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  • Snoopy, of Peanuts fame:
    • Popular and well-loved mascot character in Japan, thanks in part to being a cute dog who happens to be marketed by Sanrio. Unfortunately, most Japanese seem unaware that the main character of the series is his owner, despite the strip's long-running and faithful translation, which gets printed daily in Japanese newspapers and has numerous compilation books in both English and Japanese. He has also gotten everything from his own café to special donuts at Mr. Donut Japan. Because of how popular Snoopy is there, the 2015 movie in the franchise was retitled "I Love Snoopy", was released a week after the American release and was shown in 4D, which is rare to happen to any Western animated film.
    • In Sweden, Peanuts is called Snobben — which is the Swedish name of Snoopy.
    • Same thing in France, the Netherlands and Hungary where Snoopy is the title of the comic (though more recent publications tend to call it Peanuts again, or at least Snoopy & the Peanuts).
    • Ask anyone in Britain and they will probably make the same distinction, even though the comic is still published under the name Peanuts.
    • A similar situation happens in South America. The strip goes either by the name Carlitos (literally "Charlie") or... Snoopy. (Brazil goes both ways: "Minduim", a mangling of the Portuguese word for "peanut" that became Charlie Brown's nickname, or "Snoopy")
    • Even the creator disliked the name "Peanuts" (his original title, "Li'l Folks", was considered too similar to the existing features "Li'l Abner" and "Little Folks" and the name "Peanuts" was basically forced upon him by his syndicate). A lot of people even in the US tend to refer to the entire strip by the name of its most popular character, Snoopy, so it may be a better example of Breakout Character than of this trope.
      • Cedar Fair Entertainment licenses many of the Peanuts characters for use in their amusement parks. The Peanuts themed area in each of the parks is known as "Camp Snoopy" and/or "Planet Snoopy", which is pretty good evidence that this is not an "outside the US only" thing.
  • The Phantom is the most popular costumed hero in the world, but not America.
    • Scandanavia and Australia are standouts - one report estimated Australian sales of The Phantom at ten times the amounts of the top-selling Marvel and DC comics.
    • The Phantom is also highly popular among the Wahgi people in Papau New Guinea, who often draw him on their traditional wooden shields.
  • While Japanese readers in general aren't crazy about American superheroes, there are some prominent exceptions:
    • Japan really, really loves Batman. Batman had a manga in the 1960s (of which several stories appear in the American book Bat-Manga), and has had several manga in more recent times — Batman: Death Mask, Batman: Child of Dreams by Kia Asamiya, and a story in Batman: Black and White by Katsuhiro Otomo. When Akita Shoten began serializing a Justice League manga in anticipation of the movie, it was titled Batman and the Justice League, making it clear just who Japan considered the star.
    • Spider-Man is just as beloved as Batman and the Avengers. Spidey even had his own Japanese exclusive live-action television series. Spider-Man is considered a national icon in Japan. The Avengers anime even made sure to include him as a main character to parlay some of that goodwill. Not bad for a kid from Queens, New York. A lot of this is down to Japan having a strong preference for the Kid Hero trope, which Spider-Man codified in in the Western superhero genre that had previously featured primarily adult heroes.
      • It was for that very reason why Spidey's reveal for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was saved for the 2010 Tokyo Game Show.
    • The X-Men as a whole have been among the more popular American comics franchises in Japan ever since their '90s cartoon began airing there. Now, after four movies and two further cartoons, it's bigger than ever — Madhouse has made a X-Men anime. Psylocke, a fairly minor member of the X-Men, is inordinately popular simply because she was in X-Men: Children of the Atom, Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes despite hardly mattering to anyone in the country of her creation.
    • Shuma-Gorath, a Doctor Strange antagonist who was all but forgotten in America when he appeared in Marvel Super Heroes. Shuma became wildly popular with the Japanese, and was added as DLC to Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for exactly that reason. Venom, on the other hand, while well-known in the US, is insanely popular in Japan, and it's easy to make the connection between his popularity and his appearances in the Capcom vs. games. Acknowledged in Shuma's ending in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, where he (she? it?) parlays the fame he gained defeating Galactus into a Japanese game show.
