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  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Hausler View Post
    Do you mean overstated?
    No! To say so would be to admit I am wrong and such a thing is impossible on the Internet! Therefore, I shall dig in and double down.

  2. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by iron chimp View Post
    The USA had two distro channels tho - the comics code newsstand and an alt. non comics code channel. UK only really had the newsstand and was equally if not more censor heavy than its USA equivalent. That alt. distro channel allowed people like Robert crumb et al to appear in USA. Compare that to the oz magazine obscenity trial in UK at the same time.
    Ok, I don't consider the UK's comics to be representative of all of Europe. As kjn pointed out, the UK was the outlier in Europe. Of course, the irony there is that it was British creators who ended up bringing the more sophisticated writing of European comics to mainstream American superhero comics.

  3. #18
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    Train travel is much more common in Europe and on the British Isles than it is in North America. You're using the train quite a lot and spending time in train stations. And in those stations, in the not too distant past but not as much today, there's always WHSmith or some other bookstore franchise, selling newspapers, comics, magazines and paperbacks. And before you had wifi and mobile devices, most people occupied themselves with reading material. It's always seemed to me that there were lots more people reading comics on a daily or weekly basis in the motherland--and people of all ages. It's just that the kind of comics they were reading were not primarily the super-hero ones.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    Ok, I don't consider the UK's comics to be representative of all of Europe. As kjn pointed out, the UK was the outlier in Europe. Of course, the irony there is that it was British creators who ended up bringing the more sophisticated writing of European comics to mainstream American superhero comics.

    A lot of Europe was as heavily censored as USA in the 50s. Some of it was still at war, some of it had barely even industrialised, some of it was still completely flattened, some was back on its feet.

    Even by 80s no one in Portugal would have a clue what Finland was up to for instance. In fact big swathes of Europe were still run by military in 70s - not the most progressive environment. There was no "europe" - half of it was even divided by a wall and a part of it still has a wall today. Everyone was being bombarded with USA culture though and basically dependent on USA for its security. That's the uniting factor.

    UK had artists to rival anything coming out of France but we didn't celebrate them as in France. Like USA and jazz it was French who were ones who were ones who embraced jazz as an artform first.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Train travel is much more common in Europe and on the British Isles than it is in North America. You're using the train quite a lot and spending time in train stations. And in those stations, in the not too distant past but not as much today, there's always WHSmith or some other bookstore franchise, selling newspapers, comics, magazines and paperbacks. And before you had wifi and mobile devices, most people occupied themselves with reading material. It's always seemed to me that there were lots more people reading comics on a daily or weekly basis in the motherland--and people of all ages. It's just that the kind of comics they were reading were not primarily the super-hero ones.
    The weekly multi strip magazine sized anthology was always the format of choice in UK. Even marvel UK would do it that way and DC's awesome UK newsagent attempt, Shockwave, was done that way.

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by iron chimp View Post
    A lot of Europe was as heavily censored as USA in the 50s. Some of it was still at war, some of it had barely even industrialised, some of it was still completely flattened, some was back on its feet.

    Even by 80s no one in Portugal would have a clue what Finland was up to for instance. In fact big swathes of Europe were still run by military in 70s - not the most progressive environment. There was no "europe" - half of it was even divided by a wall and a part of it still has a wall today. Everyone was being bombarded with USA culture though and basically dependent on USA for its security. That's the uniting factor.

    UK had artists to rival anything coming out of France but we didn't celebrate them as in France. Like USA and jazz it was French who were ones who were ones who embraced jazz as an artform first.
    Either you are confused about what I am saying in regards to European comics or I'm confused by what you're saying...although it's probably a bit of both

    I'm not saying 1950s & 60s Europe was some monolithic place in which all comics were treated the same, or that America ceased to be a big influence after the Comics Code was imposed in the 50s. Obviously, there were, and still are, vast differences between the various European countries, and American comics continued to produce great stuff during the Comics Code era that influenced European cartoonists and vice versa. However, I think it's pretty clear that the more mainstream comics of Europe (particularly in France, Belgium, and Italy) were dealing with much more violent, sexual, mature, and sophisticated subject matter than their American counterparts once the Comics Code pushed anything too risque or subversive into the underground comics market.

    American comics of the 50s & 60s were largely dominated by Code Approved all-ages fare like Mort Weisinger's Superman & Carl Bark's Uncle Scrooge, which are certainly great and influential comics, but contrasted with something like Italy's Diabolik, which was a very popular mainstream comic in Europe, and the differences between mainstream American and European comics is much more stark. This isn't to say that European comics didn't have censorship, but they were still able to get away with material in comics that never would have gotten traction in America outside of the underground scene because the readership wasn't automatically assumed to be children in Europe, which had become the case in America. Could something as controversial as France's Barbarella ever become as big a hit in America as it became in Europe?

  7. #22
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iron chimp View Post
    A lot of Europe was as heavily censored as USA in the 50s. Some of it was still at war, some of it had barely even industrialised, some of it was still completely flattened, some was back on its feet.

