Comics are still popular

Why are comics so popular?

Comics are a synthetic genre that combines literature and art. It's a story in pictures, and in its current form they appeared in newspapers in the US in the late 19th century and became one of the most popular genres of mass culture by the 20th century. The concept of a story in pictures has a long history.

But what is the reason for the popularity of comics? When illustrations are used as an additional and optional narrative element in books, they become an integral part of it in comics. Comics are easy to read because instead of paragraphs they show a picture with lots of detail and little text. Many are also drawn to the variety of genres and styles: in the beginning, comics were little funny stories, and today this includes detective stories, humorous stories without a specific plot, fairy tales and anti-fairy tales, love stories and of course stories about superheroes. The latter genre is the most popular right now because most of us wanted at least once to take the place of heroes with supernatural abilities who save people and sometimes entire universes almost every day. With so many options, everyone will find something for themselves. You can even register here and see how comics and games are cleverly combined.

Can comics be viewed as literature in the usual sense? From our point of view, comics are certainly art, but it's difficult to call them literature. Above all, literature presents a verbal image. Comics are the art of creating vivid visual images. So everyone chooses for themselves what is more suitable.

The process of perceiving comics is dominated by the language of the signal system (of our senses) and when reading a book - the language of the second signal system (speech). In the first case the perception is direct (and we see things as they are) and in the second it is indirect. Perception is closer to the digital type (that is, a person whose perception and thinking are based on inference) and the auditory type (an internal monologue when reading aloud). The visual type has visual perception.

For the digital and auditory types, visual signals are subordinate to text (or sound): such people create visual images in their heads based on what they have heard (read). An example of communities of this type is the East, where sounds clearly dominate over images (sacred texts, mantras, etc.).

For the visual type, on the other hand, the text is secondary to the image: for them, seeing is more important than reading or hearing. Examples of communities of this type are the United States or Europe.

Information that combines an image and text is easier to “digest” and is easier to remember. Perception based on the second signal system is subordinate to the first signal system: a person who only uses text for orientation can easily pick up any material in which visual content has priority over language. When a person who is guided by a visual stimulus is offered just plain text, the process of perception and assimilation becomes more difficult for them.

Beer lover, author of MADmag.de and MADtrash.com, frenetic MAD magazine collector and of course politically incorrect!