Renovation and Crisis in Argentine Cartoons: Héctor Oesterheld and the End of a Golden Age
The objective of the research presented in this text is to identify, reconstruct and analyze the early trajectory of the comic script writer Hector German Oesterheld (Buenos Aires, 1919- disappeared in 1977). The author promoted emerging forms of cultural production in the Argentinian field of comic in the mid-fifties and early sixties of the XXth century. Over the years, Oesterheld has come to be celebrated as a master in his field and as one of the pioneering artists in modern comics in the World. Playing at the borderline of mass culture system and the adventure genres at the time, Oesterheld’s work present artistic renewal based on aspects such as narrative construction and themes and moral issues developed. With his innovations, a new paradigm of comic production was emerging and Oesterheld’s influences stretched beyond the borders of Argentina. Some production conditions enabled the rise of that new way of writing and editing comics. These conditions basically consisted of some relative autonomy from economic pressures and editorial criteria prevalent in the professional comic publishing industry in the middle of the last century. Our aim is to reconstruct and explain the strategies and positioning of the aforementioned author, especially during the period of his professional consolidation. We are referring here to the modifications that Hector Oesterheld produced in the field of Argentinian comics during a period that it entered into a period of crisis, reduction and concentration of the publishing market.