August 27, 2002
4:22 PM   Subscribe

Like Tintin, Asterix, or even the Smurfs? Step right this way, to the dark, spooky side of French cartooning. Jacques Tardi, relatively obscure in this country, brings you many lovely lonely images of cityscapes and small horrors, mostly within the amazing stories of Adele Blanc-Sec, writer and adventurer. At least one of his books is still in print in English, and most can be ordered from overseas, and are well worth it.
posted by interrobang (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Tardi is awesome! He's got a beautiful 'eye' for the scenes of Paris in the turn of the century, and his taste for Cthuloid nasties doesn't hurt his appeal to me, either.

Dark, somewhat complicated, visually interesting, I use him as an example to friends when they ask how different 'comics' are across the pond...

I enjoyed these comics even before I could understand most of the language in them.
posted by Busithoth at 4:38 PM on August 27, 2002

Great links, interrobang.

Tardi collaborated with Jean "Moebius" Giraud in A Horse in Winter, and his contemporaries - Seth, Enki Bilal, and Paul Rivoche - have been inspired by his cinematic style.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:54 PM on August 27, 2002

My grandmother used to send Asterix books to me in Jamaica from England - got 'em all (including one that doubled as a board game). Love those menhirs. Tintin rocks too.
posted by owillis at 4:59 PM on August 27, 2002

Asterix is great, I used to read them in Latin. If I ever learn another language I'll probably supplement the course with more Asterix.
posted by Grod at 5:06 PM on August 27, 2002

Oh, this takes me back. I loved Asterix when I was a kid. When I was a bit older my favorite was Andreas. That link led me to this Andreas site which I think I'll spend some time at.
posted by homunculus at 5:16 PM on August 27, 2002

C'est chouette, l'Asterix!
Tintin, not so much.
posted by me3dia at 6:00 PM on August 27, 2002

Um, isn't Tintin Belgian? Try telling a Belgian he or she is French ... They'll get that little kid to pee on you.
posted by Ayn Marx at 6:55 PM on August 27, 2002

Um, I think I agree with me3dia, but I'm not sure why he's talking about owls....
posted by rushmc at 7:00 PM on August 27, 2002

Peyo is also Belgian.

Also, what's up with Not a smufy smurf to be smurfed! ah, much better!
posted by Kafkaesque at 7:38 PM on August 27, 2002

And, dude, I totally owned at Greedy's Bakeries
posted by Kafkaesque at 7:43 PM on August 27, 2002

I picked up a copy of Pétrus Barbygère when I was in France a couple of years ago, and although my attempts to decipher the text have all pretty much failed, the artwork stands on its own. Sort of a cross between Sergio Aragonés and Edward Gorey... with color. Here's some info on the artist and his work.
posted by crumbly at 8:14 PM on August 27, 2002

In French (the language), Smurfs are known as "Les Schtroumpfs"

Papa Smurf is "Le Grand Schtroumpf"
posted by panopticon at 10:51 PM on August 27, 2002

In the French version of the Smurfs, is "Schtroumpf" a multi-use word like Smurfs is in the English version? As in "I smurfed her several times" or "Check out that smurfing son of a smurf"?
posted by owillis at 12:25 AM on August 28, 2002

I went to a christian school in the mid-eighties and being a big Asterix fan I'd often bring one along to read at lunch. All was well until one day a teacher happened along and asked to see what I was reading. She flicked through for about five seconds, saw the word's "Druid" and "Magic Potion" and then the shit hit the fan. I was hauled up to the principals office and asked to explain why I was reading something satanic. Needless to say I was no longer allowed to bring such "satanic filth" to school. Tintin was a great comic also, and yes, school allowed that one.
posted by spinifex at 12:53 AM on August 28, 2002

Spinifex, are you an Asterix character? The best thing about Asterix is the names. Getafix, Dogmatix, Tragicomix. Ho ho. Are they as funny in French? Maybe someone can tell me.
posted by Summer at 2:06 AM on August 28, 2002

Mildly off-topic, but can anyone tell me the name of a feature-length French cartoon made a decade or two ago (sorry, that's all I remember) called Fantastic Planet or Incredible Planet or Impossible Planet or some such? All I remember is that it was super-weird and featured a race of tiny people used as pets who rose up against their giant masters. Little help?
posted by Samsonov14 at 5:55 AM on August 28, 2002

I've just been getting back in to the Tintin books. Yesterday I finished Tintin in Tibet and I'll be moving on to Flight 714. I read them all when I was younger, both in French and English. Lucky for me, they still make me laugh.

I was perusing the Asterix and Obelix selection at the library the other day as well, and I believe I will reread some of those as well.

Interrobang, I was going to do a thread about this stuff. You beat me to it.
posted by ashbury at 6:23 AM on August 28, 2002

That bizarre little film is called La Planete Sauvage, Samsonov. The sheer strangeness of this movie makes it worth seeing. I wish there were more animated films this adventurous out there.
posted by picea at 7:04 AM on August 28, 2002

Ashbury: if you look closely, you'll see that I really *didn't* do a thread about Asterix and Tintin....
posted by interrobang at 8:23 AM on August 28, 2002

There have been a numebr of Asterix films, including the most recent, Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cléopâtre, with Gerard Depardieu as Obelix. Of course, that's hardly surprising, given the French National Law that every film made in France must feature at least token Depardieu content. I don't think any of the movies have been released in the US.

sorry we have so cruelly hijacked your thread, interrobang
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:47 AM on August 28, 2002

Ah, yes. Threads have a habit of going in directions other than what was meant, don't they? I apologize for the hijack.
posted by ashbury at 9:57 AM on August 28, 2002

Tintin: I've read some.
Asterix: I'm addicted to it. My favorite is 'The Great Crossing', the one where they visit America and find some very odd romans. I'm not sure about the title, since I've read it in Portuguese and plainly translated it.

Asterix is a huge thing here in Brazil and it usually goes from father to son. Most of my friends got their albums from their fathers' own collection. I also attended a catholic school, but my Portuguese teacher actually encouraged us to read it. And, yes, the names are funny in any language, I guess. Acidocloridix, Ideafix and so on.

Tardi, I didn't know all that well. But, please, let me thank you. One of the links was from a Finish guy who actually has his own graphic novel, The Sixth Seal. I've read this comic 4 years ago and I plainly lost the link and couldn't remember the name of it (or the author's name) and no Google could help me. Thank you!!!

French and european artists: I like them a lot. I grew up reading superheroes, The Spirit and anything I could get from Moebius, Manara and Crepax. Here in Brazil, there was a huge cult to european comics 15 years ago and we still have a lot of good stuff.

Later on, I found Liberatore, Pazienza, Jaime Martin, Bilal, Max and many others. I still try to get as much as I can, but currency exchange sucks and it's all a bit expensive.

Thank you, again, for the thread and the links...
posted by rexgregbr at 12:47 PM on August 28, 2002

Has anyone seen either of the Depardieu Asterix movies? I really wanted to see them.
posted by rushmc at 6:47 PM on August 29, 2002

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