ratcreature: RatCreature is buried in comics, with the text: There's no such thing as too many comics.  (comics)
What a sad day for comics. This is the obituary on the BBC news site. If you inexplicably don't know his work, the official page is not great (the navigation sucks for one and I don't think my problems come from it being in French, and it doesn't have good galleries that I can find), but this Tumblr dedicated to his comics has many scans and is English too.
ratcreature: RatCreature is buried in comics, with the text: There's no such thing as too many comics.  (comics)
One day I'll write this long, self-indulgent post about all the ways in which comics were and are important to me. It will be filled with anecdotes telling fun childhood moments and adventures of the teenaged Emo!RatCreature (all probably slightly embellished in my memory over time, the way anecdotes tend to be), like the one about the comic which gave me the final push to realize that I am truly an atheist, on the night before my confirmation no less. In case you're wondering, it was "Le Grand Pouvoir du Chninkel" by Grzegorz Rosinski (artist) and Jean Van Hamme, in the German translation though. (I felt actually awfully guilty for lying while saying the Credo in that ceremony, I mean, at that point I knew I didn't believe, whereas when I started with the lessons two years earlier I was merely unsure, and I still said the opposite in a religious ceremony, which kind of felt disrespectful.)

Or the one with the comic workshop for teenagers which I found through a flyer in the public library, where I met kids from really different backgrounds and ventured into areas of the city I had never been to alone before. You see, the flyer didn't make that clear to me then, but looking back I realize that this was actually intended as some social project to prevent "at risk" kids from hanging out on the streets and doing drugs, or something like that. Which was why it was first at this inner city culture center near the central station and later at some slightly run-down youth center that had band practice rooms and billiard tables, a ton of anti-drug posters, and these postings with rules that spelled out that you'd be thrown out if you brought alcohol, drugs or weapons inside, and it was all very strange for me (but hey, it didn't cost anything, unlike "art courses" and things like that). Anyway, despite that the workshop was run by a social worker and an art pedagogue together, they never made it feel like a social project, which I guess is important in that line of work (because which teenager would want that?), and most likely something these people learn in their training for working with teenagers or something. Anyway, despite that slight feeling of being out of place, and the fact that I was also one of the youngest and one of only two girls, I learned a lot during the IIRC almost two years I went there, and I had far more fun there than with, say, my classmates who weren't comic fans. Besides it actually resulted in me finishing some comics, being part of an exhibition at a local comic festival (even if it was as a "youth project thing"), and a zine publication (also I never got my originals back from that exhibition *grrr*).

Other fun moments would be young RatCreature travelling alone for the first time to visit a comic con, listening to public university lectures for the first time because the culture studies department did a lecture series on comic art (I didn't understand half of the stuff these people were talking about, despite actually daring to ask questions), creating comics for the school paper, making stickers from cartoons mocking teachers, and distributing them throughout school (that really helped my popularity quite a bit I think)...

Um yes, actually this post was supposed to have another point, namely that I wanted to talk about the comics I liked well before I started reading superhero comics. There are a ton of those of course, some of which I listed some years ago in a post that was actually part of a discussion involving lists of books and stuff, but this is besides the point as well (all comics on that list are well worth reading btw, even though I don't believe in the value of trying to assemble lists of literary canon or reading lists assigning value that way in general, which is why I have disclaimed that list like mad back then too).

Anyway, I finally come to what was supposed to be the content of this post, i.e. André Franquin. I have actually no idea how famous he is outside of Europe, but considering that he was one of the most influential comic artists of the Franco-Belgian style, that he created the Marsupilami and Gaston Lagaffe I can't imagine that he isn't well known. Despite that, I actually couldn't find an English edition of his Idées Noires in a casual search, and if there truly wasn't one that would be rather sad.

I don't own an edition of the French Idées Noires, only a German translation, so I couldn't show you scans of the original, however if you read French, some of the pages are available on the official Idées Noires site I linked above. The humor in them can be rather bleak, sometimes cynical, and sometimes even depressing, despite being funny. When you read interviews or biographies the question inevitable pops up whether the Idées Noires are an outgrowth of the depression with which Franquin struggled and which caused him to be unable to work for some times during his career, in the same way that people look fo ways in which the depression might show in the Spirou and Fantasio comic QRN sur Bretzelburg (Franquin stopped working on it between 1961 and 1963), or in the ways Gaston got progressively darker.

Originally most of the Idées Noires were published from 1977 to 1982, first in Trombone Illustré (a Spirou magazine supplement) then in Fluide Glacial until his depression caused him to stop drawing. Behind the cut are scans of ten pages I like a lot, with a translation (I can't guarantee for its total faithfulness to the original, seeing how I only have a German translation of the French to go on).

page scans from the Idées Noires )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Spidey (spidey)
I updated my website. I added new comic artist recommendations: Isabel Kreitz on the Wimmin's Comics and Carl Barks and Don Rosa on the Other Comics page. I also updated my comic want list, with the Paradise Too issues I'm looking for.
ratcreature: happy RatCreature (happy)
I have finally created the Other Comics page with comic recs, or rather artist recs for the most part. It's far from complete, but much better than the eternal "coming eventually" place holder. I decided that if I wanted that page to be something other than "coming eventually," I had to settle for something less ambitious than the page I originally envisioned. But well, that page didn't materialize for several years, whereas the current version took maybe a day and a half of work, and that included scanning and selecting little sample cutouts from comics, so aiming lower had the positive effect that the goal was actually achievable. I mean, I can still expand it to reflect my initial idea, but at least there is some content there now, and I don't have to live with the place holder any longer. I myself hate it when other web sites have lots of "coming soon" areas, after all.

