Chapter 4: The structure and common modes for comic art
The trope that ‘comics’ are works targeted at children is echoed in the reductive view that comic art is found in only two modes – comic strips in newspapers, and comic books. The truth is that there are at least 12 very distinct formats for comic art: comic strips; comic books; manga magazines; European albums; one-shot graphic novels; small press; mainstream syndicated comic strips; mainstream comic books; mainstream manga magazines; mainstream European albums; non-mainstream graphic novels; and non-mainstream small press publications. Each of these different formats has been shaped and impacted by different legal doctrines and laws – making it necessary to understand the key elements of each format in order to understand how the law has affected them. At the turn of the 20th century in the United States, the comic strip was introduced to the Sunday edition of major newspapers, primarily presented as entertainment for children, and for exhausted parents seeking a diversion on the weekend from the often dreary news. The format for the Sunday comics generally gave each comic creator an entire page for their comic, consisting of three to six tiers of content, with the first tier containing the title of the comic, and often an introductory graphic that may or may not have been related to the story and graphics which followed in the remaining tiers.
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