Selfie Comic Book Cover Gallery

Comics added Oct 9, 2022 | Bondage Covers

What Were Once Polaroids…

A selfie in its simplest form is a self-portrait photograph of the user. Today, selfies are most commonly taken using the digital camera built into a cellular phone, though any camera will do.

Although many say that a true selfie is taken with the front camera of a cell phone and typically include only a user’s head and shoulders up to an arm’s length away (the farthest they can physically hold the camera away from their body to include as much of their body and background as possible), selfies have evolved to also be taken using mirrors so that users can capture larger portions of their bodies – such as their arms and legs and everything in between – at sometimes unusual, novel and often distorted angles. Selfies are frequently taken at events, historic events or tourist attractions to document the moment.

The word “selfie” was coined in 2002 by Nathan Hope, an Australian man. The story goes that Nathan got drunk celebrating his 21st birthday and posted a picture of his stitched lip after his birthday party. The caption read, “sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.” The term took hold almost immediately and spread like wildfire through drought-dry prairie grass.

The appeal of selfies for all ages comes from how easy a selfie is to create and share in modern society, along with the ability for selfie-takers to control how they present themselves publicly to the world. Many selfies are intended to present a flattering image of the subject – the user – to a worldwide audience or network of social media friends.

Selfies, from our point of view, are the natural progression – nay, the confluence – of global technological developments which began in the early 1880s and late 1900s: photography and cellular phones. And the appearance and influence of social media in our daily lives.

Photography

Photography was invented in France during the late 1830s, when Joseph Nicéphore Niépce used a portable camera obscura to expose a pewter plate coated with bitumen to light to create the first recorded image that did not fade quickly. Niépce’s success led to a number of other experiments and photography progressed very rapidly. Daguerreotypes, emulsion plates, and wet plates appeared almost simultaneously.

Photography, however, remained a novelty only for the rich and wealthy until George Eastman, a former bank clerk from Rochester, New York, developed flexible roll film that did not require constant changing of solid plates. Eastman introduced the Kodak #1 camera, which came preloaded with a 100-exposure roll of film, in 1888.

With this camera, the consumer would take pictures and send the camera back to the factory for the film to be developed and prints made, much like modern-day disposable cameras. The Kodak #1 was the first camera inexpensive enough for the average person to afford. Though the film and cameras were considerably larger than later 35mm film, photography – particularly amateur photography – exploded. Photographs at this time were generally staged portraits and landscapes.

Thirty-five millimeter film, however, allowed cameras to be smaller, more compact, and much easier to carry. And a new type of photography was born: Photojournalism.

Around 1930, Henri-Cartier Bresson and other photographers began to use small 35mm cameras to capture images of life as it occurred rather than staged portraits. When World War II started in 1939, many photojournalists adopted this style – and the world was forever changed.

For the first time, posed portraits of World War I soldiers gave way to graphic images of war and its aftermath. Images such as Joel Rosenthal’s “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” brought the reality of war home and helped galvanize the American people like never before. This style of capturing decisive moments shaped the face of photography forever.

At the same time that 35mm cameras were becoming popular, Polaroid introduced the Model 95 Land Camera, named after Polaroid founder Edwin Land. The Model 95 Land Camera was the first camera to use a secret chemical process to develop film inside the camera in less than a minute. This new camera was fairly expensive but the novelty of instant images caught the public’s attention once more. By the mid-1960s, Polaroid had many models on the market and the price had dropped so that even more people could afford instant cameras.

The resulting instant photos were often called simply “Polaroids.” Though not particularly high quality, millions of families took millions upon millions of Polaroids of events and family members. Comic collectors older than thirty were likely subjects of Polaroids. Polaroids of all kinds of events filled photo albums during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

As cell phones became more advanced and capable, with the ability to take more-than-acceptable digital photographs, the use of traditional film technology declined.

Polaroid stopped making their famous instant film in 2008 and took their instant photography secrets with them. Though many groups have tried to revive instant film, it remained difficult as late as 2018 to replicate the process and quality pioneered by Edwin Land and Polaroid instant cameras.

