comic

Le fils du roi @ Martel

27 January 2013

One of our quickies for this week in Paris… Appeared last October on the always great independent Belgian comic house FRMK (or Frémok), “Le fils du roi”, Éric Lambé’s latest comic did not only got a warm critic welcome but it now even has its own exhibition @ Galerie Martel.

Le fils du Roi - bic bleu et noire sur carton (image via Galerie Martel)
Le fils du Roi – bic bleu et noire sur carton (image via Galerie Martel)

10 years in the making “the King’s son” is a black&blue-ballpen on white card piece of art, conceived more as a book of images than a comic. A “world book” as described by the author himself which brings us into Éric’s own universe and unconscious state of mind, a world that took many years to come to life as he couldn’t find the appropriate medium nor the tools to give that depth of light and freedom of expression he was after.

LE FILS DU ROI - à la galerie Martel (Vernissage - photo via FREMOK FB)
LE FILS DU ROI – à la galerie Martel (Vernissage – photo via FREMOK FB)

The exhibition will run until February 23d, and it’s a great occasion to discover the works of this Belgian master whose works can be seen on FRMK’s website. A must-visit, and as an extra down below, the first part of a French interview from his past exhibition @  Brüsel.

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Jim Curious

25 December 2012

There’s a growing trend in the interactive comic playground that will hopefully expand over the coming years to keep the industry alive. From last year’s SVK by Berg to the latest project from Éditions 2024 “Jim Curious”, comic needs on top of great stories, new attractive elements.

Jim Curious still (all images via Matthias Picard)
Jim Curious still (all images via Matthias Picard)

Nominated for next year’s Angouleme Festival youth section “Jim Curious” proposes a “3D immersive” experience for parents & kids willing to discover the deep blue sea with all those fish, monsters and many other bizarre creatures. Jim will dive into the ocean rediscovering some forgotten WWII wrecks, the remains of a galleon … and a long list of primitive creatures.

Matthias Picard signs this amazing book (halfway between a comic book & an illustration book) which will be presented tomorrow @ the Strasbourg Soif de Lire coffee-bookshop and obviously early next year during the Festival d’Angouleme. More info & images on Edition 2024’s website.

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Heureux qui comme

23 November 2012

Blue for occidental people, pale for women, dark for men…. orange for Africans and their environment, alcohol is presented in greenish tones much like those interior African scenes where there seems to be an impossible coolness for such heavy atmosphere.

Nicolas Presl - HQC extract
Nicolas Presl – HQC extract (all images via Atrabile)

A display of a solid color-code for Nicolas Presl’s latest work who happens to be his first comic happening in the present… and asking ourselves again for all those little things that nourish our human history.

HQC extract2 - Nicolas Presl cover
HQC extract2 – Nicolas Presl cover

2 stories whose paths will inevitably cross at some point, much like the destiny of occident and Africa whose agitated relationships could fill many more graphic novels. 2 unadapted beings… On one side we have the typical business man working for an industrial occidental firm and his not-so-ethical businesses, on the other, a genuinely naive young woman who will find a reality she wasn’t prepared for.

HQC extract3 - Nicolas Presl cover
HQC extract3 – Nicolas Presl cover

Highly recommended, “Hereux qui comme” was released last week under Swiss ed. house Atrabile and which you can get here. More info and stills via BDgest.

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What does underground mean?

27 October 2012

Fanzines, ezines, “historietas” and independent publications, this is what “Qué significa underground?” is all about, a contemporary portrait of the comic market in Spain directed by Guillermo Carandini.

From the early 20th century TBOs to date Spain along with France & Belgium has always had a long tradition in comic production, but unlike in the Franco-Belgian markets, very few people and authors can actually live from this art. Figures like Ibáñez or Jan always found reasonable success with their characters within European frontiers, but never earned the “star” dimension people like Gireaud or Hergé. Maybe something is changing and current authors like Paco Roca or Santiago Valenzuela are earning not only national but international admiration.

However, “Qué significa underground?” is not about those new big names but more about the DIY self-edited, self-published comic market which to be fair, has always been (at least) as important as the mainstream one.

The documentary (which was just published on-line yesterday) takes 3 Spanish zines TMEO, Rantifuso and Tonterías del Rock and tries to summarize in 130min the essence of this group of authors who struggle every day to get some recognition and who may have to adapt or die with the digital formats. It may be in Spanish but luckily enough Google subtitles works perfectly for everyone else.

Doc poster
Doc poster
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Dublinés wins the Spanish national comic award

23 October 2012

Alfonso Zapico, a skinny, shy and socialdemocrat (as he describes himself) Spanish northener from the lands of Asturias has just been awarded with the Spanish national comic award for his “Dublinés”.

