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Etch-A-Sketch

The first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart, till the Devil whispered behind the leaves "It's pretty, but is it Art?" -Rudyard Kipling Sketch means making rough drawings. Now, these drawings can be of anything: a mathematical diagram, an engineering diagram, some person, some landscape, some animal... it could be of anything and everything! Thats the beauty of it! Imagination! Creation! Thats what makes sketching an Art. This art flourished in the 19th century as flash
fiction.

It is a well-known fact that man painted before he invented writing, while pictorial signs such as hieroglyphics were usually an intermediate stage in many cultures. Today, even after thousands of years, we understand and appreciate the ancient oeuvres. We are impressed by the Lascaux cave paintings and overwhelmed by the grandeur of the monumental pyramids, even without a single word of explanation. The conclusion implicit in this is that - art of sketching was a means of universal communication long before writing was introduced, and so it still is. Nowadays, sketches are used to help authorities find or identify wanted people. Street performers in popular tourist areas often include artists who sketch portraits within minutes. But, sketches are used widely in comics of all genres. Since were talking about comics now, lets start with the leader in the world of comics.

Manga & Anime Manga (Japanese word for "comics") is a Japanese style of comics and print cartoons which was developed in the late 19th century, shortly after World War II. People of all ages read manga. These whimsical drawings include works in a broad range of genres: actionadventure, romance, sports and games, historical drama, comedy, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, horror, sexuality, and business/commerce, among others. Manga stories are typically printed in black-and-white, although some full-colour manga do exist. Anime is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of animation. But generally, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons (Japanimation). Anime started gaining popularity in late 19th century, post World War II. Both hand-drawn and computeranimated anime exist. It is used in television series, films, video, video games, commercials, and internet-based releases, and represents most, if not all, genres of fiction. An explosion of artistic creativity occurred during 1945-1952 in Japan. An immensely popular ani-manga series named Astro Boy which was originated as a manga in 1952 by Osamu Tezuka, revered in Japan as the "God of Manga" continues to run even till date and it regularly draws more viewers than any other anime on Japanese television. The success of The Walt Disney Company's 1937 feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs influenced

Japanese animators. In the 1960s, manga Osamu Tezuka adapted and simplified many Disney animation-techniques to reduce costs and to limit the number of frames in productions. He intended this as a temporary measure to allow him to produce material on a tight schedule with inexperienced animation-staff. His work inspired characteristics and genres that remain fundamental elements of anime today. In Japan, the term anime does not specify an animation's nation of origin or style; instead, it serves as a blanket term to refer to all forms of animation from around the world. But English-language dictionaries define anime as "a Japanese style of motion-picture animation" or as "a style of animation developed in Japan". Similarly, in Japan, "manga" can refer to both animation and comics. Among English speakers, "manga" has the stricter meaning of "Japanese comics", in parallel to the usage of "anime" in and outside of Japan. The term "ani-manga" is used to describe comics produced from animation cells. Many commentators refer to anime as an art form. As a visual medium, it can emphasize visual styles. The styles can vary from artist to artist or from studio to studio. The influences of Japanese calligraphy and Japanese painting also characterize linear qualities of the anime style. Anime also tends to borrow many elements from manga, including text in the background and panel layouts. Many anime and manga characters feature large eyes. Osamu Tezuka, who is believed to have been the first to use this technique, was inspired by the exaggerated features of American cartoon characters such as Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, and Disney's Bambi. He found that large eyes style allowed his characters to show emotions distinctly. However, not all anime have large eyes. Some examples of most popular ani-manga series among the youth all over the world are: Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, Inuyasha and Naruto which are written and illustrated by Noriaki "Tite" Kubo, Hiromu Arakawa, Rumiko Takahashi and Masashi Kishimoto respectively.

Another ani-manga series that is very popular among children is Crayon Shinchan written by Yoshito Usui. Due to the death of author Usui, the manga in its current form ended on September 11, 2009, as announced in a broadcast of the anime on October 16, 2009. Although the series formally ended on February 5, 2010, it was announced on December 1, 2009 that a new manga would be published in the summer of 2010 by members of Usui's team.

Marvel comics Marvel started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by the early 1950s had generally become known as Atlas Comics. Marvel's modern incarnation dates from 1961, with the company later that year launching Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others. Marvel counts among its characters such well-known properties as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Thor and Captain America; antagonists such as Doctor Doom, the Green Goblin, Magneto, Galactus, and the Red Skull. Most of Marvel's fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with locales set in real-life cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Memes The word meme is a shortening of mimeme (from Ancient Greek ) and it was coined and used by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene (1976) as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. The term Internet meme is used to describe a concept that spreads via the Internet, largely through Internet-based email, blogs, forums, Image boards, social networking sites, instant messaging and video streaming sites. An Internet meme is an idea which may take the form of a hyperlink, video, picture, website, hashtag, or just a word or phrase. Picture memes are sketches that become popular overtime because of their unconventional style or witty texts. Although numerous memes can be found on sites like 9gag, 4chan, know your meme, etc., troll and rage comics have become extremely popular nowadays. In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The first trollface was drawn in 2008.

Rage comic is an Internet meme for a comic centering on a titular rage guy, created from a character, or rage face, which expresses rage, shock, defeat, surprise, pleasure, success, horror or some other simple emotions. The range of such expressions has allowed uses such as teaching English as a foreign language. Prof. Scott Stillar, who teaches English at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, thinks that rage comics are a great way to teach the English language because at their core they consist of well known faces or expressions which are meant to show universal emotions of varying degrees under a wide variety of circumstances.

