Saturday 12 June 2004

Comic Strips

It's a shame but you don't really get comic strips in the UK newspapers. At least not in the papers I've read. Well, there might be the odd one here and there but in Canada, even a daily paper had almost a full page of comics. As a kid, the highlight of the week was the ritual read of the Sunday newspaper comic supplement - several pages long and in full colour.

Bloom CountyMy all time favourite comic strip was Bloom County. It still rates as the best there ever was. Far behind it, I'd give The Far Side number two spot with Calvin and Hobbes running a close third. Bloom County (and it's short successor Outland) had a superb cast of characters which tackled political and social issues with comical genius. If you've never read it, check out these freebies and then go buy one of the books. Here's an interview with the artist Berkeley Breathed by The Onion back in 2001.

There's probably new comic strips out there I might enjoy but in the UK, it's really hard to discover them. I do subscribe to the Daily Dilbert. Today, it's the best strip going. It's odd that comic strips aren't more prevalent here given the British love of wit and cynacism. Why is that?

Understanding ComicsIf you enjoy comics as a media, I highly recommend reading the book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud. The whole book is written as a comic strip and teaches the complex visual design issues that comic's tackle. It's really very clever and you'll look at comic's from a whole new perspective.

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