Print comics are comics that have a mainstream or niche appeal and are “printed” to be sold and purchased by the general public. In the recent past, these types of comics were printed and sold by the hundreds of thousands, since they were often included in newspapers with their own dedicated pages. Due to how popular the format was, they are now predominantly found being posted on websites through the form of blogs. Of course, there are those comics that are more underground. While you have your funny animal comic strips found at the back of magazines and comics that have a major fan following, you also have those comic titles that do appeal to the more niche crowd in a political sense. Regardless of how much popularity a serially printed comic has, no comic series is safe from showcasing a certain type of bias one way or another. The reason for this has little to do with what the general public seeks to have included in their multi-paneled entertainment and more to do with the personal preferences of the artist behind the comic strip itself.
These types of comic strip styled print comics have been used for many years to pass on both political and religious themes through the work. How printed comics are influenced by current events will differ, depending on the country and the current events being depicted. One of the major ways that comics have been impressed upon by current events in the past have been through propaganda. If we’re talking about the history of print comics and the way that certain messages have been portrayed, the root of this current practice lies in the ways that panel strip comics were used back during certain tumultuous times in humankind’s history, in order to express a dislike for an opposing opinion in a political manner. This can include propaganda that is spread during times of war or during the running of government official campaigns. Other types of propaganda are also used as a means of utilizing print comics as a tool of expression from one political side or another. A good example of this would be when an artist decides to depict a world leader in a humorous manner, in order to make a point through comedy or to exaggerate something they disagree with.
This mode of expression can also be extended into pop culture references. When themes are taken from current or past events and inserted into strip printed comics on blogs or in newspapers, there is often a purpose behind this tactic of storytelling. “Hooks” are something that is generated form this type of content. By using major themes that people can relate to or refer knowledge to, more people can be attracted to a printed comic included in their morning paper. It can generate a lot of interest when an artist or magazine publisher decides to use major events that are happening right now in the media within their stories.
Aside from generated added interest, commercially printed comic strips are influenced by current events through the evolution of cultural changes. Not only can certain biases be expressed through the stories of newspaper or blogged comics, but an artist and writer of a comic can also reflect to their audiences current changes that are happening culturally. Which, with our new age reliance on technology to get our news updates, means that they will be more likely to be shared across multiple platforms. If you were to take a look at a talking animal comic strip from the late 1980’s versus a comic strip from 2019 of the same series, you would easily be able to find references to newer technology, ways of speaking, artistic drawing style, and so much more between the two vastly different eras.