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Insight from Argentina

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 9:50 AM

This is a short interview I recently conducted with Daniel Arangio, a collector from Argentina who has been very helpful in assisting me to find books on occasion.  The idea behind it is to gain a little insight into the mindset of collectors from outside of the U.S. about some of the Spanish language comics that are becoming more and more sought after here in the States.

1) How did you get into the hobby?

I´m a cartoonist, I’ve been drawing since I was 3 years old and my parents bought me all the Mexican comics that came to my country.  Every Monday at night, which was the day that the comics arrived, they took me to visit the kiosks of comics and bought me all of the new issues.  The ones I liked the most were Batman, superheroes of La Prensa (Marvel) and Disneylandia (by Chile, Editora Zig-Zag).

2) Do you collect certain titles or just key issues?

I collect Batman by Editorial Novaro (#1 to # 500 only) and the all of the Editorial La Prensa superhero titles.

3) Do you only collect comic books in Spanish or do you collect books from other countries in other languages?

I have several Marvel comics.  When I was a kid they always bought me all of the U.S. editions that were released here back in the ‘60s, especially the Marvel comics.  I was a fan of the Jack “King” Kirby, his drawings seemed magical.  These comics, unfortunately, were lost along the way as we moved a few times.  If I still had them today they would be a fortune because I had a lot of them, approximately 500 in Near Mint condition that my parents bought for me between 1965 and 1969.

4) Where do you search for the books you buy?

I kept some from my childhood but about 15 years ago I went to Mexico several times and lost or gave away the vast majority of those I had.  In still go to old comics fairs looking for them although you almost never see them there.  I contact other collectors who have comics as well and offer to buy them.

5) Are there other sites other than eBay (US) that you buy book from such as Mercado Libre or Todocoleccion?

I don't buy comics here in my country on auction sites because most of the ones that interest me I already have.  Several years ago I bought many on eBay and some on Mercado Libre.

6) What do you think about comic collectors from the US and other countries outside of Mexico and South America being interested in foreign comic books?

Without a doubt, the best comics are those from the United States, but it seems to me that for a collector it´s very interesting to have comic books in spanish, especially the first editions that appeared translated.  In my country Batman and Superman appeared in various comics that were translated into Spanish from 1940 to 1960.  I realize that comics from Editorial Novaro and Editorial La Prensa can be of great interest to a collector because they translated almost everything from 1952 until 1970, which are my favorites.  It seems very interesting to have a collector from the United States buying comic books in Spanish.

7) Is there a strong collector market for comic books in Argentina?  Which books are most popular there (Editorial Novaro, La Prensa etc.)?

Yes, the market is strong but it´s very small.  There are quite a few collectors but there isn't a culture of collecting here.  There’s no price guide for comic books and the most important thing to a collector is to simply have a copy of the comic they’re looking for even if the condition is bad.  The most popular books are the Novaro and La Prensa titles.  As far as Novaro titles, Batman and Superman and from La Prensa the Marvel superhero titles.  However, the most popular character here is the Indian Patoruzú.  It´s the most collected title.  The character appeared in the 1920s in newspaper strips and in 1936 got his own comic.  Patoruzú also appeared in the United States in the journal of the Guerra PM back in the 1940s in a daily strip.  It´s the most popular character in my country and the only one published in the United States.  But other than Patoruzú the biggest character here is Batman (Editorial Novaro) who is even more popular than Superman.

I would like to thank Daniel for his time and willingness to share a little bit about himself with the global comic collecting community.

Tim Bildhauser
FCC Associate Editor

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