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  • लेखक की तस्वीरA.J Fowkes

The first cartoon could be an amazing 35,000 years old, or not!

How important are comics, cartoons, drawings to human civilisation?

'Art' goes back to the 'Dawn of Man' certainly well before lunchtime. The earliest found paintings predate language by 50,000 years.

They are a narrative, a story telling device or an instruction guide on hunting and ancient (or originally modern life) cultures and habits. Nearly all cave painting illustrate the hunter/gatherer lifestyle, perhaps a message to be passed on to their children and their ancestors. Let face it nobody wants to be forgotten and as the written signature was fifty thousand years in the future leaving your handprint was much as you could do. And it worked. I doubt whether my digital signature will be legible in the year 52,020!

Cueva de la Manos, Perito Moreno, Argentina. Dated 13,000-9,000 BP.

These beautiful pigment paintings were painted on wooden shelters, trees, fallen logs and probably tools. But sadly all these timber structures have been eroded away by the weather over the hundreds of centuries. Only paintings in caves are left unscathed by the harsh climate. So we believe, wrongly, that our ancestors only painted in caves. Much of the artwork was probably created by the women of the tribe while the men hunted. The majority of the handprints in the Cueva de la Maos painting (above) are left handers.

The best and oldest examples can be found across the globe:

8000-4000 years: The Magura Cave, Bulgaria, paintings show silhouettes of women dancing and males hunting animals with bow and arrows.

11,000 years: The cave paintings of Las Gaal, Somalia. Present us with beautifully stylised cows wearing ceremonial robes with giraffes, domesticated dogs and humans.

12,000 years: The Bhimbetka in Bhopal, India. Once again shows a story of animals, tigers, bison, rhinoceros, monkeys, elephants, and many more animals. Dating back to the Mesolithic, Upper Paleolithic Era.

13,000 years: The wonderful hand stencils of the Cueva de las Manos paintings (see above).

17,300 years: The Lascaux Cave paintings are situated near the village of Montignac in Southwest France. Depicting men hunting stags and deers with bows and arrows.

23,000 years: The second oldest illustrations are to be found in Serra da Capivara, Brazil also show hunting scenes and rituals.

35,000 years: The staggering animal murals of Altamira Caves in Spain. These fragile images of bison in ochre and charcoal are so fragile and yet stunningly beautiful. Whether modern or ancient these precious illustrations are all representations of life at that time and much like the prayers of the Japanese sword-smith who used a prayer to explain the timing and process of sword making to the next generation of apprentices . These ancient narratives pass on a vital lesson on how to maintain what you do to stay alive long before the birth of written language.

The Lascaux Cave paintings are situated near the village of Montignac in Southwest France. dating back approximately 17,300 years.

Communications technology has come a long way since the caveman. From natural pigments on cave walls, inks on paper and now digital. The newest digital #onlinecomics is the #selfiecomic produced by #Selficom PTE Ltd a #selfiecomicapp. Probably a better term is avatar comic, as your face is augmented onto the cartoon protagonist. The trend of the user being the producer (termed the 'prosumer') means there is a greater demand for the reader to actually #cartoonify their faces and feature in their own #comicbook or #avatarcomicapp. Digital media makes this relatively simple to achieve. With advances in mobile #selfies and integrated #selfiecamera, reduced files sizes and high speed internet connectivity. Now the child is #cartoonified as the #comichero starring in their own #comicuniverse. How cool is that!

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