Characteristics of Comics – Every comic has its own characteristics, comics are actually a result of a combination of art and literature. That is what often makes comics referred to as a pictorial literary work that contains both words and pictures. Comics are often found on various platforms such as newspapers, magazines, social media, to book form.
So, to differentiate comics from other works of art, in the following we will discuss the characteristics of comics and their explanations. However, before that, we first discuss an explanation of the meaning of comics.
A. What is Comic?
As explained in the introduction above, in the book Drawing Tips for Comics written by Setiawan G Sasongko, comic is a word that comes from Greek, namely comic. Komikos itself can be intended as a joke or joy. Comics originally had comedic characteristics and were intended as entertainment.
This opinion is also the same as that of the Big Indonesian Language Dictionary (KBBI), KBBI states that comics are pictorial stories that are easy to digest and funny or entertaining. Its easy-to-understand and funny nature makes comics very easy to develop from time to time.
In today’s modern era, comics are transformed into a work of art that has many enthusiasts. This can be proven by the many comics that have been recorded and published up to hundreds of episodes as well as the abundance of various applications that provide comics. Comics are the right means of entertainment because they make it easier for readers to listen to a story while entertaining readers with the pictures and words in it.
Apart from having an entertainment function, comics have recently penetrated various platforms with various purposes. Not infrequently there are also many comics that discuss serious topics such as politics, law, to social society. Comics are also often used as a form of satirical messages to certain parties. However, many also turn to comics as a fun learning medium.
Based on the comic book entitled From Wayang Beber to Digital Comics by Indiria Maharsi, a comic is a collection of images or symbols that have a certain story sequence. According to him, the form of comics is made like that because it has the aim of providing information and satisfying the aesthetic impression of readers.
Comic artists or comic-making artists can express image after image by using all available space or media to form a certain storyline. A successful comic artist is usually someone who has two skills at once in order to be able to combine drawing and composing a storyline.
B. Characteristics of Comics
So, after understanding the meaning of comics, here is an explanation of the characteristics of Ricky W. Putra and comics
Ricky W. Putra revealed that in his work entitled Introduction to Visual Communication Design in Applications which was published in 2020, comics have five main characteristics, which include:
1. Is Proportional
First, one of the main characteristics of comics is that they are proportional. The proportional nature means that comics can evoke feelings or emotional feelings from readers. This characteristic will make the reader enter into the story and feel involved as one of the comic characters being read.
2. There is a Conversational Language
Second, one of the characteristics of later comics is the existence of a conversational language. As a work of art that has a storyline, comics very often use conversation to strengthen the story as well as a way to make it easier for the reader to understand the picture. In addition, comics also use everyday conversational language more often so that it is very easy for readers to understand.
3. Appears Heroic Attitude
Third, one of the characteristics of comics is the appearance of heroism from one of the main characters or characters. That is what often evokes the feeling or attitude of being a hero from his readers.
4. Character Depiction
Fourth, one of the characteristics of comics is the depiction of characters. Most of the characters used in comics have simple characters. This easy and simple depiction of character has the goal of making it easier for the reader to understand the character and his character.
5. Contains Humor
Finally, containing humor is one of the main characteristics of comics. As one of the works of art that has a lot of fans, comics are loved because they contain a lot of humor. That is what keeps many readers entertained and enjoys doing comic reading activities.
Apart from the opinions above, according to Viki.si, comics also have six characteristics. The following are characteristics of comics that need attention, namely:
C. Types of Comics
After understanding the definition and characteristics or characteristics of comics, the following are types based on the form of comics, namely:
1. Comic Strips
Comic strips or commonly called comic strips are a type of comic that only consists of several panels of an image. However, the comic strip still expresses the idea of the contents and storyline as a whole. Comic strips are easy to find in various children’s newspapers or magazines such as Bobo Magazine or Kompas Daily.
Comic strips are made not with a lot of pictures, but only with a few pictures. This causes this type of comic not to convey ideas or messages too much. Comic strips focus more on one issue, for example a response to an event or issues that are currently being discussed by the public.
2. Comic Book
One of the most popular types of comics is comic books. As the name implies, comic book is a type of comic made in the form of a book. In addition, one comic book only contains one complete story.
Comic books are generally published in the form of book series, in one comic book there may be tens to hundreds of series and some are not finished yet. There are comics that feature continuous stories, but some are only for a few series.
3. Online Comics
Online comics can be said to be the comics most often read by people in today’s digital era. The internet has made changes to the comic ecosystem, where previously comics could only be read by buying the comic book. However, now many online comics are scattered on the internet that can be read. The cost is cheap and concise, making people start to move from reading comic books to comics online.
The great interest of online comic readers has finally made even talented comic artists dive into developing themselves to draw online comics. Several platforms for reading comics online have also emerged, such as the Webtoon Line. This webtoon from Line is one of the most popular comic reading platforms today. This comic application from South Korea contains hundreds of comics every day, and it is even noted that there are many comic artists from various countries in it, such as South Korea, Japan, Thailand, to Indonesia.
