Looking down through this lecture, I noticed this very interesting paragraph:
Europeans never got tired of Western comics as has happened in the U.S.; Italy, in particular, produces the world’s best-selling Western strip, Tex (500,000 copies monthly). Here again, the explaination is simple: we tend to want (and to mythicize) what we don’t own, and in Europe there is nothing comparable to the Western epics. Reciprocally, popular American literature swarms with barbarians, knights, dragons and magicians: a genre, Sword and Sorcery, that has never taken root on the Old Continent, where the Middle Ages and epic-chivalric literature have existed (and are considered by many young European readers as boring “school subjects”).
There is some more interesting info in this lecture. Enjoy!