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Photo Comic

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A creative option for people who can't draw (or who just want to 'draw' with a camera?) the Photo Comic involves taking pictures of things — either posed inanimate objects, or actual people — and making a comic out of them. In the Webcomics world, toys are popular for this. Also became popular in British comics (particularly girls' comics) in the late 1970s and early 1980s; however, it proved unpopular and the ones that didn't shut down (as many were at the time) reverted to drawn strips. Nowadays the best-remembered photo strips seem to be the parodies of photo strips from Viz. Arguably, Photocomics can be done cheaper and with less time consumption than the other popular choice: Machinomics. This is because photos lend themselves well to settings where realistic lighting is in high demand, requiring a lot fewer tweaks than would screenshots from a video game.

A variation is the fumetti, which takes the frames of a film or TV show and puts them into comic-book form: See Film Comic. Another variant involves creating scenes in Poser or DAZ Studio and importing them into Comic Life. Not to be confused with GIS Syndrome, where photographs are incorporated into the background.


Comic Books

  • Dorothy, a fumetti-like adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which mixed photos of human models with illustrated creatures and environments.
  • Alison Bechdel (who also writes the webcomic Dykes to Watch Out For) illustrated her autobiographical graphic novel Fun Home by taking pictures of herself in costume to use as source images, which she then based her illustrations off of.
  • Some comic strips, especially in the annuals, in both The Beano and The Dandy make use of this trope. Usually only in one story, not the whole comic, and involving cartoon characters interacting with the photographs.
  • The sci-fi story Doomlord had its first story arcs as a fumetti (1982-?); then changed to a traditionally-drawn comic-book when relaunched in 1991.
  • Urbanus: The album "De Hete Urbanus" was done in style of a photo comic.
  • When Eagle was relaunched in 1982 all of the strips (apart from Dan Dare) were photo comics as Fleetway attempted to cash in on the success it had had with girls comics in this format. The book later reverted to traditional drawn strips.
  • IDW Publishing's 2013 Star Trek Annual, "Strange New Worlds" by John Byrne, was created in a photonovel style, in homage to the Star Trek Fotonovels (adaptations of several episodes of the Original Series published by Bantam Books in The '70s). In this case Byrne creatively arranged and edited existing stills to create a new story. This led to an ongoing bi-monthly (roughly) series, Star Trek: New Visions (under which "Strange New Worlds" was reprinted as issue #0). There was also a special that adapted the first pilot, "The Cage". The ongoing series came to an end with #22 in 2018.


  • The UK girl's magazine Girl Talk would do short photo-comics in most issues in the late 90s/early 00s, featuring a Celebrity Star - naturally, these were usually flash-in-the-pan stars completely unremembered nowadays, like Peter Andre (although he's now a famous reality star) or Lolly.
  • Mizz, another UK magazine for girls used this near the advice pages. They were often single page stories featuring common pre-teen problems, such as late blooming, peer pressure, family conflicts or bullying. The following page would offer three possible ways to resolve the problem suggested by a celebrity, a parent, a member of the magazine's staff or a random teenager.
  • The roman-photo used to be popular in France in the 50s and 60s; it survived to the present day in the magazine Nous Deux which still regularly publishes some.



  • Terry Gilliam and John Cleese first met while doing a fumetti feature, laying the foundation for what would eventually become Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Video Games

  • The graphic novel cutscenes of Max Payne use edited, filtered photographs as frames.