Archive | May 2014

EUROPEAN COMICS: Franco-Belgian comics

And here we are with Comc book-Tuesday! ūüôā


Get a load of Europe

They’re not as famous as ¬†japanese nor american comics, but European comic books need to be recognised!

The origins¬†of European comics date back to 18th century¬†caricatures¬†and illustrated picture books such as¬†Wilhelm Busch‘ “Max and Moritz”.¬†The early 19th century¬†Swiss¬†artist¬†Rodolphe T√∂pffer¬†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”.¬†(for more information ckick here!)

Franco-Belgian comics,¬†Spanish comics, and¬†Italian comics¬†are historically amongst the dominant scenes of European comics. But, in the “European comic book world”, we mustn’t exclude the U. K., Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, ¬†Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, Hungry, Albania etcetera etcetera… You get it! Every country’s comic book is important ūüėČ

Even thuogh they’re so many, they all have some main characteristics: they¬†present themselves as “comic albums”.

General info

The typical¬†album¬†is printed in large format, generally with high quality paper and colouring, roughly¬†A4-sized, approx. 21×30 centimetres (8.4×11.6 in), has around 40-60 pages, but examples with more than 100 pages are common. While sometimes referred to as¬†graphic novels, 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 “The Adventures of Tintin”¬†and “Asterix”, especially in its earliest forms, to more adult subjects like “Tex Willer” and “Diabolik”. As for they’re so many we’ll concentrate only on some of them!


Franco-Belgian comics

Franco-Belgian comics are comics that are created in Belgium and France. These countries have a long tradition in comics and comic books, where they are known as BDs, an abbreviation of bande dessinée (literally drawn strip) in French andstripverhalen (literally strip stories) in Dutch. The Flemish Belgian comic books (originally written in Dutch) are influenced by francophone comics, yet have a distinctly different style. Many other European comics, especially Italian comics, are strongly influenced by Franco-Belgian comics.


Before World War II, comics were almost exclusively published as tabloid size newspapers (Tabloid format measures 432 x 279 mm or 17 x 11 inches). Now, they were sized about half that, which is incredibly more handy. The comics are almost always colored all the way through, and, when compared to American comics, rather large (roughly A4 standard).

Comics are also often published as collected albums, with about 40-50 pages, after the run is finished in the magazine. Lately, most comics are published exclusively as albums and do not appear in the magazines at all.


There are two distinct styles within the school:

  1. The Realistic:
    As mentioned, late¬†Tintin¬†is a classic example of the realistic style. The comics are often laborously detailed, making the pictures interesting to look at for times on end. Another trait is the often “slow” drawings, with little to no speed-lines, and strokes that are almost completely even. It is also known as¬†the Belgian clean line style. This was exhibited in magazines like¬†Vaillant,¬†Tintin, and¬†M√©tal Hurlant.
  2. The Comic-Dynamic:
    This is the almost¬†Barksian¬†line of Franquin and Uderzo.¬†Pilote¬†is almost exclusively comic-dynamic, and so is¬†Spirou¬†and¬†l’√Čcho des Savannes. These comics have very agitated drawings, often using lines of varying thickness to accent the drawings.

The newer comics don’t really fall into the old styles, and have evolved into something completely different.¬†



And keep in mind that…

If there is information about some of the abovementioned styles of European comic books you would like to know more about, write a comment! ūüėČ



A comic book or comicbook, also called comic magazine or simply comic, is a visual medium used to express ideas via images, often combined with text or visual information.

Comic book history

According to many experts, the precursors to modern comics were the satirical works of artists like Rudolph Töpffer, Wilhelm Busch, Christopher, or Angelo Agostini (first Brazilian comic artist).

The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck

The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck

T√∂pffer, in 1827, in Switzerland,¬†created a comic strip and continued on to publish seven graphic novels. In 1837, “The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck” was published by T√∂pffer and it is considered the earliest known comic book. In 1842¬†it became the first comic book ever published in the United States.


Max und Moritz


In 1859, the German poet and artist,¬†Wilhelm Busch¬†published caricatures in the newspaper Fliegende Bl√§tter. In 1865, he published a famous comic called “Max und Moritz“.

Yellow kid

Yellow kid

The 1895 “Yellow Kid“, created by¬†Richard Outcaulthas, has often been cited as being the first comic strip. The reason being is that Outcault was the first artist to use the balloon, an outlined space on the page where what the characters spoke was written. However, comic strips and comic books were published before “Yellow Kid” debuted in the New York City newspaper “The World”. Anyway we should also consider that¬†comics theorists and historians have seen precedents for comics in the¬†Lascaux cave paintings¬†in France (some of which appear to be chronological sequences of images),¬†Egyptian hieroglyphs,¬†Trajan’s Column¬†in Rome,¬†the 11th-century Norman¬†Bayeux Tapestry,¬†the 1370¬†bois Protat¬†woodcut, the 15th-century¬†Ars moriendi¬†and¬†block books, Michelangelo’s¬†The Last Judgment¬†in the Sistine Chapel,¬†and¬†William Hogarth’s 17th-century sequential engravings,¬†amongst others

Comics are not only american

The European, American and Japanese comics traditions have followed different paths.¬†Europeans have seen their tradition as beginning with the ¬†T√∂pffer’s comic strips of the 1830s, while Americans have seen the origin of their tradition in¬†Outcault’s 1890s newspaper strip¬†The Yellow Kid, though many Americans have come to recognize T√∂pffer’s precedence, as we have already said.¬†Japanese comics, on the other hand, had a long prehistory of satirical cartoons and comics leading up to the World War II era.”¬†Manga”, the Japanese term for comics and cartooning, was first popularized by the artist¬†Hokusai¬†in the early 19th century.¬†It is in the post-war era modern Japanese comics began to flourish, when¬†Osamu Tezuka¬†produced a prolific body of work.¬†Towards the close of the 20th century, these three traditions have converged in a trend towards book-length comics: the comics album in Europe, the tankŇćbon¬†in Japan, and the graphic novel in the English-speaking countries.



And keep in mind that…

…There are so many types of comic books! In this blog, I will post various articles about them every Tuesday. Plus, if anyone has any requests about some information on¬†artists, their comics, stories, characters or what ever, ¬†write a comment below this article! I will provide you all the information you want! ūüėČ


“giuxy 94” is an aspiring blogger whose real name is Giulia Rainoldi.

Giulia is a student in an art academy, in Milan. Her blog is all about art and music, main interests of the blogger. She wants to remind everyone that culture is important and we have to maintain it in our lives.

Her passion for art comes from when she was a child. She loved spending her time in drawings. These stimulated her interest in art and her love in cinema. So she went to art school and now she’s in an art academy, specializing herself in Media design and multimedial arts.

While her¬†love for music, comes from her father. “He had a giant library, which was full of old music he never let us touch!” (She says). But she looked at the authors and started listening to them. Giulia listens to many genders, like De Andr√©, Muse, Negramaro ecc.

In this blog you will find images and information about artists and musicians, about there works, various articles about themes like photography, cinema, animation… There will also be a part dedicated to the nature (animals, landscapes, plants).

Some of her work (you can find them on http// on her profile “giuxy”):

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If you want to know more about art and music, stop wasting your time and go visit her blog