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Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 03 Oct 2009, 19:24
by philcom55
'Breaking the Fourth Wall' is a term that's normally applied to Stage and Screen where actors interact directly with the audience, and there are obviously many similar situations in comics when characters 'talk' to the readers. However there's also a purely visual equivalent that is virtually unique to comics which involves characters who transcend their two-dimensional existence by stepping out of their frame or off the page. To my mind DC Thomson have been particularly adept at using this trick over the years, often with their front-cover strips like Korky, Mickey the Monkey or (as in the example below) Biffo the Bear:

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I wonder if anyone can recall other instances in which the medium was subverted in this way...?

- Phil Rushton

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 03 Oct 2009, 21:06
by Digifiend
The 1963 Beano Book shows the Bash Street Kids reading The Beano Book 1963!
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Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 03 Oct 2009, 21:15
by Jonny Whizz
There was an Ivy the Terrible strip drawn by Bob Nixon reprinted in the Beano a few years ago where she was mountain climbing and she fell off the page, with a cartoon version of Bob himself drawing the page.

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 03 Oct 2009, 21:25
by Digifiend
Bob also physically met Ivy in an annual strip - he taught her to draw by showing different facial expressions and body parts, and she even runs up his arm.

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 03 Oct 2009, 21:33
by Steve Henderson
Bobs met Ivy in a few of the annuals, shes sick of the sight of him now!! :lol:

Its not british but Marvel comics 'Deadpool' often breaks the fourth wall and references other issues specifically in his stories.

I always used to like 'Readers Voice' although as a kid I wasn't sure if it was a script for me (as the reader) to read outloud! Thats pretty unique to british comics.

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 03 Oct 2009, 22:46
by Peter Gray
Cheeky by Frank was great at this...
nearly every strip he broke the forth wall..I love it when a comc character does this.I also love Tex Avery cartoons..which are famous for this..

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 04 Oct 2009, 14:41
by felneymike
I have an old annual, i think it's The Dandy, where the artist of Smasher rubs everything out, so he ends up smashing the lines around the frame!

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 04 Oct 2009, 14:55
by Digifiend
If it was Smasher then it was The Dandy.

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 05 Oct 2009, 13:20
by philcom55
'Smart Art' in Topper was actually based on the interaction between a cartoon character and his artist, and featured a number of clever visual tricks:

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- Phil Rushton

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 05 Oct 2009, 21:47
by stevezodiac
There was a Gaswork's Gang story in Cor!! by Frank McDairmid where the gang complain that their strip is in black and white every week and I seem to remember the gang bringing in loads of pots of paints and colouring it themselves. Last panel or two are in colour.

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 05 Oct 2009, 23:47
by Peter Gray
I remember Dennis the Menace in one story and the Bash street kids moaning they are in one colour on each page.red..blue then green in the Beano annual
green made them sick...

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 06 Oct 2009, 20:35
by philcom55
One of my all-time favourite strips dealing with the fictional interface between 2D and 3D - Hunt Emerson's brilliant Blackhawk spoof 'Thunderdogs' from 1981:

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- Phil Rushton

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 07 Oct 2009, 00:29
by Digifiend
That's different! Never seen an instance of something looking as if it's walking on the paper before, as these soldiers do. Very clever of Hunt. Nice illusion. :D

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 07 Oct 2009, 09:49
by skyromie
I like the guy takin' a leak at the end.

Re: Breaking the Fourth Wall!

Posted: 13 Oct 2009, 12:56
by f├║star
philcom55 wrote:'Smart Art' in Topper was actually based on the interaction between a cartoon character and his artist, and featured a number of clever visual tricks.

- Phil Rushton
Nice. Indebted to Duck Amuck perhaps.