Historical comic’s superpowers: the creative power to communicate visually historical epics

    Vaida Nedzinskaitė-Mitkė Affiliation


Comics are an indisputable part of popular culture. But compared to any other audiovisual media products, the production of this form of entertainment is relatively cheap. Thus, on this fact alone comic book artform could be used to fill the demand for local historical genre in popular culture and, in turn, to contribute significantly to the formation of a modern national identity among the youngest generations of the country. However, that is not the only or even the best superpower of the medium when it comes to production of fictional historical epics for entertainment purposes. In this article, the author explores comic medium’s creative aspects that could be used to effectively communicate the various visual aspects of the past. Findings suggest that the most important visual medium’s communicative tool that creates a unique and immersive experience is stylisation, in tandem with spatial and temporal systems. Additionally, the author discusses the challenges and opportunities for comic media to emerge in an educational context.

Keyword : comics, creative industries, historical genre, Lithuanian comics, modern national identity

How to Cite
Nedzinskaitė-Mitkė, V. (2022). Historical comic’s superpowers: the creative power to communicate visually historical epics. Creativity Studies, 15(2), 577–589.
Published in Issue
Aug 29, 2022
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

References (2020). Komiksais apie albanų mokslininkę papasakojusi L. Itagaki: komikse reikia skaityti vaizdą.

Apostolidès, J.-M. (2010). The Metamorphoses of Tintin, Or Tintin for Adults. Stanford University Press.

Araya, B., Pena, P., & Leiner, M. (2021). Developing a health education comic book: The advantages of learning the behaviours of a target audience. Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine, 44(3), 87–96.

Arroio, A. (2011). Comics as a narrative in natural science education. Western Anatolia: Journal of Educational Science. Special Issue: Selected Papers Presented at World Conference on New Trends in Science Education, 93–98.

Berkowitz, J., & Packer, T. (2001). Heroes in the classroom: comic books in art education. Art Education, 54(6), 12–18.

Boer, S. (2020). “Maybe I’ll make something with it”: Comics as alternative sex education. Studies in Comics, 11(1), 87–107.

Bongco, M. (2000). Studies in American popular history and culture. Reading comics: Language, culture, and the concept of the superhero in comic books. Routledge.

Britannica. (2021). Historical novel.

Brito, J. A. (2015). Defining country size: A descriptive analysis of small and large states. Munich Personal RePEc Archive Paper No. 66149.

Bugailiškienė, J. (2007). Šiuolaikinis Lietuvos komiksas (1990–2005). Knygotyra, 49, 138–167.

Buhle, P. (2007). History and comics. Reviews in American History, 35(2), 315–323.

CBR Staff. (2016). 2012 was the start of a new golden age of comics.

Cohn, N. (2010). The limits of time and transitions: Challenges to theories of sequential image comprehension. Studies in Comics, 1(1), 127–147.

Critchley, A. (2017). The Graphic Novel’s Dilemma: Debating a genre’s search for respect. Publishing Perspectives.

Dirks, T. (1996–2022a). Epics-Historical Films: Part 1. Filmsite.

Dirks, T. (1996–2022b). Epics-Historical Films: Part 2. Filmsite.

Dukes, J. (2018–2022). What is historical fiction? Celadon Books.

Farinella, M. (2018). The potential of comics in science communication. Journal of Science Communication, 17(1), 1–17.

Gabilliet, J.-P. (2010). Of comics and men: A cultural history of American comic books. University Press of Mississippi.

Goldstein, L. (2014). Graphic/narrative/history: Defining the essential experience(s) of 9/11. In A. A. Babic (Ed.), Comics as history, comics as literature: Roles of the comic book in scholarship, society, and entertainment (pp. 123–140). Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Green, M. J., & Myers, K. R. (2010). Graphic medicine: Use of comics in medical education and patient care. BMJ, 340, 574–577.

Herbst, P., Chazan, D., Che, Ch.-L., Chieu, V.-M., & Weiss, M. (2011). Using comics-based representations of teaching, and technology, to bring practice to teacher education courses. The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 43(1), 91–103.

Huska, M. (2014). Image and text in service of the nation: Historically themed comic books as Civic education in 1980s Mexico. In A. A. Babic (Ed.), Comics as history, comics as literature: Roles of the comic book in scholarship, society, and entertainment (pp. 65–78). Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Hussain, J. S., Ejaz, S., & Shabir, G. (2019). Effects of patriotic movies on public behavior in Pakistan: A survey study of Lahore City. Journal of Business and Social Review in Emerging Economies, 5(2), 335–350.

