5 novembre 2002


and once again, I cannot handle a (however soooo) simple situation : after a few weeks without any great releases, finally there's a couple of nice books in the stands, that i cannot dare to miss.
i've checked a few of those nice shit for the very last days, and here's a lil' selection, that i gotta say is the top of the list : (we speak of stuff that is printed in french here ; it could be pretty old and/or from other countries, but it's just released here in France...)

last purchases :

- "Escapo" by Paul Pope. well, i bought the US Horse Version,a nice collection of Pope work, a reprint of some 1997 T.H.B (Pope's regular serie) full-color story called "the hidden faces", and it also includes an interview with the man and a correct review of his vision of illustration. Even if the more i know about Paul Pope and the less i like this guy, i gotta admit that Escapo is one of the best comics i've read for months. a must-have that i now... have. yessss.

nota : Paul Pope will be spotlighted in today's best "about-comics-magazine" in France, a magazine called "Calliope" (yeah, there are probably more Gaiman fans here that you can imagine !) ; Calliope #4 will also feature Manu Larcenet (that i already spoke about here a few months ago...), Taiyo Matsumoto... the issue #3 (october/november) features Tim Sale, Katsuya Terada, André Juillard, Lorenzo Mattoti, Gaiman & Vess' "Stardust", Tanaka's "Gon", & many more...)

- "the Playboy" and "I never liked you" by Chester Brown (les 400 coups).
it took years but at last, french publishers looks closer to non-spandex-super-heroes only when it comes to US comics ; and for instance, such quality north american editors such as Drawn & Quaterly are now available in France thanks to this publisher that i dunno anything yet. Years ago, i discovered Chester Brown in an old "Yummy Fur", his own publication, and it looked for me like another good "i got nothing but my life to tell" author, a la Adrian Tomine or Daniel Clowes ; his art isn't as spectacular as his ideas, however, but these 2 complete series ("the playboy" collect "Yummy Fur" 21-22-23 while "I never liked you" collects26-27-28-29-30, if i'm correct) really worth it. Brown, in its own autobio style, tells stuff about his childhood and its first sexual desire, through porno press and the unpleasant feeling of it, and also tells his relationship with girls... it looks pretty non-interesting, i know that, cause it's basically something we all already lived and don't really want to be involved anew, but the result of it is really beautiful and very touching. i'll try to check if there's more Brown french traductions, or i'll have to check more old "Yummy Fur" soon...

- "Black Orchid" by Neil Gaiman and Dave Mc Kean (Reporter).
ok, i think all is already said/wrote on this 1991 mini-series from the magical tandem of Gaiman and Mc Kean. there were a pretty old french version that was correct, but this one collect them'all (i missed ish#3...), plus an introduction from Mikal Gilmore, some "Rolling Stone" (between other stuff...) contributor. it's a really nice item, with what i think is the original cover, and Reporter, its publisher, have plans to print "dust covers", the Sandman beautiful covers from Mc Kean in the next few months, so after "Mr Punch", "Arkham Asylum" from Grant Morrison and Mc Kean, and this "Black Orchid" collection, well, Reporter is definitely some publisher to keep an eye one...

- I also found some oooooold forgotten stock of french reprints (from "Comics USA"), of stuff like Miller & Mazuchelli run on "Daredevil" (with the Punisher), and also a good Kelley Jones and Mike Baron 1989's "Deadman". Which reminds me that i don't know what i did of my (same collection) "Shadow" (from Kaluta & O'Neil), or my "Batman" (from Wrightson & Starlin)... gotta check my friends for it... uhm...

next purchases :
- "Torso" by Brian Michael Bendis & Marc Andreyko (Semic noir).
yeah it seems obvious that after the success of Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's "From Hell" (its french edition is a huge success, from the large quantities of sweet and nice reviews as from the answer from readers), the return of the "noir" genre was unmissable. "Torso" is a great book from one of this days top writer, the never-tired B.M. Bendis, but i gotta say that i'm more into some of his other shit than this. However, this Eliot Ness investigation about this so-called US' first serial killer is pretty cool and Andreyko shows some nice skills here. Semic is "classics" comics' number one french translator/publisher for many years, and after a few years where they let others french publishers translate no-spandex-clowns stories, they at last decide to do some nice job too : 272 pages for 15 euros, which is a pretty cool move for us.