    • It should be noted that Marvel has more influence in Japan than its competitor DC Comics, mostly because Marvel offers more relatable superheroes than what DC has to offer. Across from Spider-Man and the X-Men, Iron Man and Captain America have gotten a small fanbase in Japan. Especially Captain America, as he not only represents the American value of freedom note , but he also represents justice, honor, dignity, and duty as well (four of the most distinctive traits of an idealized Lawful Good superhero in many anime and manga alike). Iron Man has also gotten a small popularity in Japan due to his Mecha Suit. Marvel is popular enough to even feature a crossover with one of the most popular manga in Japan, Attack on Titan.
    • Deadpool originally had a modest following from Japanese Marvel fans, but ever since his appearance in the Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers anime, his popularity increased significantly. Japan really loves Deadpool for his quirky humor, and overall prefers Daniel Way's interpretation of the character.
    • Back to Captain America, this became circular. Following the above mentioned Japanese Spider-Man series, Stan Lee and Toei wanted lightning to strike twice with Captain America. Obviously, he was changed to Captain Japan, but the team wanted to give him an international sidekick... and came up with some good ones before finding an impass at France, Kenya, the Soviet Union, and the United States... so they decided to make a team, give them unique colors, and have them fight evil together... The result was Battle Fever J, which became the Super Sentai series which was back translated into the hugely popular Power Rangers franchise.
  • Malaysian cartoonists Reggie Lee and Mohammad Nor Khalid (Lat) are popular overseas. For the latter, his most famous work Kampung Boy won many prestigious awards, including the American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults.
  • Kuso High School by another Malaysian artist Keith is gaining popularity in China. Even the artist himself is surprised by the huge turnout during an autograph-signing session at the 2nd China International Comics Festival.
  • A famous example are the Disney Comics. Largely faded out of American culture (especially once WDC&S went into the prestige format, and it started to be marketed to collectors rather than children, in general making it really hard to get besides actually subscribing), these continue to be produced in most other areas of the world, especially Europe, where they continue to outsell Super Hero comics. More specifically, relatively obscure characters can get their own books (such as Italy's love for Clarabelle Cow), or familiar ones can get very different interpretations; Mickey as a gritty detective, Donald as a superhero with little qualms about hurting the villains (see Paperinik New Adventures), Goofy as a Superman parody, etc. This may be related to their look, which is closer to old Franco-Belgian Comics than to American comics. Another possibility in some countries is a long history of really good Woolseyism.
    • Donald Duck
      • A Carl Barks collection can easily sell two million copies in Finland... which has a population of five million. When Carl Barks visited Finland in the 90s, a minister of the that-time government was there to greet him. In Stockholm, Sweden, there is a Carl Barks väg (Carl Barks Road) and in Gothenburg, Sweden, there is a Kalle Ankas väg (Donald Duck Road). Seriously, back when he still made comics, his stories were hugely advertised in the front cover and it seems there's no story he's written that isn't in some compilation. Of which there are many.
      • In Norway, Donald is so popular he's more recognizable than Mickey.
      • Same goes for Sweden, where Donald is so popular that the Disney Christmas special From All of Us to All of You or Jiminy Cricket's Christmas (which airs on Christmas Eve and is always the king of Swedish ratings) is simply referred to as Donald Duck (or in some cases Donald Duck and his Friends Wishes Everyone a Merry Christmas). Even though Donald barely appears, and Mickey co-hosts.
      • In Finland, Donald is the Disney comic character. In fact, the character's weekly magazine once ran an ad campaign with street signs bearing the legend "Have you ever met a person who has never read Donald Duck?", with a panel from a Donald Duck comic where Donald says "Fascinating, how did you come to know them?" And this is not much of an exaggeration, as the magazine sells 320,000 copies and is approximated to be read by over a million. A. Week. Finland having population of 5.3 million.
