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Bee’s Knees: Cartoon Sound Effects

Sound Effect headband

Hello, and welcome to the Bee’s Knees, the weekly column focusing on some of the many creative ways words and pictures can be combined! Usually for these articles, I try to stay away from comic books in favor of lesser known arts, but this week I would like to pay special attention to something that originated in comics… but then spread out to other media: written sound effects. Bang! Kapow! Zzzzing!

Many sound effects are instantly recognizable, even out of context, because of their reliance on onomatopoeia. Even though they are generally associated with their origins in comic books, some artists have taken advantage of how recognizable they are by using them beautifully out of context.

One of the most popular ways in which this is done is the classic “bang” gun. Perfect for many a prank and Halloween costume, these bring the idea of pop guns to a whole new level while issuing their holders and victims alike into the wonderful world of action comics.

Bang gun

For those of us who would like a little more sophistication to our wardrobe, Etsy has a series of Comic Sound Effect Headbands for about $20 each, accessories that would be sure to make a bold fashion statement wherever they’re worn.

Sound Effect headband

Lastly, it’s easy to turn your own life into an action comic adventure. Many photo editors, and some more advanced apps like Comic Life, allow users to add or draw comic effects to their own pictures. Or you could take a more out-of-the-box method of making your own sound effects out of whatever materials you have around and then placing them strategically in the picture, as this one by Jared Harding.

Comic Photo

And that’s the bee’s knees for this week! Please join me next Friday for another way people blend words and pictures to create all-new forms of art. In the meantime, feel free to tell me if there’s something you know of I should write about. I love finding out about new things!

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