    Even by 80s no one in Portugal would have a clue what Finland was up to for instance. In fact big swathes of Europe were still run by military in 70s - not the most progressive environment. There was no "europe" - half of it was even divided by a wall and a part of it still has a wall today. Everyone was being bombarded with USA culture though and basically dependent on USA for its security. That's the uniting factor.

    UK had artists to rival anything coming out of France but we didn't celebrate them as in France. Like USA and jazz it was French who were ones who were ones who embraced jazz as an artform first.
    Talking about European comics is largely a misnomer. It's more sensible to talk about the Francophone comics market, made up primarly of France, French-speaking Belgium (which punches way above its size in this regard), and French-speaking Switzerland, though you can find a secondary centrum in Italy. It's probably safe to say that when you say "European comics" in an US or UK context, 75% of the time you mean Francophone comics.

    Your description of Europe during the post-war period has so many errors and faulty assumptions that I don't know where to start.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Talking about European comics is largely a misnomer. It's more sensible to talk about the Francophone comics market, made up primarly of France, French-speaking Belgium (which punches way above its size in this regard), and French-speaking Switzerland, though you can find a secondary centrum in Italy. It's probably safe to say that when you say "European comics" in an US or UK context, 75% of the time you mean Francophone comics.

    Your description of Europe during the post-war period has so many errors and faulty assumptions that I don't know where to start.
    Yeah, I would agree that "European comics" undersells how important France was, but, I didn't want to exclude the notable contributions of Belgium and Italy, so I lumped them all together. Also, these comics were translated and were popular throughout Europe, so it felt appropriate.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    Either you are confused about what I am saying in regards to European comics or I'm confused by what you're saying...although it's probably a bit of both

    I'm not saying 1950s & 60s Europe was some monolithic place in which all comics were treated the same, or that America ceased to be a big influence after the Comics Code was imposed in the 50s. Obviously, there were, and still are, vast differences between the various European countries, and American comics continued to produce great stuff during the Comics Code era that influenced European cartoonists and vice versa. However, I think it's pretty clear that the more mainstream comics of Europe (particularly in France, Belgium, and Italy) were dealing with much more violent, sexual, mature, and sophisticated subject matter than their American counterparts once the Comics Code pushed anything too risque or subversive into the underground comics market.

    American comics of the 50s & 60s were largely dominated by Code Approved all-ages fare like Mort Weisinger's Superman & Carl Bark's Uncle Scrooge, which are certainly great and influential comics, but contrasted with something like Italy's Diabolik, which was a very popular mainstream comic in Europe, and the differences between mainstream American and European comics is much more stark. This isn't to say that European comics didn't have censorship, but they were still able to get away with material in comics that never would have gotten traction in America outside of the underground scene because the readership wasn't automatically assumed to be children in Europe, which had become the case in America. Could something as controversial as France's Barbarella ever become as big a hit in America as it became in Europe?
    Carl barks was shifting huge numbers in Italy tho.

    If you wanted sex and drugs in your comics you had playboy and underground. It was all available in USA in code era and some of it had no peer in Europe - if Europe was producing better than Mr natural or freak brothers then I'd love to read it.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Talking about European comics is largely a misnomer. It's more sensible to talk about the Francophone comics market, made up primarly of France, French-speaking Belgium (which punches way above its size in this regard), and French-speaking Switzerland, though you can find a secondary centrum in Italy. It's probably safe to say that when you say "European comics" in an US or UK context, 75% of the time you mean Francophone comics.

    Your description of Europe during the post-war period has so many errors and faulty assumptions that I don't know where to start.
    Well the ever tolerant Soviets had about 2/3rds of it and out of what was left Greece, Portugal and Spain were ran by far right juntas / corporations / military. Ireland Portugal Greece Albania Romania etc had barely industrialised. Britain Switzerland and tax exile states etc were hardly beacons of transparency. Germany had pretty tight controls at certain points over its media and most countries had a state controlled media. So hardly a liberal creative paradise compared to USA.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by iron chimp View Post
    Carl barks was shifting huge numbers in Italy tho.
    I'm sure he was. Those Uncle Scrooge comics are all-time classics. The difference though is that Italy had both Uncle Scrooge and Diabolik, whereas, if you wanted something like that in America, you would have to get it from the underground comics.

    Quote Originally Posted by iron chimp View Post
    If you wanted sex and drugs in your comics you had playboy and underground. It was all available in USA in code era and some of it had no peer in Europe - if Europe was producing better than Mr natural or freak brothers then I'd love to read it.
    Again, I was talking about mainstream comics, not the underground stuff, which wasn't nearly as widespread or easy to find as more adult comics were in France, Belgium & Italy. As for Playboy, I wasn't aware that they were doing sequential comic stories. I thought they just had their one panel cartoon with captions.

  12. #27
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    I have a bunch of LINUS comics from the 1960s. This was published in Italy and featured reprints of American comics strips, including PEANUTS by Charles Schulz, thus the name of the publication for Linus van Pelt. But this was the comic magazine in which many adult-oriented Italian comics masters first got their start, and it also included Italian editorials with a left-wing perspective. It's always struck me funny that a comic book named for one of my childhood heroes had this super-adult context.

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