SOUND EFFECTS IN COMICS
Onomatopoeia. I remember this word being on my fourth grade spelling test. Who knows whether or not I actually got it right, but I do remember feeling its power. Six distinct syllables, a poem with steps, resolved with a mysterious clutch of open vowels.
Onomatopoeia. It’s a term for a word that represents a sound. Onomatopoeias show up a lot in comics, though they’re most well-known by their appearance in the Batman tv series from the ’60s, or from the 2010 film, Scott Pilgrim vs The World.
WORDS IN ACTION
I thought it would be fun to take a look at the way different comics have utilized onomatopoeia in their stories, so enjoy this scroll through onomatopoeia throughout the pages…
CALVIN AND HOBBES (BILL WATTERSON)
HELLBOY (MIKE MIGNOLA)
SPIDERMAN (STAN LEE & STEVE DITKO)
KRAZY KAT (GEORGE HERRIMAN)
FAR ARDEN (KEVIN CANNON)
FORMING (JESSE MOYNIHAN)
WOLVERINE (LEN WEIN & JOHN ROMITA, SR.)
BONE (JEFF SMITH)
VARIOUS COMICS (CHRIS WARE)
Kevin Cannon’s Far Arden is packed with over 250 onomatopoeias–271, to be exact! Some of them are pretty funny, and they take me right back to making comics in my seventh-grade math class. Check out a full list of Kevin’s onomatopoeias here, and feel free to share some of your own examples below.
- New Onomatopoeia Handbook- #Writer (donnalsadd.wordpress.com)
- 12 Onomatopoeias from Around the World (mentalfloss.com)
- A Partial Alphabet of Thai Onomatopoeia–Words for Usually-Unusual Noises (longstreet.typepad.com)