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Oil and graphic arts: the petroculture in comics and graphic novels

A car runs out of fuel, an engine explodes because of the adulterated gasoline, a mysterious disappearance takes place... Oil is the starting point of many adventures of comic books characters. In Lucky Luke’s album In the shadow of the Derricks, we discover the creation of the oil industry in the United States and we assists to Colonel Drake first oil discoveries. Tintin, Milou, Dupont and Dupont, bring us to the Land of Black Gold to resolve a conflict opposing two local Emirs and their respective allies, the Arabex  and the Skoil Petroleum company. In Les Pieds Nickelés découvrent du pétrole au Sahara we learn how Croquignol, Ribouldingue et Filochard unwittingly discover the Saharan oil. As well as the oilfields, the petrol stations become the privileged scenario for the adventures of Gaston Lagaffe, Spirou and Fantasio, Michel Vaillant and many others.  Between the 1950s and the 1970s comics have inspired the advertisement campaigns of different French oil distribution companies. At the end of the 1960s, Total launched a customer loyalty program distributing in the petrol station the Total Journal, a monthly children’s magazine that gathered comic strips of well-known French authors as Jean Claude Mézières, Pierre Christin, Jean Giraud and Pierre Guilmard. In the same period, Goscinny and Uderzo published the bibliothèque Elf-Astérix a collection of special albums that were distributed in Elf petrol-station in return for buying 20 liters fuel. 

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