French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

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French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby Pacino86845 on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:06 am

These are becoming more and more available to the English-speaking market, as many of the modern classics from "Humanoïdes Associés" are being translated, among other French-language comics milestones. The European style of art and storytelling is vastly different than the classical American superhero movement. I only recently discovered French comics, but I find that it's much easier to walk into a French comics shop and find several titles that suit my current tastes.

The availability of a vast diversity of titles aimed at a mature audience has clearly influenced French society's perception of comics in general. It is far more common to find adults at least occasionally buying a comic for themselves.

The formats of the books, and the frequency at which they're released form a double-edged sword. The books are usually hardcover, and contain at least 48 pages of material, and they are devoid of advertisements. On the other hand, one usually has to wait several months, up to two years in some cases, for a new release of a particular title. There aren't, however, as many ongoing series as in American comics. You can often find incredible comics that are simply one-shots, or two-parters.

Has anyone read any French comics, whether translated or not? Which titles? Thoughts?

Here's a small list of the titles I'm aware of that have been translated to English:

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Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, an originally 4-part autobiographical account of an Iranian girl sent to Europe by her parents as a reaction to the tumultuous situation in Iran during the 80's.

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Blacksad, by Juanjo Guarnido and Juan Diaz Canales, pulp stories taking place in a world of anthropomorphic animals. Three issues released so far in French, and two have already been translated to English.

Humanoids Publishing:

This is a great move to make some of the most interesting French comics widely available to the American market. DC Comics are collaborating with the Humanoids to bring all of this publishing house's greatest material over the ocean. Here is the Humanoids Publishing site, with info about all of their titles that are now available in English. These include works by Jodorowsky (the director of El Topo), Bilal, and Moebius among others.

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The Nikopol Trilogy by Enki Bilal, is the comic upon which the film Immortel Ad Vitam is based, and is a landmark achievement in French sci-fi comics. I've seen the film, and was lukewarm about it, since it was one large headfuck with a rather anticlimactic ending. I started the book, and it definitely has its own peculiar style.

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The White Lama by Alexandro Jodorowsky and Georges Bess. I have this at home in French, but haven't had the chance to start it yet. It's being presented as a 6-part miniseries in English, and they've already released the two first issues, from what I can tell.

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The Incal by Alexandro Jodorowsky and Moebius, is another renown sci-fi title. I've been curious about this one for some time, but I haven't picked it up yet.

That's all I have for now, so feel free to discuss these, or any other comics that have been translated from the French language!

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Postby John-Locke on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:13 am

Wow I didn't know Alexandro Jodorowsky was into funny books, I'll have to remember to pick those babies up when I get a chance, he's one of my Favourite Directors so I'm thrilled to find he's doing something.

As far as French Comics go, all I know about is Blueberry the Cowboy and Dobbermann the modern day Robin Hood, I only know the film adaptations too, how close to the source they were I don't know, I believe Blueberry was vastly different to it's the source.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:17 am

Jodorowsky's a giant in the world of French comics. I didn't know he was into funny pictures until I started putting this thread together. :D
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Postby Pacino86845 on Fri Jan 06, 2006 5:39 pm

I just got back from Brussels, which is more or less the French-language comics capital of the world, and picked up a few interesting titles that I hope to talk about once I've read them!!
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Postby Shane on Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:51 pm

Yeah I'd like to join on in, but I'm limited to English comics.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:01 pm

That's the point though, isn't it? These comics are being translated to English!
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Postby Shane on Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:02 pm

well I'll further discuss it then
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Postby ZombieZoneSolutions on Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:19 pm

Yeah, that Persepolis is a big hit in the states; one of them thar bookstore crossover successes -- the holy grail of comix!!!

I bet Blacksad is a huge sit with the "furries" set. Man, those guys freak me out... but you know, girls dressed as cats is kinda hot... oh no, am i a latent furry?! NOOOOOO!!!!

this is a footnote in French comix, but i remember way back in the day there was a French Captain Harlock manga called "Abaitor". It was one of the earliest attempts from non-Japanese comicists drawring in the manga stylee... the best kind of manga stylee no less -- OLDE SKOOL STYLEE!!!
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Postby Colin on Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:27 pm

Moebius has always been my favourite above all favourites, mainly due to his style and creativity. What he can do with space and time between panels has always floored me. I find his improv strips printed in Hurlant or Heavy Metal to be some of the most brilliant work I've ever seen in comics. He's still ahead of his time.