      • Donald's alter ego in some Italian comics isn't a gentleman thief but a Batman-like superhero (although his name and appearance are based on a gentlemen thief whose old run-down mansion ends up in the possession of Donald after he receives a contest prize meant for Gladstone by mistake). Eventually it got to the point where about 90 percent of Disney characters had their own superhero alterego. Some of these include Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Fethry Duck (whose identity, the "Red Bat," was an even more explicit parody of the Silver Age Batman), his girlfriend Gloria, Goofy, Gilbert, Huey, Dewey and Louie (all pretending to be the same person), Zé Carioca (whose identity, the "Green Bat," was yet another Batman spoof, in this case of the gritty modern Batman — at least, after a Batman: The Dark Knight Returns spoof in his Brazilian comic title; before that, he only has the detective part of Bats down) and his nephews, and of course, Darkwing Duck (who was always this way in the first place). In fact, the first five at one point had their own Justice League.
      • This concept was used again in 2008, in an Italian story arc called Ultraheroes, which saw even more characters taking a costumed secret identity, along with the already-established ones: John D. Rockerduck and Peg Leg Pete (wearing a Doc Ock-like costume) on the villains' side, Gladstone and Gus Goose with the good guys, the latter as an Iron Man parody.
      • Donald is popular enough in Malaysia that a rerun collection of Disney shorts is called Donald Duck Presents.
      • Denmark for a time had a high-quality comic book with Stålanden ("The Steel Duck"), Donald's Batman-esque superheroic alter ego. It was rather popular until the original PKNA comics stopped. And even then, the Jumbo Books (larger and thicker comic books of mostly Donald Duck related comic stories that couldn't fit the normal Donald Duck & Co. comics) still feature his alter ego pretty frequently, albeit with their version of him.
      • In general, Scandinavia Loves Donald Duck. The Jumbo Books, mentioned above, fleshed out Donald a lot more as a character and even introduced more of his family members to the comics, adding to his large family. Heck, Donald is featured on almost every single cover for the Jumbo Books or Donald & Co. comics, adding to his fanbase in good ol' Scandi'!
      • In the Netherlands, Donald is the big star of a weekly magazine, aptly called "the Donald Duck". This magazine, published since 1952, features all new comics every week, focusing on Donald and his friends and relatives, but containing stories about other characters from the franchise, such as Mickey, Big Bad Wolf and José Carioca, to name a few. This weekly magazine proved to be so popular that it got a spin-off in the form of a monthly magazine called "Donald Duck Extra". Longer stories that don't fit in the weekly magazine can be published this way. Even though the weekly magazine doesn't focus on boys in particular, there was still room for a bi-weekly magazine centered around Daisy (called Katrien in Dutch) specifically aimed towards girls. Every few months a new "Donald Duck Pocket" is released; a small novel-sized comic book which mainly feature translated Italian stories. And last but not least, 2009 saw the release of a one-time glossy magazine focused on young adults, which pretended that Donald was a real person interested in real life stuff such as lifestyle, fashion, and cars, to name a few. This wasn't regarded as exceptionally weird by the Dutch.
      • In Brazil, aside from a short-lived republication comic, the very first magazine of the publisher of Disney comics, Abril, was a Donald Duck one in 1950. The title still runs, the usual comics digest size is referred to as "duck format", and Donald is the centerpiece of the Disney comics advertisement (along with Uncle Scrooge) in lieu of Mickey. As Abril became a huge media conglomerate, its founder parodied Walt Disney's declaration that "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse." by saying "It all started with a duck".
      • Donald Duck has a huge cult following in Germany. When Germany began importing U.S. comics in the 1950s, one particular comic caught the attention of the German people. Imported by the Ehapa publishing house, the first American comic to reach German children was “Micky Maus”. Although the comic was titled after the famous Mickey Mouse, the majority of the strips therein featured Donald Duck. Rather than translate the comics as literally as possible, the translators and copy editors at the publishing house, most notably one art historian Dr. Erika Fuchs, were instructed to take liberties with the translations and to insert as much German culture as possible into the comics. As a result, the Donald of the U.S. (a fiery-tempered brute prone to yelling, conflict, and bearing a sour attitude) became an erudite, German literature quoting, philosophical powerhouse who dug into both distant German history and current political events in a way U.S. readers would never have expected. To this day many Germans credit Donald Duck with giving them their first introduction to German literature and history. Not only do older Germans remember Donald fondly, but to this day over 40,000 monthly Donald Duck specials are printed per month in Germany and the majority of them are purchased by adult readers. In fact, in 2009, when an 8,000 page limited edition collection of Donald Duck strips was assembled into a beautiful collector’s edition (priced at nearly $2,000 USD we might add), the limited run of the book sold out almost immediately.
