View Full Version : When did comics stop relying on exclamation points?
11-27-2006, 09:20 AM
People in the Silver Age didn't speak normally. Their sentences, in print, only ended in exclamation points, question marks, or a combination of both. Simple periods were few and far between.
When did comic book punctuation finally start reflecting more natural speech, with people speaking in statements rather than exclusively using exclamations?
11-27-2006, 09:31 AM
Probably started to become more prevalent in the 1980s when popular characters like Roscharch (in Watchmen) and Wolverine tended to speak in short little sentences.
Did we have this discussion before? I think another factor was that publishers were concerned that periods would drop out in the printing.
11-27-2006, 11:06 AM
Did we have this discussion before?
jb! the ib!
11-27-2006, 10:51 PM
I know it seems unnatural, but I kinda like those excalamation marks. I grew up on a diet of Silver Age comics and have got used to the format.
Joe S. Walker
11-28-2006, 02:37 PM
Comics lost something when the exclamation marks went out - and I don't mean that in a nostalgic way; they were a form of storytelling grammar that evolved to suit the medium. They did not mean, as some people like to amuse themselves by claiming, that everyone was supposed to shout all the time*. Instead, they broke each sentence off from the last, emphasising the essential terseness of language on the comics page, and complementing the staccato visual effect of the panels' continual jump from one action to another. When it became standard to write comics text as if it was "real" prose or movie dialogue, the storytelling lost pace and has never regained it.
(*They appear not to have noticed that when people did shout, their words got bolder and bigger.)
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