Another fave of mine's Milo Manara. Manara's mostly known for his erotic books, but I think his storytelling skills are second to none. The best work of his I've ever read is Indian Summer written by Hugo Pratt. In the first 10-11 pages, with no dialogue st all, Manara sets up the pacing for the rest of the story by making the reader speed through the art or slow right down through immense detail, close-up and wide shots, and you actually get startled when the first line of dialogue is spoken. Great, great stuff.
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Postby fried samurai on Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:08 pm

Funny I actually was gonna ask today if anybody's read any of Jodorowsky's comics.I love that guy's films.I know DC's been putting stuff out from Humanoids publishing.

I heard good things about Son of the Gun and Metabarons.I'll have to pick up the first trades.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:13 pm

John-Locke's reading the first "Son of the Gun" issue, hopefully he'll chime in when he's finished!

Are they going to do single volume trades for these? The individual issues are thicker than a regular comic, and it doesn't seem like there's going to be more than six issues for a given title.

Incal was released in the American 22 page format, but has since been compiled into a single volume trade.
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Postby fried samurai on Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:17 pm

Amazon has Son of the Gun Vol. 1 & 2.They're both 112 pages.$12.21 each.
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Re: French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby doglips on Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:57 am

Pacino86845 wrote:Image
The Incal by Alexandro Jodorowsky and Moebius, is another renown sci-fi title. I've been curious about this one for some time, but I haven't picked it up yet.


Picked 'The Epic Conspiracy' up yesterday, so I will let you know what I think later, off to read it now!

Cheers for the recommendations Pacino.
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Postby John-Locke on Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:15 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:John-Locke's reading the first "Son of the Gun" issue, hopefully he'll chime in when he's finished!

Are they going to do single volume trades for these? The individual issues are thicker than a regular comic, and it doesn't seem like there's going to be more than six issues for a given title.

Incal was released in the American 22 page format, but has since been compiled into a single volume trade.


Shit I forgot to finish it, I was enjoying it immensly, I got so much stuff to read at christmas I forgot to pick it up and finish the last third.
I might wait until I've read all 4 volumes until I write a detailed review, surfice it to say fans of Jodorowsky's films will not be disapointed, Juan Solo (Son of the Gun) is born out of Violence & his life continues in the same vein. Top stuff.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm

Thanks for giving your "tuppence," JL and DogLips!
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:27 pm

Persepolis and it's sequel are so damn good that I bought them for the moms, who loved them!

Marjane Satrapi...wait, this is a Pacino thread?

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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:27 pm

AHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAH.

Not nice :(
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Postby doglips on Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:53 am

WOW! I have just finished the first Incal TP 'The Epic Conspiracy' - impressive !

At first I was a little unsure of the artwork, I thought some of Moebius's characters were a little naively drawn but as the story progresses the genius of the artist begins to reveal itself. The drawn characterisations match the written perfectly - this is a tight book.

The story is excellent all the way through, it starts of throwing in a whole load of ideas and plot lines that I thought were going to be quite hard to follow and I feared half way through that the book was going to get confusing. I was pleased when Jodorwsky suddenly pulled everything together for a really fast paced last third that introduces some big science fiction ideas, setting up the next book well.

Moebius creates some fantastic locations for the characters to explore and the humour within situations and characters really shines thanks to his attention to detail.

I am now off to find and order the second book 'The Epic Journey'

I recommend this book to all, it's a great read.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:17 am

Awesome, DogLips, if I can get my ass to move ahead in reading my pile of comics, I'd have a little more to say. :(

Did you guys know that Moebius was the illustrator for Blueberry (the comic)? He used his real name, Jean Giraud, and has lead the most successful double-life in French comics (he was extremely successful as both Jean Giraud and Moebius, though the art styles were very different).
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Postby Al Shut on Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:05 am

That reminds me of an article I once read about Giraud using Blueberry as a testing groung for his Moebius work.

It also said that Giraud and Charlier (the Blueberry author) had creative differences about how much Moebius style would be allowed in the series and that the strict controll over the series Charlier had in the sixties had a great influence on Moebius' whole way of storytelling, that was called something like assosiative drawing.

