Comics & graphic novels

Started by A-Yty, 07 November 2022, 15:39

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From what I understand, "graphic novel" is meant to differentiate between the "funny pages"; light entertainment, strips, kid stuff. In Finnish, there's really no need for this, in my opinion. "Sarjakuva" literally means "picture in a series", so there's no baggage of being misunderstood as meaning mainly Garfield, Peanuts etc., but the craft / industry /art as a whole. But I have noticed it has been gaining traction here as well, with some shops and comics enthusiasts having started using the term to sell "serious", darker and edgier mature-oriented stuff here as well.

Here's what you may already know: Donald Duck is hugely popular in Finland. Since 1951, a Disney stories magazine has been published weekly. Carl Barks took his first trip ever abroad to visit Finland. Don Rosa made "The Quest For Kalevala" in 1999 largely motivated by his massive fan base here. As far as I know, it was also the first Disney story ever to feature Finland.

It's a chore finding a Finnish family that has not at some point had a subscription for Aku Ankka. Though I must say, the quality has declined in recent years.

In addition to Disney, as a child I wolfed down the stories of Asterix & Obelix, Iznogoud, Spirou & Fantasio, Lucky Luke and Inspector Canardo. And yes, even Garfield (I also liked the shows and cartoon specials). Most of these names are probably obscure in North America. I don't know if it's European comics in general or just the French ones that aren't that big there. But from what I've understood, this is also the case for Disney comics in USA and Canada and it's Disney's animations that mostly matter.

As an adult, I rediscovered Batman comics and mostly started reading DC. Batman was kind of hard to find in libraries as a kid in the 1990's. I mean, obviously I was a Bat-fan already (because what boy isn't), but reading the comics wasn't the primary reason. Also in the 1990's, I just bought the odd Marvel magazine every now and then. They were fairly expensive and it was a chore finding issues for stories you were following. And it wasn't even guaranteed they were all published and translated here (I learned English fairly early, but what ended up on store shelves were translated and back then, you couldn't just type what you want on eBay). Nowadays, with the Internet, the world's a comic book oyster. Back then, it was all about physical copies that were not often easily obtained.

I have never gotten into manga. Though there are some that interest me, such as Ginga Nagareboshi Gin, Junji Ito's horror stories and Berserk. The first I'm interested in because of the GNG anime (which I'm usually not that into either), the last two because they seem to avoid what supposedly is what I don't like about manga in general.

What about you? What's your choice of comics? What have you been reading?