The Arts Pages

By Ernesto Priego

An important part of my academic career has focused on the study of the changing nature of comics and comic books in a digital age. Also known as “graphic narrative” or “graphic storytelling,” “comics” has traditionally been used as shorthand for “comic books”, but these terms are not necessarily equivalent, especially as different and newer types of publication have become available. In spite of its plural ending, the term “comics” is used with a singular verb as an umbrella concept covering different manifestations sharing common traits.

Comics is to individual comic books what film or animation are to individual movies. Though “comics” is accepted and used in different languages (for example, in Spanish as “cómics”), it is sometimes used to refer specifically to products made in the United States, but bande dessinée or bédé in French, fumetto in Italian, tebeo or historieta in Spanish, manga in Japanese, quadrinhos in Portuguese, etc. are some of the terms still used…

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