Apparently the movie version with its drug use is closer to where Giraud wanted to take the series than the actual comics.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:35 am

Thanks for the info, Al_Shut. Btw, I'm into this originally-German comic series by Von Eckartsberg and Von Kummant called "La Chronique des Immortels" (The Chronicle of the Immortals) in French. They've only released the first issue so far, but I'm soundly impressed. Have you heard of it?

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Postby John-Locke on Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:14 am

Is that the same Immortals that the film was made from recently, about the Egyptian style alien thingy with the bad CGI? Doesn't look anything like it.

Anyway Pacino I uploaded the pics to my photobucket account, Hotlinking can result in no pictures for anyone :)
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Postby Pacino86845 on Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:26 am

Oh, thanks JL. I always knew I was just a glorified Red Shirt...

And to answer your question, no, it's not the same work. The film Immortel: ad vitam was based on Enki Bilal's Nikopol trilogy, which I mentioned in the first post, and was directed by Bilal himself.

The film wasn't that great, and not because of the CGI, but rather by the anti-climactic ending and the convoluted plot line, in my opinion. The comic miniseries, however, is considered to be a masterpiece, though I've not read it yet.
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Postby Al Shut on Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:06 pm

I've never heard of it but the only german comics I erver read are the ones from Walter Moers.

Chronicle looks like the type of book I will check out when I finally get rich and buy the whole damn comic shop.
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Postby Al Shut on Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:03 pm

Has anyone read Peter Pan by Régis Loisel?

This has been sitting on the shelves of my comic book store for some time and tries to lure me with it's covers, especially this one

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I'm very tempted to buy it and was wondering if somebody knows if it's any good.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:05 pm

I have the first issue but haven't read it yet... tell you what, I'll read it tonight or tomorrow and leave my opinion here, if you're interested.
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Postby Al Shut on Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:23 pm

That would be cool. I take a bow in front of your kindness.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Sat Jul 22, 2006 5:09 pm

Hey Al, so I just finished the first book of the six-part series.

Overall, I thought it was pretty good, and I'll likely be picking up the second book to see how things develop.

The first book, "London," is very very introductory, and really has that "prologue" feel to it. Right away, you realize that this story is going to be a reimagined version of Peter Pan as the story is commonly known. We're introduced to an Oliver Twist-like street urchin named Peter, who's known to be the storyteller of the local boys his age, and who will basically serve as the hero of our story.

Captain Hook is not yet Captain Hook (still has both hands), and all the Neverland bits don't show up until the last 10 pages or so of the 50 page volume.

Right away you can tell if you like Loisel's art style. I like enough, but it's not a style that's suited to all kinds of storytelling. It works perfectly in Peter Pan, which is anyways the comic series that made him a giant in the world of French comics.

One would think, judging by the artwork and the fact that this is a story of Peter Pan, that it's made for younger audiences, but Loisel has a very comic way of injecting sexual undertones throughout, mixed with a good dose of vulgarity, which makes it clear that this is definitely NOT for the little kiddies.

Yeah, this had been sitting on my shelf for a while, and I'm glad I finally read it. Now I'm off to spend more money.
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Postby Al Shut on Sun Jul 23, 2006 5:20 am

Thanks for the info.

Sounds good, looks good, I guess I will check it out as soon as I have the money to spare.
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Postby doglips on Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:51 pm

thedoglippedone wrote:WOW! I have just finished the first Incal TP 'The Epic Conspiracy' - impressive !

At first I was a little unsure of the artwork, I thought some of Moebius's characters were a little naively drawn but as the story progresses the genius of the artist begins to reveal itself. The drawn characterisations match the written perfectly - this is a tight book.

The story is excellent all the way through, it starts of throwing in a whole load of ideas and plot lines that I thought were going to be quite hard to follow and I feared half way through that the book was going to get confusing. I was pleased when Jodorowsky suddenly pulled everything together for a really fast paced last third that introduces some big science fiction ideas, setting up the next book well.

Moebius creates some fantastic locations for the characters to explore and the humour within situations and characters really shines thanks to his attention to detail.

I am now off to find and order the second book 'The Epic Journey'

I recommend this book to all, it's a great read.


