- European comics
European comics is a generalized terms for comics produced in
Continental Europe. Though technically European, British comicsare for historical and cultural reasons considered separate from European comics due to the existence of a well-established domestic market and traditions which more closely resemble the development of American comics.
Though many purely European
comic booksexist, the "comic album" is a very common printed medium. The typical "album" is printed in large format, generally with high quality paper and colouring, roughly A4-sized, approx. 22x29 centimetres (8.4x11.6 in), has around 40-60 pages, but examples with more than 100 pages are common. In Anglo-Saxon terminology these would be called graphic novels, but this term is rarely used in Europe, and is not always applicable as albums often consist of separate short stories, placing them somewhere halfway between a comic book and a graphic novel. The European comic genres vary from the humorous adventure vein (such as Tintin and Asterix), especially in its earliest forms, to more adult subjects.
The roots of European comics can be found as early as 18th century
caricatures and later with precursors in the form of illustrated picture books like Wilhelm Busch' Max and Moritz. The early 19th century Swiss artist Rodolphe Töpfferis regarded by many as the "father of the modern comic" and his publication " Histoire de M. Vieux Bois" is sometimes called the first "comic book". [McCloud, Scott, "". New York: Harper Collins & Kitchen Sink Press. 1994. ISBN 0-06-097625-X, pg 17.] Franco-Belgian comicsare historically among the dominant scenes of European comics. It started in Belgiumin the 1920s, followed quickly by France. In later years, mangahas become successful, and as a consequence many French and German artists are now drawing comics in manga style.
* [http://www.lib.msu.edu/comics/exhibit.htm The European Comics Collection Introductory Exhibit, Michigan State University Libraries]
* [http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/features/117591395470871.htm Interview with Bart Beaty, author of "Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s"]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.