Monday, May 30, 2005

Onomatopeia


onamatopeia
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.
Greeting, readers! I'm Green Arrow villain Onomatopeia, and I've been asked to introduce a new running feature here at the Absorbascon.

Doesn't it seem, sometimes, that other comic book companies have the monopoly on cool sounds? TWHIP. SNIKT. Oh, I'd love to make some people regret those sounds!

But, trust Onomatopeia, we've got sounds of our own, and we'll be literally looking at them in our new feature "The Sounds of Silence". Zowie, what fun!

But first off...have you ever noticed that sound effects are one of the big differences between Golden/Silver age comic books and Bronze/Modern ones? Really, take a look. Golden/Silver age stories had the occasional sound effect (BANGing guns, SLAMming doors, and Prof. Lang WHACKing Lana's buttocks with a hairbrush, usually) when the plot required you to notice the noise. But for the most part they're more like silent movies.

Once you hit the Bronze Age...yowtch! Cover your ears! Sound effects started to SPROING forth from the pages of DC stories. I wonder what accounts of the sudden visual noisiness of comics?

6 comments:

Des said...

I wonder what accounts of the sudden visual noisiness of comics?

Punk rock?

amphetamine said...

I think the "BIFF! BAM! POW!" of the Adam West/Burt Ward Batman series has something to do with it...

I base this on absolutely nothing, but it seems as likely an answer as anything else.

Scipio said...

INTeresting theory, Amph...

I was also wondering whether Marvel was part of it. They did have Kirby, the man who later put the BOOM in Boom Tube. Did Marvel comics have more sound effects, so that DC stories suddenly seemed eerily quiet and needed to "louden up"?

Robby Reed said...

I think letterers like such as John Workman made sounds "look" so good they were used more.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Early Marvel went krazy with the SFX. It became part of the "Pop Art" style they were trying to create. Lookit mid-sixties Marvels for proof.

The best ever SFX: some explosion that said "KRACKOOOOOOM" with an asterisk on the end. The footnote read: "Ed. note: the fourth 'O' is silent."

Heh.

They went away for a while so comics would look more "grownup." Screw that, I sez.

David M said...

Quick flick through Essential Fantastic Four shows modest and sparing sound effects up to #35, but they take off after that. This may be a bit sad, but I feel really interested in this now...