Having just finished the second Incal TP 'The Epic Journey', I'm upgrading my WOW from the above review to a FUCK YEAH!!

Jodorowsky & Moebius really pull out all the stops on this book. The first book ended in a fast paced flurry of ideas, the second kicks off with the same pace and then runs with it - I felt out of breath during a couple of the chapters. So much is going on plot wise it's hard to keep up. Every time one adventure finishes another one gets underway and the cast of characters our hero meets just gets more bizarre as you read on. However, with every bizarre character comes a genuinely incredible sci-fi plotline or situation - seriously, if Hollywood writers had come up with The Incal it would be split up into 15 different and separate movies, the books are packed with originality and intelligence.

The Incal is a classic tale of interstellar good versus evil ( somewhere along the lines of the Fifth Element - which Moebius was designer for ), seen through the eyes of the main character and hero, John DiFool - a cowardly whiskey and whore loving detective. I found him a little painful at first, bumbling through adventure after adventure, but his comical heroics eventually won me over and the subtle slapstick that accompanies him everywhere is actually quite endearing and very French!.

Moebius's artwork is fucking awesome. Jodorowsky calls for a huge amount of different locations and characters - Moebius does not drop the ball once, providing the reader with some amazing visual feasts. In particular a truly disgusting nightmare sequence and a meeting with ORH, the creator of time and space that is truly breathtaking in its page layout and artistic execution.

Anyway, as usual I'm gushing about a comic-book. I know all my mini-reviews are generally total arse lickers, but I don't see the point in writing about books that I have not enjoyed - so please don't think I love everything in the comic universe regardless - I read as many poor and mediocre books as good ones. I'd hate to think someone would disregard a book they might really enjoy, on account of some damning critique I gave it.

The Incal 'Great Conspiracy' & 'Great Journey' are fucking brilliant and I urge any sci-fi fans to give them a go.

Next on my Humanoids publishing list is Megalex 1 - The Anomaly, sounds very interesting......
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Postby Pacino86845 on Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:27 pm

Awesome review, DL... I'll probably go for Incal once I've beaten down my pile of unread comics over the next month or two (yeah, there are a lot of them).
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Postby doglips on Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:31 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:Awesome review, DL... I'll probably go for Incal once I've beaten down my pile of unread comics over the next month or two (yeah, there are a lot of them).


What have you been reading? Any recommendations?
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Postby John-Locke on Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:35 pm

I'm looking forward to you lending them to me Dog, come down to London again real soon ;)
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Postby Pacino86845 on Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:42 pm

White Lama... Jodorowsky madness mixed with the Tibetan Buddhism, art by Georges Bess.

I don't know what to say about it really, except that it was terrific on all fronts. Great story, characters, sub-plots, and artwork especially.

The colors look better in print than in these scans that I found. One note is that the sprawling story takes place over 6 graphic novels.

http://www.encyclobd.com/album/L/0120/0001PI.jpg
http://www.lambiek.net/artists/b/bess/bess_george_lama.jpg
http://www.actuabd.com/IMG/jpg/Bess3.jpg

Otherwise I've been reading some random little things here and there... I read a Moebius comic, but I don't think it's been translated yet, called "The World of Edena" (Le Monde D'Edena in French), and that was most awesome.

Oh yeah, there was also a Manara thrown in there somewhere, heehee. Every red-blooded male should be familiar with the works of Manara. :D
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Postby doglips on Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:48 pm

John-Locke wrote:I'm looking forward to you lending them to me Dog, come down to London again real soon ;)


PM me your new address and I'll post 'em.
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Postby doglips on Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:59 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:White Lama... Jodorowsky madness mixed with the Tibetan Buddhism, art by Georges Bess.

I don't know what to say about it really, except that it was terrific on all fronts. Great story, characters, sub-plots, and artwork especially.

The colors look better in print than in these scans that I found. One note is that the sprawling story takes place over 6 graphic novels.

http://www.encyclobd.com/album/L/0120/0001PI.jpg
http://www.lambiek.net/artists/b/bess/bess_george_lama.jpg
http://www.actuabd.com/IMG/jpg/Bess3.jpg

Otherwise I've been reading some random little things here and there... I read a Moebius comic, but I don't think it's been translated yet, called "The World of Edena" (Le Monde D'Edena in French), and that was most awesome.

