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The World View

Like cinema, each country produces graphic novels that can embody distinct cultural viewpoints and values. Art styles can emphasize what is considered aesthetic to a particular population. Subject matter can speak volumes as to the hopes and fears of a nation. Foreign works can provide a needed breath of fresh air if you find that you yearn for something truly different.


Akira. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1984–1993.

Set in a post apocalyptic Tokyo this cyberpunk work was one of the first manga to be translated to English. A film version was later released in 1988. Winner of the Kodansha Manga award for best general manga in 1984.

Stripburek: comics from behind the rusty iron curtain. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Forum Ljubljana, 1997.

A collection of comics from the former socialist block. All works contained within are in English.


Hungarian rhapsody. New York: Catalan Communications, 1986.

From Italian artist Giardino, the work is a spy story with mature content. The main character Max Friedman appears in subsequent work by the author.

Goscinny; Uderzo

Asterix oppdager Amerika. [Oslo] Hjemmet–Bladforl. cop. 1978.

The title translates to Asterix discovers America. This French work follows Asterix and Obelix as they start off on a simple fishing trip and end up making a transatlantic voyage to America.

Enki Bilal; Pierre Christin

Partie de chasse. Genève: Les Humanoides Associeś, 1997.

A French political thriller, a group of retired ex communist bloc political leaders plot the death of a rising individual in the Politburo hoping to stop his vision of Stalinist control coming to fruition.


The adventures of Tintin, reporter for “Le petit vingtième”, in the Congo. San Francisco: Last Gasp, 2002.

The adventures of Tintin follow the exploits of a fictional young Belgian reporter and his dog snowy. The series is set in a generally realistic 20th century setting but the stories themselves draw from various genres including science fiction, mystery and political thrillers.

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