European comics  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

European comics is a generalized terms for comics produced in Continental Europe. Though technically European, British comics are 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 books exist, the comic album is a very common printed medium. The typical album is printed in large format, generally with high quality paper and colorizing, roughly A4-sized, approx. 22x29 cm/8.4x11.6 in, has around 40-60 pages, but examples with more than 100 pages are common. In Anglosaxon 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 Töpffer is 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". Franco-Belgian comics are historically among the dominant scenes of European comics. It started in Belgium in the 1920s, followed quickly by France. In later years, manga has become successful, and as a consequence many French and German artists are now drawing comics in manga style.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "European comics" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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