Comic Books In Different Parts Of The World And Their Culture

Integrating One’s Culture Into The Comic Books

It is no secret that the comic book culture is widespread in every part of the world, remaining in many countries as an entrainment for a fairly narrow category of modern youth. This is primarily due to its stereotyped image that emerged in the minds of our people – it is believed that the format of the pictures and the text is designed to simplify the perception and therefore not worthy to wear the title of high art. In addition, the format of the comic is associated primarily with the US mass culture, which also contributes to its popularity.

Nevertheless, analysis of the phenomenon of modern culture leads to the unexpected findings of the widespread comic book world, as well as the depth and trivial stories of their development. This format of literary and fine art can be found in many different countries and traditions, but its most striking representatives are the graphic novels in the following countries.

US Comic Culture

As already mentioned, the comic is most often associated with American graphic novels. This is not surprising, because in the 20th century in the United States have acquired the scale of a mass cultural phenomenon, becoming a specialized format of the stories in the papers in the Hearst and Pulitzer complete art form. For modern American comics characterized by the following features:

  • Multi-genre. It should be remembered that the comic book – is a format, not a genre of literature. Graphic novels may have fantastic, dramatic, detective, comedy, satire or another subject, and also in various proportions combine them.
  • While in the US comics have appeared as a small entertainment and humorous stories (hence the name), with the 30s up to the present time there were well-developed universes, and in subjects affected by such complex topics as transhumanism, the justification for violence fight against evil and so on.
  • Heroes American comics are valuable not only as a separate person but as the embodiment of unconscious archetypes. Often study their characters sketchy and is aimed at the expression of a particular type. For example, Superman or Captain America – typical “Warriors” in the features of the Joker or the Trickster, and Wonder Woman expresses the archetype of the virgin warrior.


A Part Of The Culture

Today, the US comic books are not only an extensive industry represented publishers but also a recognized part of national culture, which is devoted to the analysis of scientific papers… Characters and plots of colorful stories are an endless inspiration to Hollywood screenwriters and directors in the schools apart from the nature of the characters, a variety of situations described in graphic stories. At the same time in the US, comics are popular not only among children but also among adults. Since 1970, in San Diego, there is an international festival of Comic-Con, dedicated to comics and other forms of modern popular culture, gathering millions of fans from around the world. To format comic turn even the story of the plight of women in Islamic countries. The also created most of the comic books genres.

Japanese Comics Culture

In the Land of the Rising Sun is the manga comic analog which had been developed in the second half of the 20th century, and is popular to this day. In its modern form, the Japanese graphic stories developed largely under the influence of Western and American comics, but some elements of this art can be traced back to the traditional painting.

  • Public acceptance. Manga in Japan is one of the main types of popular art along with the movie, anime, and light novels. Everybody reads them, from small children to older people – of course, for each category of readers, there is a comics niche. Many figures of art, science, and even politicians admit manga as one of Japan’s most important cultural achievements. Adults reading Japanese comics are a common sight in the subway, or, for instance, park.
  • As Western comic books, manga characterized by multi genres:… Psychological thrillers are combined with adventure, horror stories – erotica, detective – with science fiction, school drama – with frivolous comedies etc. In this case of censorship in Japan, it does not apply to this kind of art so that even very shocking comics can be easily purchased in specialty stores.
  • Manga – an important collectible in Japan. Generally, in this country it is customary to respect the labor, so consumers in most cases buying comics in stores. To download Internet otaku collectors resorted to only in extreme cases where it is necessary to find, for example, the rare instance. The popularity of this art form is so wide that, along with the major publishing houses and magazines and manga paint self-taught artists who distribute their creations among friends or through thematic resources on the web.


Mangas Are A Huge Inspiration

Manga in Japan is closely related to anime and TV shows-dramas. Often, cartoon or cinematographic work are created based on the comic books. Recently, the manga has ceased to be a purely Japanese cultural phenomenon and is widely used in the United States, Europe (particularly France), Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea and some other Asian countries. Today it is an important category of cultural export in Japan.

European Comics Culture

In the Old World comics didn’t gain such popularity as in the United States or Japan, though, here are some famous series and major publishers. In Europe, the comics are published mainly in the form of graphic novels – rather thick books with complete plot hardcover, designed for an adult audience, although there are the traditional “notebooks”. Unlike the American, European History in Pictures remained narrowly focused mainly as an entertainment genre. Mainly comic culture has spread in France and Belgium – one of the main and most famous graphic novels are published since the 60s “Asterix and Obelix”, which had a worldwide successful film adaptation.

In Britain, the Judge Dredd comic books were published (two screen versions) and less well-known in the world, but still popular stories about «Tank-Girl». Germany also had its counterpart comics – drawn stories in small thin notebooks format. And they have spread in the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. Initially, these were reprints of American comics with the correction to the national culture and history. In particular, more popular were stories about the noble knight Zigurda or Akim – German analog of Tarzan.

In view of the cultural characteristics of European comics image of a supervillain is not widely used. The general pathos of the characters’ behavior is also significantly reduced and is often used deliberately caricature to express the comic narrative.


The Italian Comics

Some mentions in European culture are Italian comic cartoon stories called “fumetti“. Mostly they are designed for an adult audience, as the plot of the majority of graphic novels is very specific and contains explicit scenes of violence and sex. Fumetti comics were often deliberately grotesque and parodic of conventional American comics about superheroes.

In general, the Soviet / Russian comics were characterized by a clear educational message. Considering this context, it is worth mentioning that the Russian comics as “Fortran” through entertainment, have introduced devoting young readers to the basics of computer technology. In the journal “Streetcar” cartoon characters Inspector Bertram Vays and his dog composter acquaint young people with the world of complex adult things and concepts. We should also mention that the publishing house “The Fly”, released its first comic book in 1988. Bright, colorful illustrations and fascinating stories, developed at the level of the American graphic stories were very popular, but again, mostly among young people and a small category of adult enthusiasts.

Obviously, the comics in different countries have characteristics, determined by the prevailing cultural traditions. At the same time, it must be admitted that at present the colorful graphic stories are an integral part of the art world, to a large extent determined not only aesthetic but also an ethical perception of the world. Thousands of young people and adults in Asia, America, Europe, create and develop a powerful subculture based on a comic book, dedicated to them, thereby promoting it among the rest of the population. Thus, this purely entertainment genre moved from the last pages of the newspapers into the category of modern mass art.