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Sound effects have been a part of comic books since the very beginning. Which sound effects, though, are the all-time most iconic? Find out!. Onomatopoeia is a staple part of comic book lore. Large, bold, printed words to describe the sounds made (usually during fight scenes) have. Comics are in the peculiar position of needing to imply sounds through Using a sound effect to inform the very structure of the comic is the.

Comic Book Sound Effects

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Below is a full list of the sound effects in the database so far. There are unique effects and effects overall. If you're looking for a simpler list (for. The Comic Book Sound Effect Database is a searchable index and gallery of sound effects from comic books. 16 results The Comic Book Sound Effect Database is a searchable index and gallery of sound effects from comic books.

Of all the elements defining comics, the most paradoxical is that it is a silent medium that nonetheless has sound represented. Comics are in the peculiar position of needing to imply sounds through images, making it the only medium where the audience regularly sees sound instead of hearing it. Overcoming this inherent hurdle requires artists to utilize, innovate, and invent all sorts of methods to depict sound. The most familiar sound trope is the word balloon, or speech bubble, typically appearing as a block of text within a white oval with a protrusion to denote the speaker. The shape alone can highlight all sorts of auditory effects. A jagged balloon implies shouting or screaming.

This versatility extends to the content inside the balloon. Playing with typeface is only the beginning.

Moving from written to visual language opens up new ways for representing sound. A symbol like the skull and crossbones can serve as a visual equivalent to a death groan. This captures its essence in a more elegant and evocative manner than verbalization is capable of. Among those possibilities is the ability to go beyond merely capturing sound and instead transform it into something entirely new. Deadpool, commonly characterized as a loony jokester with metafictional awareness, has pale yellow speech and thought balloons.

The coloring choice helps establish a signature visual for the character, one that is reflective of his personality or being. The greater ramification though, is that the sound is being depicted with a purely visual element. All characteristics of a sound, the reader must infer it from the manner in which the sound is visualized. Nonetheless, that is what is being implied to the reader. By depicting the sound with a trait that requires sight, it fully realizes the sound as an graphic image.

Just as the word balloon is an effective tool for speech, the visual sound effect is one for noises, and like its counterpart, is only effective in comics.


The show plays this for laughs, but it illuminates how integral onomatopoeia is to comics. In a medium like television where sound is available, this device is an excessive distraction. Imagine how heavy-handed this scene of domestic violence would be if it was layered with a BIFF!

The sound effect is layered with little regard to size, placement, or spatial orientation, obstructing the other images in the scene, and ends up pulling the reader out of the story. Well-executed onomatopoeia requires carefully balancing all the visual elements in a panel. Artist Frank Quitely demonstrates it in this panel from, fittingly enough, Batman and Robin.

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By drawing the sound effect into the rocket exhaust and not stamping it over the panel, it fits smoothly with the rest of the art. Yet when an artist embraces the flashiness of onomatopoeia, its true storytelling potential can be realized.

One of the most controversial comic book sound effects probably the most controversial comic book sound effect occurred in "Amazing Spider-Man" by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane, John Romita and Tony Mortellaro , when Norman Osborn, who had recently regained his memories of being the Green Goblin and thus, his memories of Spider-Man's Peter Parker identity , kidnapped Spider-Man's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, and then threw her off a bridge.

She died and Spider-Man ended up almost killing Osborn, but then Osborn ended up seemingly dying at his own hand when he sent his Goblin Glider after Spider-Man; when Spidey ducked, it impaled Obsorn.

The trick, though, is that little tiny sound effect where it says "snap. Thus, while Osborn was ultimately responsible for her death by the whole "throwing her off of a bridge" deal, Spider-Man might have literally caused her death with his webs. That's some dark stuff right there. When Keith Giffen and J. DeMatteis re-launched "Justice League" following the crossover "Legends" which re-situated the superheroes of Earth following "Crisis on Infinite Earths" , their initial idea for the team was to do something similar to what Grant Morrison later did with "JLA.

However, one by one, they were turned down when it came to using most of the more famous superheroes, like Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman. Therefore, Giffen and DeMatteis pivoted and turned the book into more of a sitcom about a superhero team. Since many of their characters did not have their own title, they were given more freedom to do whatever they wanted with them, characterization-wise.

Thus, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold began to be used more as a comic relief than anything else.

Breaking the Silence:

As noted earlier, when Jack Kirby debuted the "Fourth World," he introduced many new ideas. One of them was the Mother Box, but perhaps his best known new invention was the teleportation device used by the New Gods called the "Boom Tube. When we mentioned the earlier pact between New Genesis and Apokolips, there was another pact made between Darkseid and the brilliant New God known as Metron, where Darkseid would supply Metron with the materials needed to make his special Mobius Chair in exchange for giving Darkseid the Boom Tube technology.

Years later, Walter Simonson would also use a number of "boom" sound effects during his run on "Thor," as John Workman was as good at coming up with cool "boom" fonts as he was with coming up with cool "doom" fonts. Nightcrawler was a sweet, sensitive and fun-loving guy, who was also a man of great faith.

List: Comic Book Sound Effects For the Modern Era - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

He just happened to also look just like a demon, complete with blue skin, fangs and a tail with a sharpened point at the end of it. When he teleported, he would make a "bamf" noise, and the teleportation would be accompanied by the smell of sulfur. Basically everything outside of Nightcrawler's personality was highly unpleasant. Over the years, Bamf also became the name of these adorable little creatures that looked like Nightcrawler that would often follow him around this was following Kitty Pryde telling a fairy tale where Nightcrawler's name was Bamf in the story, and he looked just like what the later Bamf creatures would look like.

The "bamf" sound effect continues to this day. Unlike a lot of these other famous sound effects, Spider-Man's webs did not always give off a "thwip" sound.

In fact, before Steve Ditko left "Amazing Spider-Man" following "Amazing Spider-Man" 38, the webs really did not actually have a consistent sound that went with them.

In fact, in the earliest days of Spider-Man, his webshooters did not make noise at all. However, in the months leading up to his departure, Steve Ditko began to use some new sound effects and one of them was "twhip" for the sound of Spider-Man's webshooters. It didn't seem to be a dedicated thing, but it was there. When John Romita took over as the book's artist with " 39," he quickly brought "twhip" with him and the name stuck ever since.

When the "Spider-Man" movies came out, they did their best to replicate the sound. As noted in the beginning of the list, superheroes had been accompanied by sound effects for decades before Batman got his own TV series in However, that did not deter the producers from adopting the practice of accompanying a punch with a cut to a giant "Biff" or "Bam" or "Pow" drawn sound effect.

This was their attempt to adapt comic book sound effects to the TV screen, and it proved to be very popular. However, it was also very humorous, and for years and years and years heck, it's still happening now , comic books became derisively associated with sound effects like "Biff! Comics aren't just for kids anymore! Unlike "thwip," Wolverine was using "Snikt" for the sound his claws make when they come out of his body almost as soon as Wolverine debuted, with the sound effect showing up in his second full appearance, which happened to be in "Giant-Size X-Men" 1 when he joined the All-New, All-Different X-Men.

Did you know this website also has a Tumblr blog?

It does! It's similar to the other social media posts detailed in the last update, combining the site's contents with cool new sound effects from the current week's new comics. Check it out! Welcome to those of you who have discovered the site through my new social media push!

And for the rest of you, in addition to the old comics found on the site, I've started adding of the niftiest effects from the current week's new comics on Twitter , Instagram and Facebook. As for the site itself, I'm still slowly plugging away, and I've added new sound effects from nine issues of Adventure Comics from Next it's back to Marvel !

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GISELA from Ohio
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