I loved reading comics when I was young.
Granted, Beano and Dandy were loaned to me by my uncle. It was also through him that I learnt about Archie and Jughead and gang. When I was in school, my best friend supplied me with Asterix comics (which costs a lot back then and still costs a bomb!).
When I was in Form 6, I started reading my cousin’s Mutiara Naga series – translated no less from the Japanese series but it was addictive! I couldn’t stop reading.
And of course, I loved Calvin & Hobbes for their adult humour encased in a toy tiger and boy wonder. When I want some Malaysian funnies, Lat’s comics are the best of the best. They still make me laugh like mad because he presents a simpler way of life back then when all we worried about was how to ride an adult’s bicycle. (I thought only Malaysians get Lat. It seems Caucasians do too. Here’s a Mat Salleh’s review of Lat’s Kampung Boy.)
And Sunday comics still appeal to me. A lot!
Nic is a big fan of Rin Tin Tin and Snowy (which embarrassingly I have yet to read. I know, it sounds almost blasphemous! It’s so famous right?) He says he learnt to travel the world (with Tin Tin) before he even set foot out of his hometown in Kuching.
My 7 year old nephew is now into comics.
I think if there’s a reading medium for today’s restless-as-hell kids, it would be COMICS. I think people get way too snobbish about books. The problem is, many people (a.k.a parents) get all huffed up because they think comics do not rank as high as real books.
Comics if you look at it closely are tougher to produce than a book because you have to have the plot, the characters and have to keep the pace going (or readers won’t turn the page!).
Comics can illustrate an idea or concept faster than a book.
Comics is truly an art because you can get amazing insight just by reading comics. Comics are more appealing too if you’re not into words and need more visuals to get the brain cells working. For today’s youth, comics is the faster way to understand a message.
Even Google Chrome uses the comic form to give people a quicker method to grasp the complexity of a thing such as its Chrome browser.
And just because it looks super simple does not mean the artist has not spent an agonizing time breaking the concept down into something real and understandable without losing its essence. That’s why I truly salute the people who can simplify things because they would need to understand the idea first before the comic can be drawn. Just like how we need to understand the client’s business first before we can delve into designing a profitable website for him.
In marketing and business particularly, how might we use the comic format to help us explain a concept or an idea?
Exciting thought, isn’t it?
And we all thought comics was child’s play!