Jacobson, S., & Colón, E. (2006). The 9/11 Report: A graphic adaptation. Hill and Wang.

Jačėnaitė, J. (2017). Iliustratorė Ona Kvašytė: ieškome kokybiškų komiksų.

Johnson-Woods, T. (Ed.). (2010). Manga: An anthology of global and cultural perspectives. The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.

Lietuvos kultūros taryba. (2022). Finansuoti projektai. (2022). Knygų savaitė 2021. Brandus pokalbis apie rimtas istorines temas grafinių romanų pavidalu. Aukso žuvys.

Mathias, Y. (2007). Cultivating historical literacy in a post-literate age: Historical movies in classroom. Tidskrift: Journal of Research in Teacher Education, 4, 37–54.

McCloud, S. (2000). The Comic Books. Reinventing comics: How imagination and technology are revolutionizing an art form. William Morrow Paperbacks.

McCloud, S. (1993). The Comic Books. Understanding comics: The invisible art. William Morrow Paperbacks.

Medley, S. (2010). Discerning pictures: How we look at and understand images in comics. Studies in Comics, 1(1), 53–70.

Mitchell, W. J. T. (2014). Comics as media: Afterword. Critical Inquiry, 40(3), 255–265.

Mitkus, T. (2013). Komiksai Lietuvoje: nepanaudotas kultūrinis ir edukacinis įrankis. Santalka: filosofija, komunikacija, 21(1), 21–34.

Mitkus, T., & Nedzinskaitė-Mitkė, V. (2019, 14–16 June). A five years follow up study of Lithuanian comic book culture and industry development. In Proceedings of CONFIA 2019: 7th International Conference on Illustration and Animation (pp. 225–235). Viana do Castelo, Portugal. Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave.

Mitkus, T., & Nedzinskaitė-Mitkė, V. (2018). Komiksai: pažink ir kurk. Technika.

Nobel, C. (2020). Documenting serious issues with comics journalism: An interview with Josh Neufeld. The Journalist’s Resource.

O’Neill, R. (2016). Digital character development: Theory and practice. CRC Press.

Park, S. (2005). The impact of media use and cultural exposure on the mutual perception of Koreans and Japanese. Asian Journal of Communication, 15(2), 173–187.

Pekūnas, Ž. (2019). Teksto kaip vaizdo perteikimas Arto Spiegelmano grafinio romano Maus vertime į lietuvių kalbą. Vertimo studijos, 12, 99–115.

Pustz, M. (Ed.). (2012). Comic books and American cultural history: An anthology. Continuum International Publishing Group.

Ramirez, E. (2015). Big misconceptions about successful comic books and animated films. Youneek Studios.

Roussou, Ch., Papavramidou, Z., Antoniou, A., Lepouras, G., & Wallace, M. (2019, 9–10 June). An observational study on the use of comics in education. In Proceedings of 2019 14th International Workshop on Semantic and Social Media Adaptation and Personalization (SMAP) (pp. 1–4). Larnaca, Cyprus. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Shlapentokh, V. (2009). Perceptions of foreign threats to the regime: From Lenin to Putin. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 42(3), 305–324.

Skamarakaitė, A. (2017). Dailininkė Ula Šimulynaitė Vilniaus istoriją pavertė komiksu.

Syon, de G. (2014). Did you learn your strip? The history of France as comic fad in the 1970s. In A. A. Babic (Ed.), Comics as history, comics as literature: Roles of the comic book in scholarship, society, and entertainment (pp. 33–46). Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Tatalovic, M. (2009). Science comics as tools for science education and communication: A brief, exploratory study. Journal of Science Communication, 8(4), 1–17.

Terror, J. (2018). Are we living in the new golden age of comic books? Bleeding Cool.

Walker Vadillo, M. A. (2010). Comic books featuring the middle ages. Itinéraires: Littérature, Textes, Cultures, 3, 153–163.

Wallner, L., & Eriksson Barajas, K. (2020). Using comics and graphic novels in K-9 education: An integrative research review. Studies in Comics, 11(1), 37–54.

Weber, K. C., Saldanha, T. C. B., Sousa e Silva, de K. K., Santos, P. M. M., Souza, D. D. D., & Arroio, A. (2013). Introducing comics as an alternative scientific narrative in chemistry teaching. Batı Anadolu Eğitim Bilimleri Dergisi, 4(8), 1–14.