A Question Of Semantics

By | Saturday, September 15, 2007 Leave a Comment
Here's a few recent comic strips...So my question is: are these still considered comics as defined by Scott McCloud? He decidedly made a point of claiming the cartoons like Family Circus and Far Side with their one-panel format did not qualify as comics. So, if those are not to be considered comics, are periodical stories who typically have a multi-panel format still comics on the occasions that they choose to do use a one-panel narrative? Would they, when collected in a paperback form, be more accurately called a collection of comics plus a small assortment of single panel cartoons?

Or, does their periodical nature allow for them to still be considered comics? Yesterday's strip had several panels and tomorrow's strip will have several panels, so couldn't today's single panel be considered part of the overall narrative? If so, wouldn't that necessarily mean that typical one-panel cartoons would also have to be considered comics -- albiet ones who's status AS comics are dependent on their serial nature?

Or, would that depend on whether or not any given day's cartoon is or isn't related in some way to the next day's? So Family Circus with a central cast of continuing characters with long-term character development would be considered a comic, but Far Side with it's complete lack of serial characters would not be considered a comic because there's zero ongoing narrative. What, then, of a strip like Non Sequitur which has an ongoing narrative repeatedly interrupted by unrelated asides and... well... non sequiturs?
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