Tuesday March 8, 2011
- 8h45 - 11h
It is no surprise today to see comic strips on display in art galleries. The French comic magazine Pilote played a major role in recognising comics as an art form in their own right, something which its founders never imagined possible in the light of Pilote's history. When the magazine was published for the first time at the beginning of the 1960s, comics were restricted to children's publications which were not very imaginative and were mass-produced by cartoonists who were not very talented. Pilote broke the norms, brought a breath of fresh air into the sector, and targeted atypical and talented artists. As was often the case in the 1960s, it was yet another example of a counter-culture in a climate where both readers and artists felt stifled. After a rather chaotic beginning, Pilote restructured itself and changed its format to the point where cartoons published in newspapers finally disappeared and were replaced by storybook comics. These are adult comics, written by real authors, seen as a specific art form (referred to in Francophone countries as the '9th art'), and belonging to the 'exception française' (or have a specifically cultural French identity) to which Pilote contributed.
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