Dublines alternative cover
Dublines alternative cover

The award is more about about the buzz than the monetary part (which isn’t bad in itself … 20.000€) and reinforces the figure of Alfonso as one of the most talented artists in the current European comic panorama. 2 years ago he won the “new artist” award category @ Barcelona’s Comic Salón and this new mention should certainly open many doors for him.

Dublinés is not the graphic adaptation of James Joyce’s Dubliners but more of an exploratory tale trying to understand how and why James got to write his works. You’ll get to dive into Joyce’s life, his conversations, adventures and moments of sadness.

Dublines extract
Dublines extract

“Not another graphic biography”…  as Alfonso is willing to portrait the author in the most intimate way underlining his influence on various vanguard movements. He had previously published Joyce’s route, a comic about his voyages around Europe when investigating on Joyce’s life and which he used as a preparatory work for “Dublinés”.

Dublines extractbis
Dublines extract 

Published in Spain under Astiberri, Anglophones will be able to enjoy it next year as O’Brien Press are planning on publishing it in Ireland, the UK and USA.

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Cenizas

8 September 2012

One of this autumns’ magnificent surprises in the Spanish comic market comes from the hands of young promise Álvaro Ortiz, who’s been increasingly gaining the attention of national and international readers with his previous  Julia titles and his self-edited and gorgeous Fjorden (which you can download for free here).

Cenizas Cover
Cenizas Cover

Cenizas, just released on Astiberri, is his most ambitious and also his most mature work up to now, bringing us a road comic from 3 friends, Polly, Moho & Piter, who haven’t seen in each other in many years… the perfect situation to discuss about the past and about an uncertain future which it looks like will firstly bring them to an mysterious location in a map.

Cenizas extract
Cenizas extract

This story of encounters, pursuits and misunderstandings has to have that eclectic cast of characters only a road comic and Mr. Ortiz could imagine, an explosive yet sometimes naive thriller that should be published here in France next year by Rackham edtions (take note)… god knows if this will ever arrive to the UK market.

Cenizas extract 2
Cenizas extract 2

Next week starts Álvaro’s own road trip to promote his new work, taking him the 14th to Zaragoza, then the 20th in Madrid, and finally the 26th in Barcelona, see him if you can!

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Paolo Pinocchio

23 June 2012

And after the Spanish version… comes the French one, but… for when will Lucas Varela decide to release his Pinocchio personal adaptation in the Shakespeare language?

PPinocchio cover
PPinocchio cover

Paolo Pinocchio (published last year in Spain under Dib> Buks  and this month in France under Tanabis)  isn’t such a bad guy, just a very clever and sometimes selfish being. A bizarre version of Carlo Collodi’s immortal character who becomes a not very child-friendly adaptation… Pinocchio is now amoral and lacks any scruples… that’s why he always ends up in hell.

Paolo Pinocchio (image via Tanabis ed.)
Paolo Pinocchio (image via Tanabis ed.)

Paolo was born in 2003 as part of an illustration work done for an magazine which needed an image to go with an article about lies. The character inspired Lucas several stories but his inability to order all those ideas into a solid script quickly transformed into this anarchic mix of unconnected stories.

PPinocchio 2
Paolo Pinocchio by Lucas Varela

Comics have adapted Pinocchio 1001 times, Varela cites as examples the very admired version by Winshluss or the one appearing in one of Bill Willingham’s Fables. “Ive also seen the Pinocchio Vampire Slayer which I haven’t read but has a funny title“.

“Pinocchio is like Batman, a character that can adapt and supports any treatment with the advantage that it is free to use.” But Varela’s version isn’t very faithful to that of its creator. His Pinocchio nose doesn’t change with the act of lying but becomes a dark powerful phallus Paolo doesn’t know how to make good use of.

Paolo Pinocchio by Lucas Varela
Paolo Pinocchio by Lucas Varela

So this unethical and decadent criticism of modern society just got released by Tanibis but … for when the English version?! Only Paolo knows…

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Are You My Mother?

8 May 2012

Alison Bechdel is on tour, too bad she isn’t coming to this side of the pond. Last week she presented her 2nd and newest graphic memoir “Are you my mother?“, diving once again into the deepest links that tie her to her progenitor. Focused on the sometimes-tense relationship with her mother AYMM isn’t presented as a sequel to her very harsh hit “Fun Home” but as an even more fascinating portrait of her childhood, mother-daughter relationship and herself  becoming the artist her mother wanted to be.

from a presentation of her latest novel (all photos by Alison Bechdel)
Are you my mother? on display at 57th Street Books in Chicago (all photos by Alison Bechdel)

You probably remember her 2006 novel “Fun Home“, number 1 book of the year (Time mag), a top-seller on NYTimes book-listing and even transformed into a Broadway musical…  although she’s probably best known for the long-running comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For which run until 2008.

