It seems difficult to speak about comic art in Spain without considering what tebeos mean to Spaniards. This term is not simply a Spanish translation of bande dessinée. It refers to a special kind of comic strip aimed at children, which appeared in the late 1920s. Tebeos were the only available mass medium in Spain after the Civil War (1936-1939). In this contribution we want to analyse tebeos as an editorial, social and cultural phenomenon, with the aim of demonstrating that 'tebeo-culture' survived even after the collapse of the 'tebeo-industry' in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, we will examine the question of the cultural legitimacy of comic art in Spanish society.