Webcomics Webcomics (also known as online comics or Internet comics) are comics published on a website. Almost anyone can create their own webcomic and publish it. Webcomics range from traditional comic strips and graphic novels to avante garde comics, and cover many genres, styles and subjects. The first online comic was Witches and Stitches, which was published on CompuServe in 1985. Xkcd, Cyanide and Happiness and The DogHouse Diaries are some examples of recent popular webcomics which use simple sketch figures as characters in them.

Xkcd is a webcomic created by Randall Munroe. The comic's tagline describes it as "a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. The subject matter of this comic varies, including statements on life and love (some love strips are simply art with poetry), and mathematical or scientific in-jokes. The DogHouse Diaries is a webcomic created by the trio of William Samari, Ray Yamartino, and Rafaan Anvari in January 2009. Ever since then, new comics are added three times a week on their site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is worth noting that it was the brainchild of this trio eating cheeseburgers while talking about recipe websites. The combination of eating food and talking about food on the internet gave birth to a webcomic. It began gaining considerable exposure in just five months after a few of its comics went viral receiving hundreds of thousands of views in a couple of days. Cyanide and Happiness began as a small series of comics drawn by Kris Wilson at the age of 16. One day while at his home suffering from strep throat, Kris entertained himself by drawing comics by hand, and would later move on to drawing them on his computer. Kris created his own website called Comicazi that allowed him to showcase his comics to others. Kris shared his comics with the forum of Stickdeath.com. The webmasters of Stick suicide (Matt Melvin, Rob DenBleyker and Dave McElfatrick) eventually gave up on Stick Suicide and started Explosm.net, a new site less focused on Flash Stick Death animation and more on art in general. They saw potential in Kris' comics, so they invited him to continue the comic daily with their help. Explosm is currently run by Matt, Rob, Dave, and Kris. The entire Explosm team now makes comics on a regular basis. The current name "Cyanide and Happiness" comes from a strip in which one character is selling cotton candy made of Cyanide and Happiness.

Indian scenario
Indian comics (Chitrakatha) are comic books and graphic novels associated with the culture of India published in English and various Indian languages. India has a long tradition of comic readership, characters from centuries-old extensive myths and folktales have adorned the covers of children's comic books in India for decades. Over the last three decades, Diamond Comics, Raj Comics, Tinkle and Amar Chitra Katha have established vast distribution networks countrywide and are read by millions of children in a wide range of languages. Anant Pai, affectionately known as "Uncle Pai," is credited with helping to launch India's comic book industry in the 1960s with his "Amar Chitra Katha" series chronicling the ancient Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. Some famous characters from Indian comics include Chacha Chaudhary, Nagraj, Doga, Suppandi and Shikari Shambhu. In the 1990s, newspapers started publishing more caricatures of Indian origin. Indian law and democracy permits the journalists and cartoonists to discuss current affairs with reasonable freedom. Among the most famous caricaturists are Joseph Arul Raj, Ashok Dongre and Neelabh Bisen. With the advent of India's potential and demand of quality comics, but lack of institutes for the speciality in the art of comics, Mr. Anupam Sinha has launched his own Anupam Academy of Art for specialisation in departments of creation of comics. He is renowned for illustrating some of the best Indian comics. Currently his weekly strip superhero "Rudra" is being hailed as trend setting in Hindi newspapers like Dainik Jagran. R. K. Laxman is widely regarded as India's greatest-ever cartoonist. He is best known for his creation The Common Man.

How to develop your own unique cartoon style? In the world of cartoons and drawing, there are hundreds of styles and different types that are unique to their artists. You like all these styles, and they are fun to duplicate and draw, but what if you want your own style that is unique? Well, it's easier than you think. 1. Find an inspiration- Everyone's style is influenced by another's. As mentioned earlier in this article, Osamu Tezuka was inspired by Walt Disney to create characters with huge eyes, which became the anime style we know today. Find a good artist that you admire, "shadow" their work by looking at how they draw their bodies, proportions and how it works together overall. This way you can see the mechanics of their style. 2. Think about what you like- You've found an artist and you've shadowed them. Now, think of yourself. What are some line styles that you are comfortable with? Sharp, quick, pointy lines that feather out? Smooth, round, bold lines? Jagged edges and pointy features? What lines make your art yours? This is important because your lines are what make up the "mood" of your style and the "mood" of the characters. 3. Get On It- You've found a good artist to shadow, and let's say, you're in love with sharp pointy edges and quick-feathered features. You've got your inspiration and an idea of lines you're comfortable with...now what? Grab some paper, a pencil and get started! Start doodling random characters using the line style you chose. Experiment by varying the size and shapes of limbs and features, and placement of things. 4. Add color to it- After you've developed the basics to your personal style, it's time to explore the 2nd most important thing in developing a new unique style - color! Color is important because it works with your line work to create the "mood" and "feel" of not only the style but your characters too. Sit back and think. Do you want happy-golucky bright colors, or gloomy colors? Are you thinking exciting and ravishing or monotone and monochromatic? 5. Test it Out- Once you've got a general idea of the line style and color scheme of your style, it's time to put it to the test! Will it hold or flop? Is it a versatile style or can you only go one way with it? Try going out to public places like the mall, or the park and draw who and what you see in your newfound style. Draw different variations of what you see and if it doesn't work, keep tweaking it! Despite the fact that an artist's style is never truly complete, after much tweaking you will soon be in a place where you'll be happy enough to public share your style! It will hopefully be unique to you and what you like, and you might just make your own comic book, manga book, or get your own TV show! All the best!