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Monday, April 18, 2016 

Paris holds an auction for old European art

Business Insider wrote about an auction held in Paris for the drafts of early comic strips. I guess the good news here when it comes to selling is that this is only the draft panels they're putting on sale, and not finished pamphlets. Of course, that's because their formatting has long been different, using the "album" approach, both in paperback and hardcover.

This does has something towards the end worth pondering:
Unlike the European tradition, in North America comics have always favored an array of superheroes.
As great as the superheroes genre is, I'm sure a problem arose from such a huge emphasis on superheroes, and not quite as much on adventure. It wasn't always that way in the mainstream, of course. In the early days of comicdom, there were heroes and heroines who weren't superpowered, like Speed Saunders, Slam Bradley, Sheena, Blackhawks and Adam Strange. There were also a few in later years like Christopher Chance of the Human Target tales Len Wein and Carmine Infantino created. Some of these non-superhero characters could use sci-fi technology and sorcery, but were far from superheroes per se. And unfortunately, they're among the most marginalized, while the costumed superheroes get all the favoratism.
"Actually, US comic books are not really very different from European comics," Leroy said. Even if the subjects may differ.
If they're talking about the action/adventure themes, no, they're not all that different. It's just the costumed crimefighter theme that makes a contrast, whereas European comic writers don't usually rely on that for their story premises.

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Up until the late 1960's, comics were widely read by kids. There was the same variety as in any other medium (movies, radio, TV): superheroes, horror, war, romance, Westerns, crime drama, comedy, science fiction. But then the other media (TV in the 1960's and 1970's, video games in the 1980's, internet in the 1990's to the present) gradually made comic books obsolescent. The only audience left for comics now is the fans of costumed superheroes. And now that CGI has made it possible to do superheroes in movies and TV, even the superhero fans may abandon comics and seek their entertainment in other media.

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