D. Comic Genre And Examples
After understanding the meaning, characteristics, and types based on the form of the comic. Next, we will discuss the types of comics based on the genre of comics. Some of them are non-fiction comics, science fiction comics, superhero comics, and mystery comics. So, here are four types of comics based on their genre, including:
1. Non-Fiction Comics
One of the types of comics that has been produced the most is non-fiction comics. This type of comic is actually almost the same as other non-fiction books, it’s just that non-fiction comics use pictures to tell the story.
In non-fiction comics also contain stories about life experiences or events in everyday life that originate from true stories. Even so, this comic with a non-fiction genre is not similar to the storytelling style found in biographical books which are very detailed and complete. Non-fiction comics can usually be much deeper and more memorable, because there are images as well as text that make it easier for the reader to get involved in the story.
Some examples of comic titles with non-fiction genres are The Complete Persepolis, Fun Home, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, and so on.
2. Science Fiction Comics
Science fiction comics are comics that have a genre about the future or use techniques to build a future world. Stories that are built in science fiction comics mostly emphasize sophisticated technological advances, time travel, to exploration between galaxies or space and its aliens.
Not only that, the issues raised in comics with the science fiction genre are about the future of mankind. Issues about the future most often cover two things, namely about the future of the human world which is highly developed and getting better, or even the future of the human world which collapses and is then threatened with extinction.
Several comic titles with the sci-fi genre that are very popular and good can be easily found in many places. Some sci-fi comic titles, such as Paper Girls, Saga, The Incal, and so on.
3. Comic Superhero
Furthermore, one type of comic that has the highest sales in the market is a comic with the superhero genre. The reason for this type of comic with the superhero genre is so much in demand by readers is that the visuals are very attractive. Superhero comics almost certainly have a major strength or weapon in a heroic story and very nicely illustrated images. So, it’s no wonder that many people really like comics of this genre.
It is a common thing that the majority of people always want to be a hero who eradicates all evil. Characters presented in comics with the superhero genre can almost always make readers want to be a hero. Superhero comics present superhumans who can fly, run at the speed of light, to humans who can shoot spider webs.
In superhero comics, it is described that everyone wants to be a superhero to fight bad people and save the city. The plot is the most widely used type of storyline in superhero genre comics. Superhero comic titles are very well known and easy to find, including Superman, Flash, Spiderman, Batman, and so on
4. Mystery Comics
Lastly, one type of comic that is familiar and has quite a lot of fans is the mystery genre comic. Comics of this genre almost always succeed in making readers interested and very curious. That’s because the characters and dialogues used in it will make the reader always curious to solve real questions in the story. When reading comics with this mystery genre, readers will also be involved in interpreting and trying to solve the crimes or irregularities presented in the story.
There are many mystery genre comic titles that can be easily found on the market, such as Blacksad, The Fade Out, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, and many more. The three mystery comic titles are also required reading for fans of stories with the mystery genre.
E. Examples of Indonesian Comics
After knowing the meaning, characteristics, and types based on the form and genre of comics. Next, examples of comics that have been made in Indonesia will be discussed. As for some of them, namely comics about legends such as The Blind from the Ghost Cave, Mahabarat to stories of superheroes from Indonesia such as Gundala, and so on. So, here are five examples of original Indonesian comics that were very popular in their time, including:
1. Mahabharata Comics
Mahabharata comics are comics that tell the greatest stories from ancient India. The comic was created by one of the legendary artists from Indonesia, namely RA Kosasih. Broadly speaking, this Mahabharata comic tells a story involving the Five Pandavas against the Kauravas to fight over the throne of Hastinapura. This comic has succeeded in turning wayang stories into a comic book that is very friendly for children to adults to read.
2. Comic The Blind from the Ghost Cave
The comic Si Buta dari Gua Hantu is the work of one of the famous comic artists from Indonesia, namely Ganeh TH. This comic tells the story of an Indonesian fighter who managed to make his readers amazed by his actions. At the end of 1970, the comic Si Buta dari Gua Hantu was adapted to the screen to become an action film with the same title.
3. Comic Benny & Mice
Benny and Mice comics originally had the form of comic strips or comic strips. The name of the Benny & Mice comic is the name of the two comic creators, namely Benny Rachmadi and Muhammad “Mice” Misrad.
Kompas Daily Newspaper is a newspaper that publishes Benny and Mice comics every week. The comic Benny and Mice is a comic that tells the condition of Jakarta as a metropolitan city.
4. Comic Gundala
Gundala comics are comics with the original Indonesian superhero genre. This comic is one of the works of a comic artist named Hasmi or better known as Harya Suraminata. The Gundala character himself first appeared in the Gundala Putra Lightning comic. The name Gundala is a word taken from the Javanese language, namely Gundolo which means lightning.
5. Comic Put On
Finally, the Put On comic by Kho Wang Gie is one of the oldest comics in the history of the Indonesian nation. The comic that was first released in the Sin Po newspaper in 1931 is a comic made during the Dutch colonial era. This Put On comic is published twice a week, namely on Friday and Saturday. The language used in this comic is still Malay. This legendary comic belongs to the comic strip genre of humor or comedy.