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Differences between the USA and Germany
I just stumbled across a nice discussion about whether superhero comics are a dead end. They're making very well-educated statements and obviously gave this issue some thought. The problem is: They completely overlooked anything outside the US. While it may be true that in the US nothing except Superhero comics sells, in Europe, they actually traditionally sold badly. Instead, we have lots of great Franco-Belgian comics.
Mostly funnies like Spirou et Fantasio or Marsupilami, but also straight Scifi and Fantasy like Valerian et Veronique or Yoko Tsuno and mixtures like Tintin or Asterix. No fancy costumes. Actually, the most successful and mainstream superheroics got was probably when Mangas started their rise to popularity in the 90ies (which, strictly spoken, means they were never successful).
There were a few attempts to get US superheroes sold in Germany, but generally that was successful for a little over three years, then the publisher went out of business and the next company bought the license, tried with a new format... In Germany alone we had BSV ("Bild-Schriften-Verlag"), Williams, Condor, Panini, Marvel UK, Marvel Deutschland, Splitter and Dino. At least one for every decade, and that's mostly for Marvel comics (though many of them also sold DC, Image or various Franco-Belgian comics at some time). The only superhero that seems to have consistently sold appears to be Spider-Man.
For more comparisons between Germany and the US, you may want to check out A subjective comparison of Germany and the United States (via Tim Weber).