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The Joy of Comics
While the ever expanding and changing world of media might provide for temporary adjustments in how we consume them, comics and story papers will always be with us. They provide joy for people of all ages. Whether it is a superhero coming to save the day, or a vibrant social commentary, there are many different types of comics that brighten our lives.
Some might chronicle and lampoon the behaviors of Parliament. They may poke fun at our celebrities and wealthy elites. Ultimately, they are the delightfully vulgar outlet of powerfully talented artists.
An historical look at comics shows a consistent relevance to the social issues of the times. For example, World War II saw an explosion in comic readership. These story papers chronicled heroes dealing with the complex issues of a war torn society. They brought light from darkness. There was much about life to be communicated to children, and comics are often a great way of incrementally introducing some aspects of life that are a bit difficult to explain.
Public servants and notorious celebrities are often critiqued in one-panel satires. This is a tradition that has lived on for centuries in one media format or another.
While some may fear that the internet and digital media are a threat to the comic, this is an unfounded claim. Comics will live on forever. Digital media will bring about differing business models, probably based in ad revenue funding rather than the sale of print media, but ultimately these artists will find a productive outlet for their unique skill. The need for the lighthearted poke, the dark satire, the dramatic social commentary, and the bubbly cartoon for children will always exist.
So remember, as you consume these comics and story papers today, you are supporting one of the more important of the contemporary arts. While it may be underrated against the deep shadow cast by the works at the National Gallery, these cartoons will always maintain a degree of social relevance, and a boldness not found in the "high arts." Bless the comic, one of the great artistic institutions of modern society.