AYMM brings Alison mother’s unhappy marriage back to the table and embarks herself on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. “A richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life”. One to watch out for.

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Speak later Moebius

10 March 2012

This week hasn’t been particularly a happy one. Ralph McQuarrie dying last week and we just got to know that the big Jean Giraud (Moebius for most mortal readers) just died today at the age of 73. It looks like yesterday to me when he was presenting his biographical comic in Madrid’s Fnac and talking about all these projects he had in mind and new upcoming releases of Blueberry or his personal series.

Jean Giraud aka Moebius - Crowded Streets
Jean Giraud aka Moebius - Crowded Streets

One of the biggies of French & European comic whose latest big retrospective held @ Cartier’s foundation was not only a way of paying tribute to the French genius, but asking him for more, because we all wanted more, thinking his elongated hands would still doodle for many years.

Moebius StarWatcherII
Moebius StarWatcherII

The 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s… he dropped a jewel and a new style in every decade whether it was a comic or a film, a graphic novel … or even games! Needless to mention his 5234524 works, fruitful collaborations with Jodorowsky, Marvel and Hollywood. Sci-fi wouldn’t be the same without him, neither would be Europe.

Taken from Moebius Arzach
Taken from Moebius Arzach

So many creations that we would lose an entire week telling you about each and everyone, so we’ll just simply highlight his figure and recommend you visit not only his website, but of course, the wikipedia article that perfectly lists his  unapproachable creation. See you on the other side sir!

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The Art of Pho

12 January 2012

The future of comic books? Digital for sure but… will Marvel, DC & other multinationals transform their Amazing Spideys, Supermen and 1001 creature publications into interactive stories?

You may have iOS & Android apps but besides a few games or dedicated-superhero apps none of the weekly published comics are interactive or motion-based comics. They still have their charm and succeed to engage however… it’s all about the story in the end.

What The Submarine Channel have managed to do this time is not only adapt a great story but launch a highly engaging web-comic based on British animator Julian Hanshaw’s “The Art of Pho“. Under his creative supervision and with animation director Lois van Baarle, Submarine Channel adapted The Art of Pho for the web by adding the dimensions of sound, music, animation and interactivity.

Art of Pho
Art of Pho

The website includes all 8 episodes (the next 4 being unveiled this week) and also contains extra info such as the making of with interviews with illustrator/animator Hanshaw and Lois van Baarle. Submarine Channel describe it as a “deliciously surreal interactive motion comic telling  the story of Little Blue and his friends. This creature ends up in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) where he learns to master the Art of making Pho (Phở) – Vietnam‘s ubiquitus noodle soup.

One of the interactive elements throug the story
One of the interactive elements throug the story

So whenever you feel like a new adventure, or simply a great way to learn how to cook Pho you can go for the traditional printed edition or this great piece of interactive animation with soundtrack by Pastelle Music.

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Plaza eliptica

17 November 2011

It was the prize for the wait. The seventh volume of “Captain Culin fried rasher of bacon” (or simply Capital Torrezno in his original form) came out last December after 4 years awaiting the evolution of that miserable & alcoholic bloke. And exactly one year after, the Spanish Ministry of culture has awarded its author Santiago Valenzuela, with the National Comic award (basically 20.000 € woho!).

extract from Plaza Eliptica by Santiago Valenzuela
extract from Plaza Eliptica by Santiago Valenzuela

The Microworld is getting bigger and “Plaza Eliptica” could be conceived as a turning point in the series Santiago extensively developed from 2003-2006 (although it first appeared in the 1992 Jarabe Fanzine), more of a summary or a late prelude that tries to answer all those doubts left throughout the previous numbers. A perfect way for newbies to enter the acid world of Capital Torrezno and for experts to recap and get excited as the Basque writer has promised to deliver more in the coming months….

"PLAZA ELÍPTICA", EL REGRESO DEL CAPITÁN TORREZNO
"PLAZA ELÍPTICA", EL REGRESO DEL CAPITÁN TORREZNO

An award which comes to recognize one of the most prolific series from the European comic scene from the past decade which has been criticized many times for being too complex and giving too much importance to the dialogues, but this is Valenzuela’s style, so if you are to read it, take your time, there’s a lot going on in this civil servant’s underground cosmos.

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