Comics: The Modern Mono Lisa

Why has Donald Duck become a masochist? Does the disappearance of Mickey Mouse's goodness presage a decline of the West? How much power is conveyed in "bang" and "pow"? Such weighty questions were debated last week at Bordighera, Italy, at the first international exhibition of comic strips.

Exhibition participants, who examined and ponderously commented on all manner of comic-strip techniques, included an assortment of professors, movie directors, publishers, and three imported American comic-strip writers: Al Capp (Li'I Abner), Alfred Andriola (Kerry Drake), Lee Falk (Mandrake, the Magician). Most of the participants seemed thoroughly convinced that significant trends can be discerned...

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