Oh yeah, there was also a Manara thrown in there somewhere, heehee. Every red-blooded male should be familiar with the works of Manara. :D


Thanks Pacino, I just used some birthday funds to order Megalex 1, White Lama 1 Reincarnation & 2 Road to Redemption.
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Postby Fried Gold on Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:37 pm

Moebius storyboarded Jodorowsky's script for Dune in the 70s. I wonder what that was like?
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Postby Pacino86845 on Sat Aug 19, 2006 7:08 pm

I found this:

http://www.duneinfo.com/unseen/moebius.asp

Mainly costume/character work is shown, but some storyboards as well. Really nice designs, I wonder if there's a book available for all that stuff.
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Re: French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby buster00 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:52 am

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Re: French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby Pacino86845 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:17 am

Thread bump of the year!
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Re: French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby Hemi on Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:46 pm

French comics to check out - Anything by Lewis Trondheim and Joann Sfar. Together they do a series called Dujon (Dungeon in English).
The series is a parody of sword and sorcery conventions in general. The humour is fantastic and the artwork very colourfull and detailed.
Check out the wiki page. Both Trondheim and Sfar do comics of their own as well. They are both extremely prolific and have produced tons of great comics, unfortunately not all of them have been translated into english. Check out the cover of one below.

http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/bests ... 1502-1.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeon_(comics)

Also I recommend anything in the Humanoids range, not all the artists are french though.
David B's comic 'Epileptic' is what i'd call a masterpiece of the genre. A story about growing up with his epileptic brother and all the
strange and wack ideas his parents had to try and help him. Funny, sad, moving and full of crazy esoteric images and nightmare visuals.

For me to get into a comic I'm firstly attracted by the art and then i'll check out what the storys like. But if its not well written it dosen't matter how great the art is I wont buy it.
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Re:

Postby Seppuku on Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:53 am

doglips wrote:
thedoglippedone wrote:WOW! I have just finished the first Incal TP 'The Epic Conspiracy' - impressive !

At first I was a little unsure of the artwork, I thought some of Moebius's characters were a little naively drawn but as the story progresses the genius of the artist begins to reveal itself. The drawn characterisations match the written perfectly - this is a tight book.

The story is excellent all the way through, it starts of throwing in a whole load of ideas and plot lines that I thought were going to be quite hard to follow and I feared half way through that the book was going to get confusing. I was pleased when Jodorowsky suddenly pulled everything together for a really fast paced last third that introduces some big science fiction ideas, setting up the next book well.

Moebius creates some fantastic locations for the characters to explore and the humour within situations and characters really shines thanks to his attention to detail.

I am now off to find and order the second book 'The Epic Journey'

I recommend this book to all, it's a great read.



Having just finished the second Incal TP 'The Epic Journey', I'm upgrading my WOW from the above review to a FUCK YEAH!!

Jodorowsky & Moebius really pull out all the stops on this book. The first book ended in a fast paced flurry of ideas, the second kicks off with the same pace and then runs with it - I felt out of breath during a couple of the chapters. So much is going on plot wise it's hard to keep up. Every time one adventure finishes another one gets underway and the cast of characters our hero meets just gets more bizarre as you read on. However, with every bizarre character comes a genuinely incredible sci-fi plotline or situation - seriously, if Hollywood writers had come up with The Incal it would be split up into 15 different and separate movies, the books are packed with originality and intelligence.

The Incal is a classic tale of interstellar good versus evil ( somewhere along the lines of the Fifth Element - which Moebius was designer for ), seen through the eyes of the main character and hero, John DiFool - a cowardly whiskey and whore loving detective. I found him a little painful at first, bumbling through adventure after adventure, but his comical heroics eventually won me over and the subtle slapstick that accompanies him everywhere is actually quite endearing and very French!.

Moebius's artwork is fucking awesome. Jodorowsky calls for a huge amount of different locations and characters - Moebius does not drop the ball once, providing the reader with some amazing visual feasts. In particular a truly disgusting nightmare sequence and a meeting with ORH, the creator of time and space that is truly breathtaking in its page layout and artistic execution.

Anyway, as usual I'm gushing about a comic-book. I know all my mini-reviews are generally total arse lickers, but I don't see the point in writing about books that I have not enjoyed - so please don't think I love everything in the comic universe regardless - I read as many poor and mediocre books as good ones. I'd hate to think someone would disregard a book they might really enjoy, on account of some damning critique I gave it.

