The Cartoon Museum

One piece in the museum that struck me that at first glance was what seemed to be a replica print of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein work, but was then informed on the contrary the piece was exposing Lichtenstein’s plagiarism.

Figure 1 – The Star Jockey by Ivr Novcick & WHAAM! by Roy Lichtenstein
Figure 2 – WHAAT? by Dave Gibbons

As you can see in [Figure 1] Whaam! by Roy Lichtenstein is a copy of The Star Jockey by Ivr Novick. Dave gibbons produced WHAAT? a manipulated duplication of Lichtenstein’s painting to express how the pop artist used existing work without crediting Ivr Novick. In Dave’s print [Figure 2] he uses text to expose Lichtenstein by calling him a “copyist” and using the phrases “WHAAT?” & “WHOOSE?” with “Original image created by Irv Novick” in the bottom left corner as if Dave is signing of this piece of work rightfully to the original artist.

Figure 3 – Comic Cuts 

Browsing through all the comic strips on display it was interesting to see how comics have evolved overtime. On display is a series of covers from the early British comic book magazine, Comic Cuts. Alfred Harmsworth produced these from 1890 to 1953 and was the first halfpenny comic papers. The Comic cuts cover had a series of humorous caricature illustrations laid out in a newspaper format. You can see how comic books have evolved from the 18th century being printed greyscale on newsprint to now being digitally rendered and printed on paper or formatted for media devices.



Figure 1 – Lichenstein, Roy. (1963), WHAAM. Novrick, Ivr. (1962) The Star Jockey [online image]. Available at: <;. [Accessed 26 February 2016].

Figure 2 – Gibbons, Dave. (2013) WHAAT? [online image]. Available at: <;. [Accessed 26 February 2016].

Figure 3 – Harmsworth, Alfred. (1890) Comic Cuts [online image]. Available at: <;. [Accessed 26 February 2016].






American Superhero Comics

American superhero comics are a dominant genre in the graphic novel world, with a release rate of 1 comic every 2 months. These comics have a common theme of being set in New York with the main superhero being a stereotypical strong white American male. Religious aspects are linked within American superhero comics with references to terrorism such as 9/11. The Spiderman comic depicts tragedy and hopelessness of the civilians and even Spiderman who is unable to prevent the attack. By comics continuously using 9/11 references shows how it has marked them as a nation.

Figure 1

Figure 2


‘The body is a temple’ is religious reference that comics contradict by abusing superhero bodies with drugs. Superheroes like Captain America use drug enhancements to gain their ‘powers’ to become ‘superhuman’, this can create dangerous image.

Figure 3

“We simply cannot tolerate unhealthy, illegal substance abuse to go on among us.” From this sentence in captain America it says how drugs aren’t tolerable however quickly to the next panel it contradicts this statement with ‘don’t you owe your very powers…to a drug?” “That’s…Uh. Different”, says Captain America. It seems as if the comic excuses the use of drugs just because of captain America’s power status. People with status and power such as leaders, celebrities etc are glorified and excused for drug use.



Figure 1. Marvel. (2001) Spider-Man #36. [online image]. Available at: <http://comics.www.collectors>. [Accessed 16 February 2016].

Figure 2. Kordey, Igor. (2001) Pennsylvania plane. [online image]. Available at: <>. [Accessed 16 February 2016].

Figure 3. Marvel. [online image]. Available at: <>. [Accessed 16 February 2016].

Comics Journalism

Comics journalism is a form of journalism that shows current news in comic frameworks with a combination of illustrations and text. Century’s ago when photography didn’t exist etchings and illustrations were used as a visual representation of events. Comic journalism isn’t as common in todays mainstream newspapers, having only single panelled satirical cartoons used to show current events as entertainment for the reader.

The style and the tools we use to capture visual truth will affect the message in an image. Duncan, R., Taylor, M. and Stoddard, D. (2016). Photography is the most used way of visualizing events in newspapers. But with modern technology and photographic editing softwares allowing images to be easily manipulated which can result in an altered view of events. With the use of manipulated imagery journalists can make you see what they want you to see from only one angle. We may know intellectually that images can be easily altered; yet when we see something photographic we tend to believe it is real, or true. Duncan, R., Taylor, M. and Stoddard, D. (2016).

The difference between photography and comic journalism is that comic creators can mold images to convey the perceived reality of the event. Comic journalism allows the artist to emphasize on aspects of the story to enhancing specific details, conveying one person’s impression of real events. Photography and image are powerful tools of persuasion that influence how we feel and what we think.

comics journalism 1comics journalism 2


Duncan, R., Taylor, M. and Stoddard, D. (2016) Creating comics as journalism memoir and nonfiction. London: Routledge.