Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis vol:11 issue:1 pages:5-24
A systematic quantitative research of the Flemish press of the 1930s shows how the medium of the comic strip suddenly became quite widespread in this crucial decade. Comics had of course already been published in Flandres before the 1930s, but from the 1930s the number of published comics suddenly grew enormously, becoming typical features in various publication formats (dailies, illustrated journals and children’s magazines). Although the large majority of the comics was still published in black and white, those in children’s magazines were sometimes in colour. The sequences predominantly had a horizontal layout (although 17% of the comics in illustrated journals were published in a vertical column). Balloons were still little used (only in about one in five comics) but this changed in the course of the decade. Each publication format also had a preference for a specific type of comic, with the dailies publishing far more serial stories than the illustrated journals and children’s magazines did. Newspapers and illustrated journals would use at lot of foreign material. Dailies got their comics predominantly from the Netherlands, while the illustrated journals usually published Scandinavian wordless gag comics. Children’s magazines, on the contrary, mostly worked with Belgian artists.