comics and comic strips

A comic in the US means a comic strip or strip cartoon. Comic strips are a series of small drawings, called frames, with words that tell a story. Most US newspapers contain comic strips that are read by both adults and children. On weekdays they are usually four frames long, printed in black and white. On Sundays they are longer and in colour. Comic strips are also popular in British newspapers. Some can be found on the Internet.
  Most comic strips make jokes about the characters in them and the things that happen to them. For instance, in the Peanuts strips (1950–2000) many of the jokes are about Charlie Brown, who has very bad luck, and his friend Lucy, who is unkind to him. In Calvin and Hobbes (1985–1995), the humour comes from the relationship between a boy and his imaginary friend, a toy tiger. Comic strips in British newspapers include Andy Capp and The Perishers. In the US, Dilbert is about life in the office while Doonesbury comments on political situations through its characters. Most newspapers also print single frames that comment humorously on politicians and other people in the news.
  In Britain a comic is a picture magazine, usually for children. Comics contain short stories written as comic strips, and sometimes also competitions and articles. Some parents do not approve of comics, but others argue that they encourage children to read. Popular children’s comics include Beano, Dandy and 2000 AD, which features mainly science fiction stories. Comics for very young children are often based on popular television programmes, such as Thomas and Friends (which features Thomas the Tank Engine) and Bob the Builder. Adult comics, such as Viz, are usually very rude.
  Some of the characters in Beano and Dandy have not changed much over the years and now look old-fashioned. Teachers, for instance, still wear mortarboards (= stiff black hats with a square top), though real teachers stopped wearing them long ago. Many of the most popular comics appear in the form of books, called annuals, around Christmas each year.
  Comic books are similar to comics. Each book has a set of characters who have adventures. Many of the characters, such as Spider-Man, Superman and Wonder Woman, have powers that ordinary people do not have.
  Pictures of the most famous characters from comic strips and comic books are used on a range of products. For instance, Gnasher and Snoopy, a character from the Peanuts strip, are printed on bed covers, T-shirts, lunch boxes and birthday cards.

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Universalium. 2010.

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