When we really think about it, everything we consume when it comes to popular culture is usually from the United States.
And that’s no surprise, since they truly do provide exceptional entertainment that appeals to most. When it comes to comic books, it’s the exact same story, except that we also kind of have Japan in the picture. However, the great comic books written by artists from Belgium or the Philippines are out there, we just might need to put a tiny bit more effort into discovering them. To make the matters easier, here is a list of non-US comic books and their authors you will fall in love with.
“Tintin in Tibet”, Hergé, Belgium
“The Adventures of Tintin” is an exciting series, and Tintin in Tibet is its twentieth volume. This particular adventure of Tintin was chosen not only because of the compelling story, but also because the author, Hergé, said it was his personal favourite. He wrote it while he was undergoing some personal difficulties, so it exhibits a lot of what was burdening the author at the time, all in the metaphorical form of Tintin’s adventures. In the story, a young reporter Tintin goes out looking for Chang Chong-Chen, his friend who is thought to have died in the Himalayan mountains after a plain catastrophe. Good company, trying challenges and huge obstacles need to be overcome if Tintin is to try and find his friend. On top of the storyline that will have you hooked for hours, “Tintin in Tibet” has beautiful art and visual representations that will help you experience the story as if you were there with Tintin in the Himalayas.
“The Moomins”, Tove Jansson, Finland
If you haven’t seen the white, hippopotamus-like adorable creatures in comic books and cartoons back in the 90s, you have missed out. Good news, it’s never too late to check something good out. The Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator, the brilliant Tove Jansson, has created a family, living in Moominvalley, who, throughout the series of nine books, ends up going on various adventures. It has been adapted for television, films and even has its theme park, Moomin World, in Finland. Take a look at the original books, because after all these will offer the most authentic feel of this adorable little family.
“Asterix and Cleopatra”, René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, France
On its cover, the comic book boldly claims: “The Greatest Story Ever Written”. Depending on what you like, this might as well be true. This is the sixth volume in René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo the Asterix album series. It is an interesting twist to the well-known Cleopatra and Caesar relationship, is extremely witty and full of puns. Ironically, while the comic book was intended to be somewhat of a parody to a 1963 film “Cleopatra” (it becomes extra evident when you realize that the cover of the book is openly mocking the film’s poster), a quite famous film, “Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra” is based exactly on this comic book.