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martes, 28 de junio de 2011

From Funny Mags To Actual Comics


Circa 1970 decade,comics were currently named in Lima (Peru) as "funny mags".That was also their popular name.
"Funny mags" were a low-price commercial product,truly cheap.
People in Lima haved then a liking for reading (actually lost, sadly).After a military coup who establish himself as government(1968-1979) imported reading material was banned as considered "imperialist"(understanding it as USA-like).
This gubernamental attitude was a shock isolating the country from our neighbors and of exporters centers because they were considered as a "negative influence for the development of Peru".It looks now very funny,considering the actual openeness for foreign countries,particularly to the United States who that military government look like despicable.
It is also terrible to realize that they considered Donald Duck and Superman harmful for children and by another side put in circulation, at the time, semi-pornographic mags (because the state criteria of that times was that this were not "dangerous fantasies,highly harmful" for the population.Believe it or not.
With the restoration of civil government (1980) Peru opened abruptly to modernity.This included TV series,films,fashion,music and even manners.Also the sexual attitudes reached to an uncomplete maturity,like a a child catapulted to adult-live (or childlish minds in adult bodies,to say it in another way;not capable of an adecuate,moderate behavior).

But,what happens with comics? They are the topic of this article.
Well..,they re-appeared.Naively and with changed prices,this comics were mainly spanish-translations (as that of the now dissapeared editorial house Novaro).
Novaro presented as a novelty three new formats:the standard one (big) best known as "ostrich" format, relatively expensive ; the "eagle" format, the best selled thanks to his economic price and ;the "hummingbird" format, very little (pocket-size).
Formerly,funny mags havent had such dimensions.
Next arrived the comics of editorial house Zinco (of Spaino;new series in
standard format,easily written and with a nice presentation.Selled at newspapers kiosks and supermarkets (as in the then existant retail stores).
By that time makes his apparition a group called Nasca Comics,who taked the opportunity for satisfying the new readers generation ;mainly coarse youth of bad manners,
smug and ignorant...an easy target to get profit.
Centering their activities to the so called Universitary Park,this sellers offered all kind of comics:the Novaro ones, comics of USA an the last acquisitions of Zinco.Fooling buyers making them to believe that they represent exclusively editor house Zinco,offered each issue to minors at no less than twenty dollars.
Haw,haw,haw,...!
Of what I am laughing?,of how the buyers almost shocked to dead when a young street seller offered that same Zinco comics for only 0.30 dollars at the city downtown.Really,for just 0.30 dollars!
The deceived buyers asked the head of the Nasca group of sellers for an explanation .He replied that the street seller guy offered stealed mags or that he by himself reproduced them...it only missed to say that him was the owner of Alladin´s Magic Lamp.
Foolishes!,they deserved that Nasca Group manipulation.The exposed Nasca sellers even get to steal mags from the street seller and to menace him,with no results.
Finally Nasca Group decided to reveal the address of the mags distribution center to the buyers.
The smuggy pseudo-collectors get in turmoil,making shouting mobs in order to get the mags by dozens.The prize was the same one offered by the street seller,0.30 dollars.
By a short period of time some of this mags get to be reselled at distant points of the city at prices reaching 3 dollars the issue.
This awake the greed of the mags distribution center who upraised the prices of the comics now re-called "collection pieces".That was the day in wich cheap "funny mags" dissapeared,alone with price offers and remnant sales,thanks to the goddamn "collectors" (not "funny mags" collectors but comics collectors).Yes,from "funny mags" to comics,that was the point.
"Funny mags" had never produced collectors,because the last ones payed exorbitant prices for an issue.They had been selled in all Lima districts,mainly by street sellers.The prize of the issues,referenced for example to the disappeared kiosks at Dos De Mayo Square,in any case get beyond the 0.30 dollar.
The disappearance of the street sellers at the Lima downtown make the comic market to get in the stores and commercial galleries.Fault of rivalry the comics-fans phenomena appeared with high-priced issues associated with a supposed status of wellness.
Oh,well,that is what at least that street-wandering collectors believe;that paying decenes of dollars for "funny mags" gives them an aura of superiority and power over people.
This equation in his origins obviously favoured plently the Nasca Group,enriching their leaders wich,wich thanks to their well relations with the oficial press,were presented as dedicated business people;focused in the diffusion of comics in Peru.
Now,tell me one fairy tale.Please!
Comics in today form had side-effects,do not forget the related merchandising.This means clothes,postal cards,toys...For God sake,poor of the toy collectors!
A teen stray guy once sayed me that:"I get more money from comic collectors than from drug buyers... ".Terrible,but truth.
Obsessed,in a inner competition trying to demonstrate who is best.Yes,the best one! Ignorancy is terrible,don´t you believe? When will they get awared that all that money could afford studies or to stablish a little business?.Youth is not for ever;but so are lamentations.
Long live to comics! The "funny mags" are dead...Long live to comics in Peru!
P.S.: Please don not expose your money in promises for getting comics from USA,the money will not return...with your comics along.Don't dream! With this trick several youth had been fooled.
It is a pitty how this art pieces have had becomed a terrible,disgusting vice.
They don't called themselves Nasca Group anymore,actually they work for Kingdom Comics...another tune of the same song.
By the way;they make now meetings for the collectors fraternity,inviting freely the general public to assist to their galas.It not matters how much they will grin to you...they only want your money.
Get away from them and keep care of your children! Childs get easily trapped in their claws.The comic vice is worst than that of drugs!
Harry Gamboa (2011)

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