling five hundred thousand copies an issue lately.

It was a girdle manufacturer's dream, all rubber and laces, pressure bottles, and a real space helmet, like out of Planet Comics, over his head.

I'd read the comics when I was in the Army, and I'd seen how, when the bad guys were trying to speed away in their cars, Superman would jump in front of the car, and the car would bounce off him.

But now they wore masks and used made-up names, just like the comics rd read in the war and thought were so silly.

Wertham about how comics turned kids into juvenile delinquents and homos, and how they glorified aces and jokers, and so his mother had let them take Tom's collection.

If Dom DiAngelis wondered where all the comics had come from, he never said a word.

He tried to slide past the time by flipping from the Solomon anthology to Marvel comics to the Zap comix he'd accrued in his pursuit of understanding.

He had a complete run ofJetboy Comics in one of the waxed cardboard boxes they used to ship chickens to grocery stores.

Hidden in the back of another box of comics was thePlayboy that had Peregrine in it.

He remembered when j 'he had played the Toilet Circuit and envied the comics with I the big limousines and the beautiful women.

He was always surrounded by musicians and stooges and writers and showgirls and down-and-out comics, and everyone else he could gather into his orbit.

He had watched Toby destroy others--women who had fallen in love with him, comics who had tried to compete with him, critics who had panned him.

A dozen top comics were on the dais, along with Toby and Jill, Sam Winters and the head of the network that Toby had signed with.