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Comics, cartoons, mangas... These are all different words used to describe a comic strip or a graphic novel, an art form that consists of text and pictures and is thought to have been created at the same time as cinema.

In the early 20th century, two highly popular comic weeklies were enjoyed by Catalan children: Patufet and Virolet. In 1925, the first Catalan crosswords were published in the Virolet comic. Another well-known publication was the TBO, which had an avant-garde visual concept for the time and was printed from 1917 to 1998, and became so significant in the history of Spanish comics that its name is synonymous with the word “comic”.

One of the numerous TBO characters, and possibly also one of the most popular, was Professor Franz de Copenhague, who starred in the comedy section called “TBO’s great inventions”. In it, the professor explained featherbrained inventions that were always absolutely useless. One of the TBO’s authentic inventions is displayed beside the silhouette of Professor Franz de Copenhague in this section: a cigar-cutting machine made in 1960 by Ramon Sabatés, one of the section’s cartoonists.


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