Sunday, December 14, 2008
Christmas Comic Covers - Part 7: International Comics
Britain and the USA aren't the only countries that produce Christmas editions of their comics. I'm not exactly sure how many other countries do, but here's a few festive comics from afar. Starting with the Nemi album for 2002 written and drawn by Lise Myhre, and published in her native Norway. Several of Norway's most popular comic characters such as Pondus and Ernie receive festive editions at Christmas time, in a slim 32 page full colour softback format such as this. (Although since Nemi became a regular monthly comic a few years ago I'm not sure if the character is still awarded a separate Christmas album as well.)
One of Norway's most popular titles, published by Egmont eight times a year, is Herman Hedning by Jonas Darnell. The Christmas 1998 edition is above, which is actually the Swedish edition from where the comic originates. (An identical edition is also published for the Norwegian language.) You'll notice that at that time this 52 page anthology also featured Fingal and Hans Finne, - the Swedish name for my Pete and His Pimple strip. Reprints of this old Oink! strip ran in Herman Hedning for its first year. My Suburban Satanists strip also featured in the comic regularly for several years.
Norway has a tradition of folk tales and one of its most beloved Christmas comics is the annual Tuss og Troll publication. This slim landscape comic is beautifully drawn by another of Norway's top female artists, Solveig Muren Sanden who is now 90 years old and, at least a few years ago, was still drawing comics.
Solveig Muren Sanden is also the artist of Smørbukk, who initially was created as a Norwegian Tintin type of character, although sources on the internet refer to Smørbukk as an anti-hero so I presume he developed somewhat.
Moving to France, and above is the December 1987 edition of Pilote with a rather downbeat cover by "Fred". This adult comic magazine anthology includes some stunning artwork in its 100 pages. The nearest UK equivalent in terms of format (serial strips plus text features on comics) would be our current Judge Dredd Megazine.
Over to Amsterdam for this next batch of covers, starting above with the Christmas 1984 issue of Eppo. The wraparound cover is by Evert Geradts. This 32 page glossy humour / adventure weekly also includes Storm by Don Lawrence, and Colin Wilson artwork on Blueberry.
Another Dutch comic, Kuifje, is their translated version of Belgian weekly Tintin. (Kuifje is pronounced "quiff", hence it being a suitable name for Tintin.) This festive edition is also from 1984 and the cover is by Dany, featuring characters from the strip Roze Bottell.
The same week of December 1984 brings us the wraparound cover to Robbedoes, the Dutch version of Belgian weekly Spirou. (Update: Cover of Spirou also shown, thanks to reader Dave Whitwell.) I'm not sure who drew this cover. You'll have noticed that the humour of these covers is more sophisticated and quiter than those of UK comics. Same goes for the content, which on the whole seems pitched at a slightly older reader than we've come to expect from The Beano or Buster. I'm not totally convinced a European style comic would work in British culture but The DFC seems to be the closest thing to it at present.
Finally, another Dutch weekly, this time from 1987, with popular kid characters Sjors en Sjimmie in their own comic. The cover has no gag, but it's a nice piece of design work.
Next time it's back to the UK for another gallery of British festive covers!