Cellular Phones

Motorola invented the first portable cell phone in 1973. Motorola engineer Martin Cooper made the first-ever cell phone call on a DynaTAC 8000X prototype – weighing 2.4 lb (1.1 kg) and measuring 9.1 x 5.1 x 1.8 inches (23 x 13 x4.5 cm) on April 3, 1973. This prototype offered a talk time of only 30 minutes and required 10 hours to recharge. Previously, people were tied to corded landlines for calls, and the closest thing to personal mobility was a car phone. At its release, the DynaTAC phone cost $3,995, which when adjusted for inflaction is equivalent to more than $10,000 in 2022.

The popularity of personal communication grew by leaps and bounds, resulting in the cellular revolution in the 1990s. In 1990, about 11 million people used cell phones. By 2020, that number had exploded to McDonald’s super-sized numbers of 2.5 billion. In 2022, 6.5 billion people owned cell phones all over the world.

The infamous “brick” phones over time evolved to something much more convenient and useful: powerful hand-held computers with the ability to network across the globe. Hence, the modern term “smartphone.”

Early cell phones, which truly were not very smart or easy to use, also introduced digital camera technology into their capability packages. As manufacturing and technology advanced, these onboard digital cameras likewise advanced, prompting cell phone users to grab for their phones to record events – as people once used traditional 35mm, Polaroid instant and digital cameras. This technological shift eventually resulted in Kodak and Polaroid to file for bankruptcy in 2012 and 2008 respectively.

The digital photos taken by cell phone users began to include photos of the users themselves – or “selfies” – to share with friends by text message and on increasingly popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Today, the average social media user can take and post a high-resolution selfie within moments that can be professionally printed as a full-size photographic print, or even a poster.

The Dark Side of Selfies & Social Media

Social media presents users with modern problems. Most of our social-media friends are actually strangers whom we have never met or had any personal, face-to-face, in-person physical interaction.

Some so-called social media friends use the platforms to find targets for extortion. They befriend their victims, all the while gathering information, photos and videos of a personal and often compromising nature – i.e. nude selfies – then ask for help in the form of money to buy food, pay for a family member’s medical bills, and more. The request, if denied, quickly becomes a demand for money with the threat that the personal information and/or compromising media will be shared with all their social media acquaintances on their friends list. Many victims are teens and adults who had sought acceptance via social media. Unfortunately, the perpetrators of such crimes are citizens of foreign countries and arrest and prosecution is unlikely across national borders.

The selfie-and-social-media phenomenon also reveals and causes emotional issues for users. While many selfies are taken to document the user’s presence at an event, venue or travel destination – think birthday parties, weddings, concerts and landmarks – the staged aspect of selfies sometimes serves as a mask, presenting the user living perfectly and care-free in a perfect, care-free world. Unfortunately, the selfie taken to mask underlying self-doubt, emotional turmoil and low self-esteem with a happy, smiling face might be a symptom of depression – may in fact be a selfie-taker in deep, emotional pain. Sometimes, unfortunately, these two aspects of selfies overlap and it may be difficult for casual observers to tell them apart.

A 2015 poll showed that the average woman, aged 16 to 25 years, spends more than five hours a week trying to take a good selfie to post on social media. Further, a poll by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons showed that 42 percent of surgeons who responded were asked to perform surgery in order to improve selfies and social media posts. In 2016, researchers discovered a correlation between photos posted on Instagram and depression – a link so strong that the researchers believe it could be used to detect early mental illness.

In addition, users are able to process their selfies through apps and filters to hide imperfections such as pimples, or even change a person’s facial structure. Once posted, these “perfect” photos also affect those who see it, some developing self-esteem issues and reporting decreased life satisfaction, or so notes ScienceDirect.

 

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DC in 20XX published a group of selfie variants across its titles…

More info coming soon…

Sources: “Cell Phone History“; BankMyCell.com (How Many Users of Cellphones in 2022); Wikipedia (“Instant Camera“); TheSpruceCrafts.com (“A Brief History of Photography & the Camera“); MetMuseum.org (“Kodak & the Rise of Amateur Photography“); MIT Technology Review (“How an Algorithm Learned to Identify Depressed Individuals by Studying Their Instagram Photos“); Scot Scoop (“Suicide & Selfies Are Closer Together Than You Think“)

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