Saturday, November 30, 2013
The Independent newspaper has often given comics the recognition they deserve, reporting on comics-related topics and reviewing graphic novels just as they would any other area of the arts. In today's edition's Independent Magazine supplement, journalist Rhodri Marsden has written an article about the comic speech balloon. The inspiration being that this weekend would have been the 76th anniversary of The Dandy.
Rhodri Marsden contacted me in preparation of this feature as he'd read the posting on my blog last year showing that, contrary to some sources, The Dandy was not the first comic to use the speech balloon. He puts the record straight for a wider audience in showing how the speech balloon began to develop long before comics came along. Fellow comic artist Woodrow Phoenix and I both get a mention, talking about the efficiency of the speech balloon and how text under panels was used to convince parents that comics had literary merit.
Although the American newspaper cartoon The Yellow Kid is credited with first putting the speech balloon within the panel, The Dandy hadn't directly "nicked the idea from the Americans" as Rhodri suggests, as other British comics such as Picture Fun and Funny Wonder had used it before The Dandy. Nevertheless, it's always good to see an article in a national newspaper covering a comics-related subject and treating it with respect.
Website of The Independent newspaper:
My earlier blog post about speech balloons: