Readers of Silver Age Marvel comics might be interested to know that this medium springs from a form of graphic representation known as sequential art that has existed for centuries. Mankind has always sought to communicate the human experience with the limited recording tools available. Greek artists used sculpture to tell stories of their lives and their gods. The ancient Egyptians created hieroglyphics to tell stories of their culture. These hieroglyphics became standardized, and evolved into the early alphabets of ancient writers. A similar process occurred with the Chinese and their modern alphabet.
Over the centuries, sculpture was accompanied by painting. The most common stories of the era of the Renaissance depicted the life of the Savior and the key events of the New Testament. With the advent of inexpensive paper, all sorts of things could be recorded sequentially in even more detail. Instructional manuals were created that showed the step by step instructions for performing all sorts of training tasks from stripping a rifle in the field to treating snake bites. Motion pictures were one of the first forms of sequential art, changing images at 15 frames per second in order to give the illusion of motion. Today’s ultra-realistic movies are still created from sequential art story boards.
Entertainment also took advantage of the invention of inexpensive printing. Pictures with written words were effective communications for stories and comedic depictions. In fact, the word ‘comics’ comes from those popular sections of the daily newspapers.
But the Silver Age Marvel comics were much more sophisticated than the daily “funny pages”. They tell stories and bring characterization that in their way are at least as effective as the other communication mediums of today including movies. Comic books have gained in the notoriety they had during the Silver Age as the refuge of geeks, and now enjoy the reputation for true, moving sequential art. Visit Cosmic Comics to discover the wonderful art form of Silver Age Marvel comics.