Sunday, January 22, 2012

Click If Intrigued By Posts About Comic Books!

The comic opens with not just action, but also literary terminology!
While beginning to read a comic book miniseries I picked up on a lark this past Wednesday, I was surprised to be greeted by the panel above very early on in the story. A science fiction series, Dark Matter #1, published by Dark Horse, actually hit the stands a few weeks ago, but initially somehow missed my notice. There was a single copy left on the recent releases table as I stopped by the store today to pick up a new long-box and, always looking for quality scenic fiction, I decided to pick it up.

Published 1/11/12.
While the story, authored by two veterans of all three Stargate television series, was a marginally interesting take on the space sleep amnesia trope, I was happy to see the teachable moment provided by series of panels above--even if the teachable moment might be diffused slightly given that those (middle and high school aged students) might be missed as they are rarely the intended audience for comic books... especially these short non-caped offerings. That doesn't mean I can't trumpet its value on the net!

Though one of the more "minor" literary terms, at least as defined by a number of online literary resource guides, an axiom is nonetheless a valuable one to at least be marginally familiar with. In an apparent acknowledgment on the part of the authors that most folks would not be familiar with what an axiom is, they made the decision to overtly provide the answer to the question in the panel itself, "... a fundamental truth that informs their every decision."

In simple terms, an axiom can also be defined as "an obvious maxim" though that particular definition is slightly unsatisfactory as it requires a little additional clarification. If a maxim is "a saying drawn from life, which shows concisely either what happens or ought to happen in life, for example: 'Every beginning is difficult.'" (from Rhetorica ad Herennium), then an axiom is such a saying that is obvious in its truth. Axioms may also be defined a principles that are not questioned, or more simply put (care of, "self-evident truth that requires no proof; a universally accepted principle or rule."

But, while a definition for the term "axiom" is easily found online, the word "kodan"? Not so much, in fact all I could come across was an inference of a kodan being a narrative device used as part of the Japanese oral tradition... a suitable  source for a (likely) manga influenced work of science fiction, especially given that in a previous panel (unseen in the above image) it is attributed to "the Senkarren high priests of Helios..." a science fictiony name if I've ever read one!

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