The Incal 'Great Conspiracy' & 'Great Journey' are fucking brilliant and I urge any sci-fi fans to give them a go.

Next on my Humanoids publishing list is Megalex 1 - The Anomaly, sounds very interesting......


After your gushing review, there was no way I could pass this up. But I ended up ordering the Incal prequels by mistake, and I'm effing glad I did. They follow the main character from childhood right up to the first frame of the Epic Conspiracy. But while the characters were interesting, Jodo and Zoran Janjetov's main gift is their ability to build a multi-faceted, multi-layered and multi-dimensional Universe so fucking vast that I had to watch La Haine afterwards to bring myself back down to Earth again. And this is the tip of the iceberg, so I hear. Most of Jodorowsky's comic work is linked together within the Jodoverse.

Jodo reminds me of Grant Morrison in his approach to outlining a story. Which is to say, he follows some kind of logic, but it's definitely not the kind you or I know. But, and I can't believe I'm saying this about Jodorowsky, Jodo seems far more structured than Morrison. Whereas Morrison's work is always building up to something that never quite comes, Jodo makes it seem as if he always knows where he's heading.

There are some traits passed over from his films: characters' weird 180 degree turns, deus ex machinas, a religious undercurrent and a shitload of schatological humour. But all of that seems to work better in the comic medium than on film.

Also, I don't think I'll be able to watch The Fifth Element the same now. Apparently the French publishing company behind Incal tried to sue TFE for ripping them off, but the suit got thrown out of court. It must have been a close call; the Fifth Element seems like a different story set in the same Universe. Chris Tucker's character, for example, was looted wholesale from Incal.

Anyway, I'm now really looking forward to picking up the last couple of Incal volumes and The Metabarons. And I'd recommend anyone looking for a break from DC and Marvel, or reality in general, do the same.
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Re: French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby Hermanator X on Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:53 am

Just this morning, Devin on chud wrote a piece on movies that never were.

Here is the lowdown on Jodorowsky's vision of Dune. Sounds batshit insane.

Jodorowsky's Dune - Of all the unmade movies in history, it's Alejandro Jodorowsky's abandoned adaptation of Dune that most haunts me. I don't know what the current fashionable take is on David Lynch's movie - some days it's cool to hate it, some days it's cool to love it - but I've never particularly liked that film. I felt that the SciFi Channel miniseries version captured the letter of the novel, but none of the spirit.

Jodorowsky was almost born to make this film. Looking at El Topo and The Holy Mountain through the lens of him working on Dune you can almost see him ramping up to tell the story of Paul Muad'ib. Reading his science fiction comics you can see the kind of scope and scale and imagination that comes effortlessly to him. It would have been perfect.

Dune was first optioned by Arthur P. Jacobs, the guy behind Planet of the Apes. When he died the rights got scooped up by a French financier. He turned to Jodorowsky, who in turn looked to other great artists to help him bring his vision to life. He enlisted French comics genius Moebius as a designer, as well as Alien creator Dan O'Bannon and other Alien creator HR Giger. Jodorowsky wrote a script that was described being as big as a phone book, a script that would have made an 11 or 12 hour movie. He gave each of his collaboraters incredible freedom; each was assigned a specific aspect to design. Giger, for instance, designed Geidi Prime, homeworld of the Baron Harkonnen.

And then, in case everything he was doing wasn't amazing enough, Jodorowsky reached out to Salvador Dali to play the Emperor.

But a film as ambitious in scope and budget as this (Jodorowsky spent millions merely on pre-production, and this was the 70s) couldn't find the funding needed. The project was postponed indefinitely. The tragedy here is that Jodorowsky was the only person who probably 'got' the mystical aspects of Frank Herbert's novel - Dune is not just a science fiction story and a rebel story but also a story of spirituality and magic and metaphysics. The birth and ascension of a Messiah is the sort of thing that Jodorowsky was fasinated with, and his vision of Dune would likely have changed the way that science fiction films were approached.


A little of topic, but I rather liked the coincidence. Might have to hunt down some of those books mentioned above.

