Comics is a medium used to express ideas by images, often combined with text or other visual information. Comics frequently takes the form of juxtaposed sequences of panels of images, often textual devices such as speech balloons and onomatopoeia indicate dialogue, sound effects, or other information. Size and arrangement of panels contribute to narrative pacing and similar forms of illustration are the most common image-making means in comics, fumetti is a form which uses photographic images. Common forms of comics include comic strips and gag cartoons, since the late 20th century, bound volumes such as graphic novels, comic albums, and tankōbon have become increasingly common, and online webcomics have proliferated in the 21st century. The history of comics has followed different paths in different cultures, scholars have posited a pre-history as far back as the Lascaux cave paintings. By the mid-20th century, comics flourished particularly in the United States, western Europe, histories of Japanese comics and cartooning propose origins as early as the 12th century.
Comics has had a reputation for much of its history. The English term comics is used as a noun when it refers to the medium. Though the term derives from the work that predominated in early American newspaper comic strips. It is common in English to refer to the comics of different cultures by the used in their original languages, such as manga for Japanese comics. The increasing cross-pollination of concepts from different comics cultures and eras has further made definition difficult, examples of early comics The European and Japanese comics traditions have followed different paths. Japan had a prehistory of satirical cartoons and comics leading up to the World War II era. The ukiyo-e artist Hokusai popularized the Japanese term for comics and cartooning, manga, in the post-war era modern Japanese comics began to flourish when Osamu Tezuka produced a prolific body of work. Illustrated humour periodicals were popular in 19th-century Britain, the earliest of which was the short-lived The Glasgow Looking Glass in 1825, the most popular was Punch, which popularized the term cartoon for its humorous caricatures.
American comics developed out of magazines as Puck, Judge. The success of illustrated humour supplements in the New York World and the New York American, particularly Outcaults The Yellow Kid, early Sunday strips were full-page and often in colour. Between 1896 and 1901 cartoonists experimented with sequentiality, shorter, black-and-white daily strips began to appear early in the 20th century, and became established in newspapers after the success in 1907 of Bud Fishers Mutt and Jeff. In Britain, the Amalgamated Press established a style of a sequence of images with text beneath them, including Illustrated Chips