Comics, manga and graphic novels

Authored by: Federico Zanettin

Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138933330
eBook ISBN: 9781315678627
Adobe ISBN:


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Comics, manga and graphic novels are closely related types of graphic narrative whose lineage can be traced to prehistoric graffiti, medieval tapestries and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century prints and protocomics (McCloud 1993; Groensteen 1999; Petersen 2011), but whose present form “is closely related to the emergence of mass-media, due to new means of mass reproduction and an increasing readership of the printed media” (Mey 1998:136). Comics first developed into a text type of their own thanks to their growing commercial value in the journalistic field (Kaindl 1999b) at the end of the nineteenth century, when they featured in colour in the Sunday pages of American newspapers. In the 1920s, collections of comics first published as daily strips in black and white began to appear in book form, to be followed shortly afterwards by comic books containing original material (Carlin 2005; Barbieri 2009; Horn 1976/1999). In the course of the twentieth century, comics gained popularity in other areas of the world, at first in Europe (most notably in Italy, France, Belgium and Spain), then in South America (most notably in Argentina) and Asia (most notably in Japan). Today, almost every nation in the world has its own comics industry.

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