    • Minnie Mouse - At Tokyo Disneyland/Disney Sea, everyone has Minnie Mouse ears (there are no Mousketeer caps, and the only Mickey headbands feature the Sorcerer's Apprentice hat, while there are infinite variations of Minnie Ears). The most popular character, though, is Duffy, a teddy bear Minnie made for Mickey. Every girl there has one, and there are special outfits you can purchase to dress your bear for the season.
    • Duffy is an especially interesting case. He was originally created as purely "merchandise" (you could buy a Duffy bear at a toy shop in Disney World, but he wasn't an existing character from a movie, book or TV show). Then the owners of Tokyo Disneyland/Disney Sea (which is a separate company, not the Disney corporation) latched onto him and popularized him in Japan to the extent that he eventually got re-imported back into the US parks (though he's still not as popular there as he is in Japan).
    • Fethry Duck - Donald's slacker cousin enjoys such popularity in Brazil that he got his own comic for a while, complete with Distaff Counterpart and clone nephews.
    • Brazil also loves the hillbilly Hard Haid Moe (he's kinda obscure elsewhere), where he even got a female companion.
    • Regarding John D. Rockerduck, this character was created by Carl Barks in 1961, and very rarely used in American stories. In France and Italy, Rockerduck has been long since established as the true rival to Scrooge McDuck, and he's popular on his own (he even was the eponymous character of a few stories), while Flintheart Glomgold (of DuckTales fame) is practically unknown and never used. To the point where a celebration of Scrooge's 40th anniversary (1987) in the Italian weekly Mickey Mouse magazine described Glomgold as the character who later evolved into Rockerduck.
    • José (Zé) Carioca the Brazilian Parrot. You might remember him from Saludos Amigos, or The Three Caballeros, but he hasn't made many appearances since then, and remains a somewhat obscure character in the US. Apparently Disney got this caricature of Brazilian culture just right (and certainly got the marketing of it even righter), because Brazil fell in love with him. He started off in bi-weekly comics as an off-shoot of Donald Duck comics, but now exists in his own monthly comic book series that's still ongoing to this day.
    • Gyro Gearloose is very popular in France, so much in fact that his French name ("Géo Trouvetou" which can be translated as "Geo Finditall") is widely used to describe a Gadgeteer Genius in France even by people who don't actually know the character. He is still to this day featured in French Disney publications in his own titled comics almost as often as Scrooge McDuck, Donald, and Mickey comics. Little Helper (or rather "Filament") even has some comics of his own from time to time in mostly silent comedy-type adventures.
  • In German-speaking countries, the work of Disney-translator Dr. Erika Fuchs became influential to such an extent that grammatical terms were named after her. During the 1950s, the Swedish Donald Duck translators created several neologisms that have become accepted as a part of the well-educated vernacular, e.g. läskeblask ("soda popsicle"), rosenrasande (a red-faced rage) and skinntorr (approximately "an old, dry and scruffy demeanour").
  • While Hex never sold particularly well in America, it was a great success in the UK, Spain, Italy, and Japan.
  • Super Hero comics first appeared in Poland in The '90s, thanks to the publisher TM-Semic. As a result, TM-Semic's three main initial titles ( Spider-Man, X-Men and The Punisher) have much larger fanbases than other Marvel Comics heroes or teams (the biggest Polish Marvel fansite evolved from a strictly X-Men website, then ran out of material). And because the only three DC titles TM-Semic published were Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern, while later they brought a few Image comics, much more people will recognize Spawn than Wonder Woman (who possibly never even appeared in any TM-Semic comics). However, Vertigo titles and European Comics are still much more popular than the Super Hero genre.
  • Generally speaking, Archie Comics aren't popular outside North America, but Archie is also a big seller in both India and Mexico. In the Mexican case, it did even get a theater play.
  • Mort Walker's Beetle Bailey comic strip has been a very popular comic book series in Denmark and Sweden since the late 1950s. This probably has to do with both countries having or having recently abolished conscription, which makes military humor relatable to a large part of the population.