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Re: Re:

Postby Pacino86845 on Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:53 pm

Seppuku wrote:
doglips wrote:
thedoglippedone wrote:WOW! I have just finished the first Incal TP 'The Epic Conspiracy' - impressive !

At first I was a little unsure of the artwork, I thought some of Moebius's characters were a little naively drawn but as the story progresses the genius of the artist begins to reveal itself. The drawn characterisations match the written perfectly - this is a tight book.

The story is excellent all the way through, it starts of throwing in a whole load of ideas and plot lines that I thought were going to be quite hard to follow and I feared half way through that the book was going to get confusing. I was pleased when Jodorowsky suddenly pulled everything together for a really fast paced last third that introduces some big science fiction ideas, setting up the next book well.

Moebius creates some fantastic locations for the characters to explore and the humour within situations and characters really shines thanks to his attention to detail.

I am now off to find and order the second book 'The Epic Journey'

I recommend this book to all, it's a great read.



Having just finished the second Incal TP 'The Epic Journey', I'm upgrading my WOW from the above review to a FUCK YEAH!!

Jodorowsky & Moebius really pull out all the stops on this book. The first book ended in a fast paced flurry of ideas, the second kicks off with the same pace and then runs with it - I felt out of breath during a couple of the chapters. So much is going on plot wise it's hard to keep up. Every time one adventure finishes another one gets underway and the cast of characters our hero meets just gets more bizarre as you read on. However, with every bizarre character comes a genuinely incredible sci-fi plotline or situation - seriously, if Hollywood writers had come up with The Incal it would be split up into 15 different and separate movies, the books are packed with originality and intelligence.

The Incal is a classic tale of interstellar good versus evil ( somewhere along the lines of the Fifth Element - which Moebius was designer for ), seen through the eyes of the main character and hero, John DiFool - a cowardly whiskey and whore loving detective. I found him a little painful at first, bumbling through adventure after adventure, but his comical heroics eventually won me over and the subtle slapstick that accompanies him everywhere is actually quite endearing and very French!.

Moebius's artwork is fucking awesome. Jodorowsky calls for a huge amount of different locations and characters - Moebius does not drop the ball once, providing the reader with some amazing visual feasts. In particular a truly disgusting nightmare sequence and a meeting with ORH, the creator of time and space that is truly breathtaking in its page layout and artistic execution.

Anyway, as usual I'm gushing about a comic-book. I know all my mini-reviews are generally total arse lickers, but I don't see the point in writing about books that I have not enjoyed - so please don't think I love everything in the comic universe regardless - I read as many poor and mediocre books as good ones. I'd hate to think someone would disregard a book they might really enjoy, on account of some damning critique I gave it.

The Incal 'Great Conspiracy' & 'Great Journey' are fucking brilliant and I urge any sci-fi fans to give them a go.

Next on my Humanoids publishing list is Megalex 1 - The Anomaly, sounds very interesting......


After your gushing review, there was no way I could pass this up. But I ended up ordering the Incal prequels by mistake, and I'm effing glad I did. They follow the main character from childhood right up to the first frame of the Epic Conspiracy. But while the characters were interesting, Jodo and Zoran Janjetov's main gift is their ability to build a multi-faceted, multi-layered and multi-dimensional Universe so fucking vast that I had to watch La Haine afterwards to bring myself back down to Earth agan. And this is the tip of the iceberg, so I hear. Most of Jodorowsky's comic work is linked together within the Jodoverse.

Jodo reminds me of Grant Morrison in his approach to outlining a story. Which is to say, he follows some kind of logic, but it's definitely not the kind you or I know. But, and I can't believe I'm saying this about Jodorowsky, Jodo seems far more structured than Morrison. Whereas Morrison's work is always building up to something that never quite comes, Jodo makes it seem as if he always knows where he's heading.

There are some traits passed over from his films: characters' weird 180 degree turns, deus ex machinas, a religious undercurrent and a shitload of schatological humour. But all of that seems to work better in the comic medium than on film.

Also, I don't think I'll be able to watch The Fifth Element the same now. Apparently the French publishing company behind Incal tried to sue TFE for ripping them off, but the suit got thrown out of court. It must have been a close call; the Fifth Element seems like a different story set in the same Universe. Chris Tucker's character, for example, was looted wholesale from Incal.

