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KA-BOOM! A Dictionary of Comic Book Words, Symbols & Onomatopoeia Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1430314417 ISBN-10: 1430314419

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KA-BOOM! A Dictionary of Comic Book Words, Symbols & Onomatopoeia + Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels + Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: (May 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430314419
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430314417
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Shouldn't all dictionaries start with AAAA and end with ZZZZZZZTZZ-ZTZZZ? Ka-BOOM! does: it's a collection of sound effects from comic books, each one rigorously defined and cross referenced. Nowhere has the art of onomatopoeia been raised to higher heights than in the humble comic book. --TIME Digital Vol.5 No.5

Hey, comic book fans, good news. At long last there's a new dictionary and thesaurus of those odd words you only find in comics. KA-BOOM!: A Dictionary of Comic Book Words, Symbols & Onomatopoeia (Mora Publications, 124 pages, $19.95), compiled by Kevin J. Taylor, covers all those comic words, sounds and also includes the companion work BZZURKK! The Thesaurus of Champions. Want to know what RINK-RIK means, how about BRAKK or KLUD? This book holds your answers. Taylor, who put 10 years of work into this compilation, has cited the comic books where the sound effects were used, cross referenced entries and defined them. The thesaurus is a quick guide, minus the definitions. An appendix gives a list of base forms, which is interesting in itself, particularly as some base words have either extra letters or missing letters to indicate such attributes as magnitude, volume or duration of the sound. Before you dismiss this work as too esoteric to be much use, it's worth noting that comic books encourage reluctant readers to read more and some teachers have found the book to be useful in vocabulary lessons, such as A. Simpson, an English language arts teacher from West Virginia. She said she wants to incorporate a lesson where students create their own dictionaries in the vein of KA-BOOM! --The Now Newspaper

I love comic book words, those strange collisions of consonants meant to convey the sounds of explosions or fists thudding into abdomens or minor super heroes being electrocuted. Kevin Taylor likes them even more, enough to have compiled an entire dictionary, from "AAAA!", a cry of pain from Dare Devil - The Man Without Fear (Vol.1, issue 3, 1993) to "ZZZZZZZTZZZTZZZ", the sound of mechanical parts coming undone, from Dead Pool: The Circle Chase (Issue 4, 1993). --The Sydney Morning Herald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kevin J. Taylor on December 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
How the Heck is That Sound Spelled? (by Jim Tierney)

Sure, we all know of "crash" or "bang" or even "kapow", but what happens when you need some fancy onomatopoeia for something a little more exotic, like say, the sound duct tape makes coming off the roll? Well, you could just wing it I suppose, or you could make it up, maybe throw together a bunch of random consonants... Or you could just avoid the issue through dialog if possible... But let's face it, sometimes there's just no substitution for sound effects. So what do you do then?

Personally, I'm terrible at figuring out onomatopoeia. Yet what did I do? I decided to make a comic that takes place in the future, and not only that, but a comic that also involves a lot of crazy machinery and weird partially robotic boys.

Needless to say, it wasn't long before I ran into my first sound effect problems (electrical sound effects can be tricky!) What did I do? I hit up google. I didn't just google onomatopoeia though... I googled `comic onomatopoeia', and there, in those search results, was the solution to all my sound related problems... KA-BOOM! A Dictionary of Comic Book Words, Symbols, & Onomatopoeia. Needless to say, I bought it.

From my experience, I can say, if anyone has every had problems trying to create the proper sound effect, this book is a life-saver. The book is basically divided into two parts. The first part, is an A to Z list of a very large number of sound effects with mention of which comic books from which the author pulled them. It's an interesting read (if you're into that sort of comic nerdery), but where KA-BOOM! is really worth the money, is in the second half of the book (technically the last 1/3) which is titled: "BZZURKK! The Thesaurus of Champions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Teri L. Newman on May 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't need to go into much detail here, its a dictionary for comic sound effects. And one of the only ones avalible. Its got two parts, (alphabetical)dictionary of the sounds and notable comics they where used in, the a listing by type os sounds (i.e. Gunshot) and a list of all the sounds used.

In my opinion, the only complaint is that these parts are in reverse for a artist, but just fine for a reader looking up the words.

As a reader, got to part one, and look up the word.

As an artist, go to part 2 and find the sound you want, then go to part 1 to look up the verious words.

No images, the book is straight text, and a much needed resource for the comic artist.
5 stars.
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By D. Tynan on November 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent, very comprehensive considering its subject matter. Quite helpful for any and all writers. A must have for your ready reference books.
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