The government declares March 17 as the Day of Comics and Comics


The date corresponds to the first publication of the magazine ‘TBO’, which popularized the genre in addition to mentioning said literary phenomenon

‘El Capitán Trueno’, ‘Mortadelo y Filemón’, ‘Zipi y Zape’ or ‘Superlópez’ are celebrating as the Ministry of Culture and Sports has declared March 17 as the National Day of Comics and Comics. In this way, the executive pays tribute to the culture of vignettes, a very important cultural movement in Spain since its beginnings in the mid-19th century; but especially after the birth of ‘TBO’ on March 17, 1917, a magazine specializing in comics with more than 9,000 publications.

The statement recognizes the value of comics and comics, the weight of their history and importance in the current context, their diversity, creativity and quality. It is also intended to show effective support for the sector. The role of its professionals in social and cultural life is also recognized, attracting new readers.

While the importance of comics and comics is more than obvious, the first native comic in the history of the country is a debate that continues today. Several experts agree that the Cantigas de Santa María, probably created between 1260 and 1270 by the workshop of Alfonso X ‘el Sabio’, are the first comics. In them, the illustrations represent the story told in the old medieval book.

Although the literary movement took an important turn after the first issues of ‘Dominguín’ and ‘TBO’, it was not until the 1930s that it became a mass phenomenon, when the latter reached a circulation of 220,000 copies in 1935. After the civil war the comics lived through a difficult time when the genre was not well funded, but from the 1950’s on the Spanish newsstands were again full of these publications. Father Jesús M. Vázquez, former Secretary General of the Commission on Information and Publications for Children and Young People, assured that more than 78 million copies were sold nationally each year in the mid-1960s.

In the 1980s, comic book publications reached more than 8 million copies, which amounted to about 400 million pesetas for copyright. In those years the ‘comedic’ Anglicism also appears, which entails more mature works, with more realistic illustrations and less aimed at a children’s audience. Unfortunately, since the 2000s, the format has been on the decline socially, and according to authors such as Francisco Ibañez, author of Mortadelo y Filemón or Rompetechos, among others, the growth of video games had an impact on the consumption of comics in Spain.

With the Declaration of the Day of the Strip and the Tebeo, the aim is to emphasize the value of its history and its present value. It is about making the industry visible through various activities. It also intends to give a unified meaning and reach all points of the Spanish geography, through the collaboration of all its agents, the media, social networks, private entities and civil society.

This does not only concern publications of Spanish origin, but also national authors working in the international field of graphic novels. That is, current well-known artists under the seal of the giants Marvel or DC, such as Sergio Aragonés, Daniel Acuña, Francis Portela or Salva Espín.

The statement is in response to the proposal of the Comics Industry Association, which was included in the proposal No. of the Law on the Recognition and Dignity of the Comics Industry in Spain, adopted unanimously on October 19, 2021.

Source: La Verdad


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