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Friday Five: 5 Silent Comics - World Without Words

Arrival

Jamie's back!

One of the ways in which comics can be defined is as a combining of words and pictures in order to form a narrative. But what happens when the words are taken away?

The following five comics are all ‘silent’, by which I mean without word balloons, narration or thought bubbles (sound effects are still allowed). Often used in tales where dislocation or surrealism are key elements, wordless comics can also focus on playing on strong emotional reactions as there’s one less thing intellectually separating the reader and the characters. With silent comics, the reader’s involvement becomes deeper and more active, as you have to bring so much more to putting together a story without the guiding hand that words provide.

If you’re looking for a ‘reading’ experience that’s a bit out of the ordinary and will flex parts of your brain you didn’t know you had - here are five examples of amazing silent comics.

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Friday Five: 5 Majorly Helpful Marketing Manuals

How to lie with statistics

Slightly outside our normal remit, but, hey, we encourage people to share the things they're interested in, and I really like this stuff. 

The thing is, 98% of the time, when anyone asks "what should I learn about advertising?", the answer will be "Ogilvy". And - you know what? That's right. I can't even set this up as a controversial "Nogilvy" (see what I did there?) hot take, because the eminently quotable David Ogilvy managed to churn out advice that's, frankly, both practical and timeless. Darnit.

So start there.

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Friday Five: 5 Stories by Jeff Lemire

Descender

Jamie's back with more recommendations! 

Canadian writer/artist Jeff Lemire is a comics creator whose work is bound together by a strong thematic consistency. Lemire really proves – as if there was still doubt – that comics are a serious literary medium, but he doesn’t forget the power this medium has to engage with our emotions.

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Friday Five: 5 Wonderful Webcomics Now in Print (And They Say That Print Is Dead!)

Ellerbisms-13Say hi to Jamie, who is leading us through the wicked world of webcomics...

Webcomics, they’re a tricky beast.

The spiritual successors to daily newspaper strips, given the entire scope and resources of the World Wide Web in which to spread their wings. Just keeping up with a tiny fraction of what’s available can amount to a full time job and, for luddites like me, they represent a unique problem: I want to read them, but books are just so darn nice!

Luckily, some very nice people (publishers, mostly) have collected some of top webcomics into print editions. Here are five of my favourites:

Ellerbisms by Marc Ellerby (published by Great Beast) 

Ellerbisms came out in 2012, but the comic itself began way back in 2007 and charts Marc Ellerby’s own life, specifically his relationship with Anna: the girl he never thought he could have, then had and ultimately lost. Autobiography is a common genre for webcomics, the daily, or near-daily, nature of them being a great way to chart day-to-day experience. What sets Ellerbisms apart is the charming honesty of its warts-and-all storytelling. Ellerby himself is not always the hero here, but that doesn’t mean he’s the villain. There are no villains in this story, there’s just life. This honest account is tied together by Ellerby’s disarmingly simplistic artwork: simple lines construct amazingly expressive faces, with quirked eyebrows and slight frowns saying so much more than words could, the art belying the raw emotional punch this comic carries.

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Five for 2015: 5 Signs of the Animal Apocalypse

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Today's post is from Special Operative Fleur, who is serving in the front line in the battle against furry armageddon. We have only ever known war. /eats bacon sandwich

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One of my favourite film scenes has always been the battle scene in the cartoon version of Animal Farm (1954). Goats being camouflaged as walls, geese ambushing people from haystacks and donkeys kicking people in the face – it's great. I'm a bleeding heart pacifist, war films bore me and you couldn't pay me enough to go paintballing, but there's something about animals reigning terror on man that makes me very happy. 

Animals have always challenged the rule of man, but in 2015 they escalated hostilities. Tell your family you love them, go out and stock up on catnip, and prepare for the animal apocalypse.

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Five for 2015: 5 Great Games of the Year

BATMAN™_ ARKHAM KNIGHT_20151216172351

With the new generation of consoles finally coming into their own this year, it's been a great 12 months for blockbuster games. Here's the five which gave me the most fun - and in return, I've given them good write-ups. It's actually about ethics in end-of-the-year listicles.

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Five for 2015: 5 Shining Social Media Moments

Oink

This week's guest is author Kim Curran, helping us end the year with a bang! Take it away, Kim...

2015 has, in many ways, been goddamn awful. Just an endless barrage of humans being utterly shit to each other. Quite often social media is criticised for bringing out the worst in people, of stoking the already ravenous fires of hatred and fear. Studies have shown angry posts spread the fastest across social channels and we all know there’s something about the anonymity offered by the internet that turns even reasonable people into trolls. And then there’s the smuggery. Oh, god, the smuggery.

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