Monday, July 18, 2011

Andrés Accorsi on Government Support for Comics

Claire Denton-Spalding:In your opinion, how necessary is government support to develop cultural activities?

Andrés Accorsi: The government should create a comics museum to preserve our cultural patrimony. Someone should have the duty to keep the original artwork and preserve the old collections of magazines before they disappear. Decades worth of artwork and publication should be kept somewhere and available to the public.

Secondly, the government should support comics conventions. In ever city there should be government sponsored comics festivals and activities around comics with art shows and guests from all around the country and abroad.

The government already does some things, like buying comics for the public libraries and giving support for artists that want to go study abroad. Now they are discussing a law (The Ley Heller) that if it passes will give a pension to the old writers and creators that can’t keep on working because of their old age. This law would be a solution for older creators because they can’t keep on drawing.

Maybe the government could give a national prize for artwork, like in Spain. In Spain the government gives a national prize to comics creators, like they do with literature or fine arts.

I really don’t agree with the government giving grants to publishers or magazines or books published by the government. It ends up with horrible magazines filled with government supporters.

I really don’t understand why the government didn’t take these measures in the 50’s when comics were hugely popular—when they were the most popular entertainment media in the country, when millions were sold every week. How did that booming industry never get the government’s attention? Now there is almost no industry. It is small and prestigious, healthy. They are publishing beautiful books, nice comics are coming out. Many creators are doing the best work of their careers. But, why now? Why not fifty or sixty years ago when the comics industry was booming, when every newsstand was selling comics like hotcakes? Everybody bought comics and talked about comics. Comics characters were used in billboards to advertise almost everything. Comics artists and writers were paid very well. Newspaper competed with each other, trying to lure comic strip artists from one paper to another. I don’t understand why that industry didn’t get the attention of the authorities, but it does now. There’s a gap in logic somewhere.

Transcribed and edited by Claire Denton-Spalding

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