So instead of doing comprehensive real recs of most of my favorite comics, I just selected a few artists (based on no system in particular), and for now settled on starting an artist list, and just name some of my favorite comics by some artists. It is much less informative than I want it to be, but I guess it's still better than nothing. I also indexed the comic reviews I posted in this blog so far over there.
ratcreature: RatCreature is buried in comics, with the text: There's no such thing as too many comics.  (comics)
[livejournal.com profile] chrismaverick posted this "canonical list of comics" in response to the book canon lists. Now, I have issues with such lists (as anyone who read the previous two entries knows), but I like to rec comics.

This is no definite list, not even my definite list. This lists does not claim to prepare you for either European or American comics, it is not a required reading list for Comics 101, it won't enable you to follow every conversation inside a comic shop, it won't give you a historical overview, nor do I have agonized for hours/days weighing titles based on their artistic, historical, financial impact -- but those are not purely my personal favorites either. I love many comics which aren't anywhere on this list, nor are all on this list among my very favorites. If I had already gotten around to actually doing the comic recs page I envisioned when first starting my web site (years ago), I could simply point you there, to compare the the lists. For a few more comics done by women, see also my Wimmin's Comics page (though even that doesn't contain all my favorites, since I'm really bad with updates).

So here's my list, the titles are in the original language (mostly anyway, sometimes I'm not sure about the artists working for French-language publishers, if in doubt I'll go with the French title, because it'll be most likely the easiest to find). It includes only comics which I have read, or in case of series at least have read a substantial number of installments, not ones I've only heard about. Series are listed with my favorite issue/story if I can pick one, often just with the series title. Also I've tried to include examples from different genres, i.e. mystery, SF, horror, fantasy, western, historical settings, as well as non-genre works (sorted alphabetically, articles at the front don't matter):

120, Rue de la Gare, by Jaques Tardi and Leo Malet
Arzach, by Moebius
Asterix, by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
Back to the Klondike, by Carl Barks (get a copy of the unabridged story, with the 5 pages that were cut out by the Disney company when it was first published in Four Color Comics #456) but really you should read all of the Duck comics Carl Barks did for Disney
Black Hole, Charles Burns
Bone, by Jeff Smith
Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Waterson
Castle Waiting, by Linda Medley
C'était la guerre des tranchées, by Tardi
Les Cités obscures, by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters
A Contract with God, by Will Eisner
Corto Maltese, by Hugo Pratt
Dirty Plotte, by Julie Doucet
Dropsie Avenue, by Will Eisner
Dykes to Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel
Feux, by Mattotti
Hate, by Peter Bagge
Idées Noires, by Franquin
L'Incal, by Moebius and Alexandro Jodorowsky
Iznogud, by René Goscinny and Tabary
Jar of Fools, by Jason Lutes
Jonathan Cartland, by Michel Blanc-Dumot
Krazy Kat, by George Herriman
La Marque Jaune, by Edgar Pierre Jacobs
Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, by Daniel Clowes
Life and Times Of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa
Little Nemo, by Windsor McCay
Lucky Luke, by Morris and René Goscinny
Master Race, by Al Feldsteins and Bernie Krigsteins (in Impact #1)
Maus, by Art Spiegelman
Mort Cinder, by Alberto Breccia and Héctor Oesterheld
Naughty Bits, by Roberta Gregory
Objectif Lune and On a marché sur la lune, by Hergé (but really you should read all of Tintin)
L'Origine, by Marc-Antoine Mathieu
Optic Nerve, by Adrian Tomine
Pacush Blues, by Pti'Luc
Partie de Chasse, by Enki Bilal and Pierre Christin
La Quête de l'oiseau du temps, by Régis Loisel and Serge Le Tendre
Quotidiania delirante, by Miguelanxo Prado
Sandman, by Neil Gaiman (and various artists)
Saigon-Hanoi, by Cosey
Les 7 vies de l'Epervier, by André Juillard and Patrick Cothias
Signal To Noise, by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
The Spirit, by Will Eisner
Strangers in Paradise, by Terry Moore
Swamp Thing, by Bernie Wrightson and Len Wein
The Tale Of One Bad Rat, by Bryan Talbot
Twisted Sisters Anthologies, by various artists
Understanding Comics, by Scott McLoud
Watchmen, by Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore
Weird Science & Weird Fantasy series, published by EC (various artists/writers)
Z comme Zorglub, by Franquin and Greg (but really you should read all of "Les Aventures des Spirou et Fantasio")

So which have you (not) read?

April 2019

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