  • The Smurfs
    • The Smurfs were very popular in the US and Canada during their heyday in the 80's.
    • The Smurfs are also very popular in Germany, with multiple German exclusive Smurfs albums released since the 90's. Vader Abraham popularizing the series during the 70's might have played a big role in this.
    • Similar to Germany, the Smurfs are also popular in Greece, with Smurfette being the lead singer in various Greek Smurf albums.
  • The Transformers comics published by IDW feature street-racing samurai-type Drift, who is often accused of being a Creator's Pet, if not an out-and-out Japan-fanboy Mary Sue. Japanese fans seem to adore the guy, if the amount of fanart from there is of any indication. The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye ongoing (of which Drift is a major character) sells well in Japan and Drift's toy itself is considered decent. When Transformers: Robots in Disguise used a design more similar to the Movie's interpretation of Drift, his toy got a Japanese exclusive retooling to make him look more like his original self.
  • The film adaptation of the Tamara Drewe comic strip was a flop in its native UK as well as the US, but managed to be a surprise hit in France.
  • Most of the newspapers which publish Piranha Club/Ernie comic strip are from Scandinavian countries and Baltic States. The comic itself is written by an American.
  • Little Lulu is known to have a significant fanbase in Latin America, particularly in Brazil where an In Name Only, Animesque Time Skip spin-off of sorts was released portraying an alternate depiction of Lulu Moppet and her gang as a modern-day teenager, and in a similar vein to the 2000s Holly Hobbie reboot, depicts the original Lulu as Teen!Lulu's grandmother.
  • Italian comic book Alan Ford, a long-running (since 1969) comedy/satire series about bumbling espionage agents, is fairly known in its home country but not really popular anymore; however, the translations for the former Yugoslav countries became unexpectedly popular, to the point that catchphrases from the comics became part of national slang, rock bands were named after characters, and so on. According to The Other Wiki, various scenes in Emir Kusturica's film Black Cat, White Cat were inspired by the comic.
  • W.I.T.C.H. was made by the Italian division of an American company, but is huge in Scandinavia - to the point that most of the Expanded Universe is created by Danish writers. (Lene Kaaberbøl and Josefine Ottesen)
  • The Belgian comic strip Suske en Wiske is far more popular in The Netherlands nowadays then in their homecountry. Of course, this is mainly because most of the Belgian references have been replaced by a more standard Dutch tone. The characters all speak standard Dutch now, use the Dutch airlines KLM and spent more time in Dutch locations then in Belgian ones. This also has something to do with Suske en Wiske being perceived as a quintessentially Flemish strip; although there is a French version, the feature has always done noticeably less well in the Walloon parts of Belgium.
  • The Italian western comic Tex Willer is huge in Brazil (probably helped by a good reception of the Spaghetti Western), where it receives many publications and at times locally-made stories.
    • It at least used to be rather popular and well known in Finland and seems to be sold even to this day, and is especially loved by young boys.
  • When Marvel Comics created a British imprint in 1972, reprints of Marvel's superhero features did well enough, but British readers were much more receptive, for a longer period of time, to several non-superhero features than their American counterparts:
    • The Tomb of Dracula and several other monster comics became popular in the early '70s. While their popularity waned in America, sales remained very strong in Britain. The American Tomb of Dracula comic was kept alive and on a monthly schedule largely due to its popularity in Britain.
    • Marvel's comic book adaptation of Planet of the Apes was hugely popular in Britain, to the point that the British weekly Apes series outpaced the American monthly features. To meet demand, Marvel's British imprint had to repurpose Killraven stories (redrawing the Martian villains to look like apes) as Apeslayer.
    • In the '80s, some of Marvel's licensed features aimed at younger readers were much more popular in Britain than in America:
      • Marvel's New York office was unable to produce enough content for the Marvel UK titles of The Transformers, which led to Marvel UK producing additional stories in-house. Many additional stories — so many that, when all was said and done, Marvel UK produced over twice as much Transformers material as the parent company. Indeed, it became a case of Recursive Import, as Marvel UK provided the content for the later issues of the American Transformers title.
