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'''Comics''' is a [[wikipedia:Media (communication)|medium]] used to express ideas with images, often combined with text or other visual information. It typically takes the form of a sequence of [[wikipedia:Panel (comics)|panels]] of images. Textual devices such as [[wikipedia:speech balloon|speech balloon]]s, [[wikipedia:Glossary of comics terminology#Caption|captions]], and [[wikipedia:onomatopoeia|onomatopoeia]] can indicate dialogue, narration, sound effects, or other information. The size and arrangement of panels contribute to narrative pacing. [[wikipedia:Cartooning|Cartooning]] and other forms of [[wikipedia:illustration|illustration]] are the most common image-making means in comics; ''[[wikipedia:Photo comics|fumetti]]'' is a form that uses photographic images. Common forms include [[wikipedia:comic strip|comic strip]]s, [[wikipedia:Editorial cartoon|editorial]] and [[wikipedia:gag cartoon|gag cartoon]]s, and [[wikipedia:comic book|comic book]]s. Since the late 20th century, bound volumes such as [[wikipedia:graphic novel|graphic novel]]s, [[wikipedia:comic album|comic album]]s, and ''{{transl|ja|[[wikipedia:tankōbon|tankōbon]]}}'' have become increasingly common, while online [[wikipedia:webcomic|webcomic]]s have proliferated in the 21st century.
'''Comics''' is a [[wikipedia:Media (communication)|medium]] used to express ideas with images, often combined with text or other visual information. It typically takes the form of a sequence of [[wikipedia:Panel (comics)|panels]] of images. Textual devices such as [[wikipedia:speech balloon|speech balloon]]s, [[wikipedia:Glossary of comics terminology#Caption|captions]], and [[wikipedia:onomatopoeia|onomatopoeia]] can indicate dialogue, narration, sound effects, or other information. The size and arrangement of panels contribute to narrative pacing. [[wikipedia:Cartooning|Cartooning]] and other forms of [[wikipedia:illustration|illustration]] are the most common image-making means in comics; ''[[wikipedia:Photo comics|fumetti]]'' is a form that uses photographic images. Common forms include [[wikipedia:comic strip|comic strip]]s, [[wikipedia:Editorial cartoon|editorial]] and [[wikipedia:gag cartoon|gag cartoon]]s, and [[wikipedia:comic book|comic book]]s. Since the late 20th century, bound volumes such as [[wikipedia:graphic novel|graphic novel]]s, [[wikipedia:comic album|comic album]]s, and ''{{transl|ja|[[wikipedia:tankōbon|tankōbon]]}}'' have become increasingly common, while online [[wikipedia:webcomic|webcomic]]s have proliferated in the 21st century.


The [[wikipedia:history of comics|history of comics]] has followed different paths in different cultures. Scholars have posited a pre-history as far back as the [[wikipedia:Lascaux|Lascaux cave paintings]]. By the mid-20th century, comics flourished, particularly in the [[wikipedia:History of American comics|United States]], western Europe (especially [[wikipedia:Franco-Belgian comics|France and Belgium]]), and [[wikipedia:Japanese comics|Japan]]. The history of [[wikipedia:European comics|European comics]] is often traced to [[wikipedia:Rodolphe Töpffer|Rodolphe Töpffer]]'s cartoon strips of the 1830s, and became popular following the success in the 1930s of strips and books such as ''[[wikipedia:The Adventures of Tintin|The Adventures of Tintin]]''. [[wikipedia:History of American comics|American comics]] emerged as a [[wikipedia:Mass media|mass medium]] in the early 20th century with the advent of newspaper comic strips; magazine-style [[wikipedia:American comic book|comic books]] followed in the 1930s, in which the [[wikipedia:superhero|superhero]] genre became prominent after [[wikipedia:Superman|Superman]] appeared in 1938. [[wikipedia:History of manga|Histories of Japanese comics and cartooning]] (''{{transl|ja|[[wikipedia:manga|manga]]}}'') 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 (1945–) with the popularity of cartoonists such as [[wikipedia:Osamu Tezuka|Osamu Tezuka]]. {{not a typo|Comics has}} had a [[wikipedia:Low culture|lowbrow]] reputation for much of its history, but towards the end of the 20th century began to find greater acceptance with the public and academics.
The [[wikipedia:history of comics|history of comics]] has followed different paths in different cultures. Scholars have posited a pre-history as far back as the [[wikipedia:Lascaux|Lascaux cave paintings]]. By the mid-20th century, comics flourished, particularly in the [[wikipedia:History of American comics|United States]], western Europe (especially [[wikipedia:Franco-Belgian comics|France and Belgium]]), and [[wikipedia:Japanese comics|Japan]]. The history of [[wikipedia:European comics|European comics]] is often traced to [[wikipedia:Rodolphe Töpffer|Rodolphe Töpffer]]'s cartoon strips of the 1830s, and became popular following the success in the 1930s of strips and books such as ''[[wikipedia:The Adventures of Tintin|The Adventures of Tintin]]''. [[wikipedia:History of American comics|American comics]] emerged as a [[wikipedia:Mass media|mass medium]] in the early 20th century with the advent of newspaper comic strips; magazine-style [[wikipedia:American comic book|comic books]] followed in the 1930s, in which the [[wikipedia:superhero|superhero]] genre became prominent after [[wikipedia:Superman|Superman]] appeared in 1938. [[wikipedia:History of manga|Histories of Japanese comics and cartooning]] (''{{transl|ja|[[wikipedia:manga|manga]]}}'') 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 (1945–) with the popularity of cartoonists such as [[wikipedia:Osamu Tezuka|Osamu Tezuka]]. Comics has had a [[wikipedia:Low culture|lowbrow]] reputation for much of its history, but towards the end of the 20th century began to find greater acceptance with the public and academics.


The English term ''comics'' is used as a [[wikipedia:Singular nouns|singular noun]] when it refers to the medium itself (e.g. "''Comics is'' a visual art form."), but becomes plural when referring to works collectively (e.g. "''Comics are'' popular reading material."). Though the term derives from the humorous (''[[wikipedia:wikt:comic|comic]]'') work that predominated in early American newspaper comic strips, it has become standard for non-humorous works too. The alternate spelling ''comix'' – coined by the [[wikipedia:underground comix|underground comix]] movement – is sometimes used to address these ambiguities.{{sfn|Gomez Romero|Dahlman|2012}} In English, it is common to refer to the comics of different cultures by the terms used in their original languages, such as ''{{transl|ja|[[wikipedia:manga|manga]]}}'' for Japanese comics, or ''{{lang|fr|[[wikipedia:bandes dessinées|bandes dessinées]]}} (B.D.)'' 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.{{TOC limit|3}}
The English term ''comics'' is used as a [[wikipedia:Singular nouns|singular noun]] when it refers to the medium itself (e.g. "''Comics is'' a visual art form."), but becomes plural when referring to works collectively (e.g. "''Comics are'' popular reading material."). Though the term derives from the humorous (''[[wikipedia:wikt:comic|comic]]'') work that predominated in early American newspaper comic strips, it has become standard for non-humorous works too. The alternate spelling ''comix'' – coined by the [[wikipedia:underground comix|underground comix]] movement – is sometimes used to address these ambiguities.{{sfn|Gomez Romero|Dahlman|2012}} In English, it is common to refer to the comics of different cultures by the terms used in their original languages, such as ''{{transl|ja|[[wikipedia:manga|manga]]}}'' for Japanese comics, or ''{{lang|fr|[[wikipedia:bandes dessinées|bandes dessinées]]}} (B.D.)'' 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.{{TOC limit|3}}