During the German occupation of France and Belgium, the import of American comics was interrupted, but also the own French and Belgian production was in those years rather limited - due to restrictions on paper some comics magazines as Hurrah! The period after the liberation saw a new boom of comics publications: the comics magazines flourished in Belgium and France and the comics industry kept growing in the post-war decades. The production of albums was in those years rather limited, contrary to France with only one official language, the much smaller federal state of Belgium incorporates moreover two main language groups — the French speaking Belgians in the south and the largest group, the Dutch speaking Flemish in the north.
Each language group in the culturally divided Belgium has created its own tradition in the comics production and consumption. Moreover one can see also a bigger cohesion of the French language comics production of Belgium with France than with the Flemish counterpart. The various Flemish comics producers did not aim at markets abroad because they found their own Flemish market profitable enough.
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- Hora de España. Octubre 1938 (Spanish Edition).
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By contrast the French language Belgian publishers as Dupuis and Lombard exported their magazines and albums also to France. The consequence was that they avoided clear references to Belgium in their comics or that they explicitly located their stories in France with French heroes think of Michel Vaillant , Ric Hochet or Gil Jourdan. The market share was for French Belgians actually more important than the definition of a proper national identity in their comics.
A well known example of this censorship is the banning of the Korea-story of American fighter pilot Buck Danny , because the French committee found it too political - understand too American. Generally these studies conclude that in the years after the war comics proposed a rather romantic view of WWII, occulting the most cruel or painful aspects of the conflict as the Holocaust or collaboration.
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Surprisingly in the two decades after WWII, the francophone comics insisted rather on the war in Pacific - where a hero-nation the United States triumphed over a detested nation Japan - so that they could forget that the war, much closer home, was not so gloriously Azouvi , , p. It seems quite evident that spectacular actions of large scale violent conflicts and its supposedly Manichean structure inspired the script writers, working for children, a lot more than rather slow political or economical developments as the construction of Europe — which seem largely absent not only in French and Belgian comics, but also in other European comics of the period.
First of all, the immediate responses to the war experience differed somewhat in Belgium and France: while in a few Belgian comics the liberation was seen as a collaborative effort of the varied Allied forces, in France the mythology of the own resistance was far more stronger. At the liberation, Belgian comics celebrated the victory: for instance the double cover of the weekly Bravo showed the united flags of Belgium, Great-Britain, France, the USA, the USSR and the Netherlands, various amateurish, quickly improvised comics about the struggle against the enemy were thrown on the market 5 , but they were never reprinted and quickly forgotten.
Remarkably, Belgian authors often choose foreigners as the heroes for their war comics, think of the long running series about an American fighter pilot, Buck Danny. Already during the last months of the occupation the authors were preparing this revengeful animal satire.
The virulence is more explicit in the textual parts than in the rather kind drawings, reminding the round Disney-style. Furthermore each nationality is represented by a typical animal: the Germans are mainly wolfs, the English bulldogs, the Americans bison, the Japanese monkeys, the French are many animals amongst others squirrels and storks.
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All the animal nations are divided in two camps: the good nations versus the bad Germans, Italians and Japanese. The text describes the Germans as cruel, warlike Barbarians, while the French animals are called innocent and peace loving. The wolves, the Barbarians of the East, are in the last pages characterised as inherently bad. Il y a parfois chez nous des animaux qui naissent sans pattes ou sans oreilles et nous les trouvons anormaux. Therefore what happened during the Second World War was to the French only a confirmation of the already constructed image of the Germans.
The stereotypical representation of the Germans as militaristic Prussians implied on the other hand also assumptions and claims about the own French identity, which was almost by definition very different from that of its enemy.
Goscinny and Uderzo use the existing stereotypes of mid 20 th century, prejudices which were not only shared among French people but also among people from other nations. Stereotypes as the militaristic German, the stiff Englishmen or the hot-tempered Spaniard are indeed quite widespread in Europe.
In this comics series the Gauls are often collaborating with other occupied tribes against the Romans, which may indicate some kind of support to the idea European collaboration. On the other hand some tribes as the Normans or the Goths remain enemies of the Gauls. The eastern Goths speak with an eastern German tongue and their texts are set in red. The Dutch psychologist Jaap van Ginneken , p. Go, I have faith in you! Such forgiveness is, on the contrary, rather absent in Francophone comics of that period.
The various European car constructors come together and decide to form one big team to give a proper European answer to a Cold War challenge between the Americans and the Russians. The two superpowers want to demonstrate the superiority of their automobile industry by defying each other in a great car race. The European team consists of French, Belgian, British, German and Italian racers, which means that some of the former enemies of the Second World War are collaborating to take up the gage of the two superpowers.senrei-exorcism.com/images/boyfriend/instagram-locate-application-for-mobile.php
Hora de España. Octubre 1938 (Spanish Edition)
Anyhow, the European perspective is remarkable; this story was published two years after the signing in of The Treaty of Rome and the creation of the European Economic Community EEC , whereby the signatory States France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany laid the foundations of an even closer union among the peoples of Europe.
So, it is mostly in the context of the Cold War that this sports comic affirms the special place and identity of a Europe that needs to unite if it wants to compete with the USA and the USSR. This Michel Vaillant comic seems to be the only explicit example of such an idea in a French or Belgium comic up to For the rest only small references to the European collaboration can be detected.
Generally Flemish comics depict a more satirical view of the communist world than the French comics. No, then We free workers are a lot happier! Later, in a fake trial the translator wilfully distorts the testimonials of the Westerners and they are condemned to five year forced labour. In French comics till the references to Eastern European countries are seldom so explicitly expressed, but rather vaguely suggested. For instance in the Blake and Mortimer -story, S. Meteors, ] a hostile state — supposedly East European — uses a system for weather control to provoke storms, floods and other climate disasters in West European countries.
Despite these quite speaking examples the idea of a European communion remained nevertheless largely absent from the French and Belgian comics pages, instead they rather clung to older stereotypes of other European people. Paradoxically in the real world political leaders of France and Belgium were in the same period advocating European collaboration, but this official policy did not permeate decisively through the comics.
To what extent such comics influenced their readers or played an efficient role in the construction of social representations may remain difficult to measure objectively, but this analysis has, hopefully, shown that these popular culture products offered a particular but not always consistent view on national identities in the post-war period. Paris: Plon, Making Sense of Cultural Studies. Central Problems and Critical Debates. London: SAGE, BLOM, J. History of the Low Countries. New York: Berghahn Books, World war I in cartoons.
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