      • Similarly, Marvel's Thunder Cats adaptation didn't sell especially well in America, ending after 24 monthly issues. In Britain, ThunderCats was a hit, with 129 weekly or bi-weekly issues. Again, Marvel UK produced the, er, lion's share of the content.
  • Bongo Comics do great business in Germany; it was even said that Simpsons Comics made the jump to monthly publication before this would have been justified by American sales because the German edition (produced by Italian publisher Panini) was published monthly from the start and was in danger of running out of material.
  • The Belgian comic strip Bessy was a colossal succes in Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, so much that Studio Vandersteen earned more cash by exporting those stories to that country than in Belgium or the Netherlands, where the series has been terminated since the 1990s.
  • Downplayed with the Belgian comic book Papyrus. It has been much more successful on France and as a result is only available in French comic book stores or on the French version of Spirou.
  • Dukobu lost its steam in the Belgian comic book scene, but the series is such a humongous Cash Cow Franchise in France that there was a French movie adaptation of the comic.
  • Garfield is so popular in France that they produced their own show based off of the franchise that gets higher ratings than other French-produced shows and other popular foreign shows such as SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • Mortadelo y Filemón: Germans Love Clever & Smart: Germany was the country where the series got its biggest sales, second only to Spain. And the margin is pretty narrow. Nowadays (since over a decade) sadly a case of No Export for You.
    • One of their best stories is set in Germany, with M&F going all around the country in their mission (and successfully crossing the Berlin Wall twice!).
      • Interestingly, the parts where they cross the Berlin Wall were replaced with something else in the German edition.
    • And in Denmark (as Flip & Flop). Ibañez even made a (pretty good) story set in Copenhagen in honor of his Danish fans, featuring the Little Mermaid Statue as a main character.
    • Commando For Action and Adventure is a comic book virtually unknown outside of Britain, but curiously it is extremely popular in Finland as well.

     In-Universe Examples 
  • In John Ostrander's Martian Manhunter, it was revealed that J'onn is the most recognized superhero in the southern hemisphere and in Japan. This may be a response to the Real Life fan question of why DC downplays him despite his many awesome powers.
  • In Chris Claremont's first X-Men run, the X-Men were well-received in Japan, despite being hated and feared in their native USA. Little Japanese girls were even shown to idolize Storm.
    • This carried over into "World Tour" arc in Ultimate X-Men as well, where the team got treated like celebrities while visiting Tokyo.
    • For whatever reason, Japan is simply shown to be more accepting of mutants than the US. Two of its biggest superheroes, Sunfire and the Silver Samurai, were both known mutants, for instance.
    • It's not just Japan. During Magneto's trial before an international tribunal in Paris, there were huge pro-mutant demonstrations in that city.
    • In-United States example: The comics do tend to show San Franciscans as more welcoming to the X-Men and mutants in general than New Yorkers.
  • In the Brian Michael Bendis graphic novel Jinx, two guys talk about Hasselhoff and why he (and his music) is so popular:
    "I don't know, man, I keep hearing he's, like, huge in Germany and shit, as big as Elvis..."
    "Oh! Well, that's two good ideas the Germans have had: putting people into ovens, and listening to that shit. You'll excuse me if I don't go running out to buy it on their say so."
  • The Animaniacs comic book featured a story about Dot in a "trading siblings" scenario with a Hello Kitty knockoff. When Dot arrives in Japan, she finds that she's really popular over there.
  • Vertigo POP! Tokyo features this as an aside; Steve, an American man living in Japan, is invited to a concert. The band headlining the event is an American band, Boring Toaster. Steve's never heard of them, but evidently they're pretty huge in Japan.
  • It has been established a couple of times that the French love the Fantastic Four. The team's first mission after "Heroes Reborn" involved them traveling to Paris, where crowds greeted them with cheers of "Vive la Fantastique!" When Ben later returned to Paris to get away from the ugliness of the Marvel Civil War, he was met enthusiastically by Les Heroes de Paris, France's national superhero team, and had several adventures with them.
  • When Black Canary joined Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, the fact Dinah had been in a band in her own pre-DC Rebirth title more or less got glossed over; they'd been kind of popular for a while, but that was months ago. Then there was a single-issue story set in Paris, and everyone recognises her as D.D., lead singer of Black Canary, because they'd been really big in France.


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