- "Breakfast after noon", by Andi Watson (Casterman).
i love this guy's style, and his story about a couple who goes through unemployement, crisis, and redeployment looks nice enough to check it out. great thing, it seems that "old" publishers will look closer to UK and US stuff : if you told me 2 years ago that Casterman ("Tintin", goddddammmmit !) will publish Andi Watson work, i probably had a big laugh. it's good.

- "Black Hole", ish # 4, by mister Charles Burns (Delcourt).
well, what can i say ? i guess it's #7 and #8 we talk here. i haven't read the originals one (for lowering of comics budget, i know, bad excuse here...), but i'm pretty sure i'll get Burns unique visions of para-horror-human in this little gem.

- "Hellboy", tome 5, by the boundless and incredible Mike Mignola (Delcourt). YEEEESSSSSSSS ! at last, after some late shipping, the return of the red one, in some adventures i can't wait to get in my little shakin' hands. i've read somewhere that this version will get some introduction byt eh soon-to-be director of the full screen adaptation of Mignola's creation, Guillermo Del Toro. I think i already read 6 or 7 things where Del Toro said how much he looooooooovvves both Mignola and Hellboy, so i think we just have to wait for see the results of another hollywood try on our favorite medium. we'll see. The french #5 will probably features "conqueror worm". Delcourt already released (a few months ago) a nice boxset with 4 beautiful editions of Hellboy adventures, including "les germes de la destruction" ("Seed of destruction", from Mignola's 94 series), "le cercueil enchainé & autres histoires" ("the chained coffin", 95, "almost colossus", 97, and "the baba yaga", 98), "la main droite de la mort & autres histoires" ("the right hand of doom", 98 and a few others short stories, too, like "heads", etc) and "le diable dans la boite" ("box full of evil", 99). The result ? Mike Mignola is an author that french publishers really takes care of, and it's COOOOL !

- "Quartier Lointain", by Jiro Taniguchi (Casterman). the man who did "l'homme qui marche" ("the man who walk" ? anybody here ?) did a new cool book. i'm not a lot into japanese stuff, but a few names really deserve more exposure. ok, these guys could have names a little less complicated, for sure... Taniguchi is one the best out there, and this first part of his new work looks really, really interesting.

- "Vampires 2" is out, thanks to Carabas publisher. as for its first number, it's still from plenty of US, UK and France top talents and i can't wait for see what's inside. for information, "Vampires", the first ish, was a beautiful collection of work and views about, guess what, vampires, right, and on the line-up were Mike Mignola (who ?...), Chris Bacchalo ("SteamPunk", "Generation X", "Death"...), Mathieu Lauffray (who did a huge cover -for you Starwars addicts, he did a few covers and works a lot with Olivier Vatine), Yoann & Sfar (both of them are some of the best talents around and you got to check Sfar brilliant work for Delcourt or l'Association, but also Yoann for his really nice "Toto l'ornithorinque", a high quality - presumed for children ! - book), Philippe Caza, Bryan Talbot ("Tales of one bad rat", "Heart of empire", "Sandman"...), Gary Gianni (a painter who did some "Conan" covers), Claire Wendling (the slowest woman in the business : we wait for some of her shit for, erh, years ? she also did the colors for Mignola's drawing here), David Lloyd ("V for vendetta"...), and many more... i don't know exactly WHO is at the origine of the project, but the idea, as its result (for the first issue, at least), is handsome.

- "Little Lit", collective work (Le Seuil). Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly asked for brilliant artists to give their interpretation of classic tales from our childhood, and it's looks great : Art Spiegelman, David Mazzuchelli, Charles Burns, Lorenzo Mattoti, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes... a litany of big names for what looks like another good idea. i haven't seen any of it for now, so i don't know the results, the format, or anything yet, but something where Spiegelman and all these huge artists are involved cannot be bad, right ?

more kickass art from this side of europe, soon. as far as my bank account will looks better, that's it.

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