Anyway, I'm now really looking forward to picking up the last couple of Incal volumes and The Metabarons. And I'd recommend anyone looking for a break from DC and Marvel, or reality in general, do the same.


Funnily enough, though I'm a pretty big fan of Moebius I have yet to read the Incal series... I've skimmed through a few pages once upon a time, but that's it.
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Re: French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby Hemi on Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:34 pm

I must agree with all the positive remarks about 'The Incal Conspiricy' and 'The Incal'. For those who enjoyed those 2 publications I have to recommend the 'Metabarons' series which is the story of all the Metabarons leading up to the 'Incal Conspiricy'. To become a Metabaron you must kill your father at about 16yrs of age. There are 4 issues that I know
of in English and I think there are about 7-10 in French. Funnily enough Jodowsky is also (among so many other things) a therapist and the 'Metabarons' came about after he discovered that the root of alot if peoples problems come through\
the family line so after doing his own geneolgy he started on 'The Metabaron's' series. Believe the hype.
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Re: French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby Seppuku on Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:44 pm

Hemi wrote:I must agree with all the positive remarks about 'The Incal Conspiricy' and 'The Incal'. For those who enjoyed those 2 publications I have to recommend the 'Metabarons' series which is the story of all the Metabarons leading up to the 'Incal Conspiricy'. To become a Metabaron you must kill your father at about 16yrs of age. There are 4 issues that I know
of in English and I think there are about 7-10 in French. Funnily enough Jodowsky is also (among so many other things) a therapist and the 'Metabarons' came about after he discovered that the root of alot if peoples problems come through\
the family line so after doing his own geneolgy he started on 'The Metabaron's' series. Believe the hype.


I think the translated Metabarons TPBs have already been released by DC. Although I hear there was a big kerfuffle about censored and uncensored versions.

Regarding the Metabaron - it's a messy publishing, great series though. First Humanoids published the series in pamphlet format 17 issues in total. This was published censored, then collected in censored 4 trades. Then the DC started republishing those trades uncensored, but this time with different length: so the first volume of DC has less material than Humanoids volume. 3 volumes of DC editions were published, just before the 4th volume which was supposed to feature new untranslated material. DC editions have 408 pages in total (all 3 volumes together) and Humanoids editions have 488 pages in total (from 4 volumes). Still get the DC editions - there is a greater chance that they'll continue the series from DC editions than from Humanoids. Anyway, it's a mess.


I've got them on order right now, and I can't remember which version I ordered. Hell, I might have even accidentally ordered the French version. Which is cool, I guess, as I can read en Français. I just hope I got the one with the nipples intact is all...

And nice factoid on Jodo, Hemi! I didn't know that. I do know that he thinks he didn't come up with his stories, per se, they were already planted in his subconscience beforehand.



Anyway, this thread inspired me to dig up a whole bunch of my older brother's Heavy Metal magazines from the late '70s and early '80s. I remember browsing through these when I was a really young kid, and getting that strange feeling a child gets when he/she encounters something way too adult for them. Almost all of the strips in Heavy Metal were English translations culled from their French cousin, Metal Hurlant, which was started up a few years earlier by Moebius. And they had a distinctly European feel that Marvel and DC seemed to be missing. I don't know if "European" translates to ribald and bleak as fuck, but I dug it.

Here's a scan of the first Moebius strip I found shorter than 3 pages.


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Re: French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby Pacino86845 on Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:43 pm

That's a really cool strip, thanks Seppuku!
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Re: French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby Al Shut on Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:36 pm

How insane are the Jodorowsky comics in comparison to his movies. Sounds intriguing but at that prices I better think twice or more before actually buying one.


On a different note, anyone else in here got some love for less heavy stuff. Silly stuff with half naked chicks such as Lanfeust, Sillage, or Spoon & White?
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Re: French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:46 pm

Manara is always good in terms of silly stuff... "for adults," though. :wink:

Lanfeust always seemed too teen for my tastes... Loisel on the other hand, like I said earlier I like his Peter Pan series and right now he's collaborating on a story set in rural Quebec, which is garnering a decent amount of well-deserved praise.
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Re: French Comics (Besides Tintin, Asterix, etc)

Postby Al Shut on Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:35 pm

But the Pan series doesn't fall into the same category of guilty pleasure
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