Got Academy Podcast

American vs European Comic Books: History, Culture, Social Commentary

August 12, 2019

What are the main differences between the American and the European comic book? Their history, their political context, topics they choose to focus on, the culture they represent, and social commentary. Gil Kidron talks with American novelist, Literature Professor and Writing Professor Theo Gangi and Dutch evolutionary biologist Dr. Rutger Vos about Asterix, Tintin, Superman, Marvel, Stan Lee, Herge, Thorgal, Manga and much more.

We discuss the context in which the art form first boomed. The role of the Second World War, during which time the medium became politically polarized and a tool for propaganda. The post-war recovery, when new identities and narratives were being constructed and colonialism was winding down. The technological development, going from cheap serials to hardcover graphic novels. The professionalization of comics, when series started to be taken over by studios rather than the original authors. And the big question: why is Belgium a comics superpower? What is that reason for success in the medium on the part of some but not others?


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