View Full Version : European comics

05-25-2008, 03:42 PM
Anybody here ever read European comics? Recently, I've become quite enamoured with the art styles and varied genres they seem to have. I really wish I could understand French, Italian or whatever. Most don't have English language editions (I can hazard a guess why).

I just wonder whether we're missing out on a wealth of great reading material. Some of the artwork is beautiful, really basic in some ways, with no overblown colouring techniques and panel layouts, but effective.

A site I found. (http://www.glenat.com/dyn/glenat/pagesasp/02foreignrights/accueil.asp?LANG=EN)

A fairly old article. (http://www.comicbookbin.com/europeancomics000.html)

Tons of trades. (http://www.minotaur.com.au/site.asp?action=browse&theme=11777&area=comics)


Any thoughts?

05-25-2008, 03:55 PM
Last time I was in Europe (05,06), I was amazed at how inexpensive they were. I think I bought Jaques Tardi's "It Was War in the Trenches" HC for like 14.50 euro. I recommend it highly. Drawn & Quarterly serialized it in the early 90's in english. I also enjoy Marc Antoine Mathieu, DarkHorse translated his Akfak stuff in HC format (that's Kafka spelled backwards, read it and you'll know why"). But yeah, we are missing out.


Ian Ascher
05-25-2008, 03:56 PM
I've got a GN somewhere a friend of mine gave me when he cleaned out some old stuff and I almost bought a few issues of Captain Marvel from the 70's at my local Half Price Books this weekend.

Aside from that, I stick to a lot of American books.

Oh... almost bought Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns #1 and #2 in oversized hardcover format and translated into French (I think) but the covers where nicked up and the store wanted $10 each for them.

05-25-2008, 03:58 PM
I've been reading Heavy Metal (http://www.heavy-metal.net/) since 1977. That count?

05-25-2008, 04:04 PM
I don't know a ton about European comics, but they are responsible for my muted color palate. I hate the overly shiny look of most mainstream american comics.

05-25-2008, 04:13 PM
I'm pretty new to the whole thing, in all honesty. I mean, I've always been an admirer of Moebius and I used to love the Tintin and Asterix books, and Danger! Diabolik (sp?) has managed to gain cult status in my head even though I know bugger all about it. That's the extent of my knowledge.

It's just that I've come to the realisation today that my tastes, artistically, run to comics I can't read. My all-time favourite Western comics artist is Sean Phillips, and he's not a million miles away from this look. When I spoke to him at the Birmingham con last year, he had a huge, oversized European foreign language GN that apparently took him ages, right there on his table. Just the one. I wanted it, but I certainly wouldn't have benefitted from it like others could.

Anybody reading Marvel's Euro imports/translations? The deal they have prevents us UK folk from getting them.

I'd love it if there was something like the comics equivalent of fansubs, which seems to be pretty rife with original anime shows. I guess it'd be illegal though.

05-25-2008, 04:17 PM
I don't know a ton about European comics, but they are responsible for my muted color palate. I hate the overly shiny look of most mainstream american comics.
Agreed. Why Frank D'Armata persists in wrapping every character in cling film is beyond me.

I remember checking out a colourist studio's website years back, they were offering three levels of service, I think. The basic service was close to flats, next service up was a little more textured (basically, your Vertigo look) and the top of the ladder was the full works, the bombastic style we're so accustomed to now. Even then, I preferred the more basic stuff.

05-28-2008, 11:50 AM
European comics and S. American comics are becoming more popular and accessible. I was in a store awhile back that had almost as many European mags and OGN's as Manga. Hugo Pratt's "Corto Maltese" is probably the most enjoyable thing I've read in the last few years. "Airtight Garage" and "Lt. Blueberry" by Moebius, 2000 AD, and few other mags I pick up when I can.

05-28-2008, 12:28 PM
Being European, or at least a member of the European market I can say that its quite hard to get the euro comics outside their country of origin unless you could be arsed going on the 'tinter-net (english joke) and ordering them...but who can arsed with that?
There are some outstanding examples of Italian art mostly in Country and western stories. the art is truly, truly beauitful. "Truly".....as Mick Jagger would say. Obviously..if We're talking 2000AD and the works of Moebius then yes they are avialable in huge quantities....But trying to get Overkill, Warrior or lets say Marvel uk's "Knights of Pendragon" is quite the challange....for those of us not buying on line.

05-28-2008, 03:30 PM
Best bet for Warrior and Overkill is car boot sales. I got a couple of Warrior issues a few years back for about 10p each. V for Vendetta and Marvelman were in them! Frippidy!

Never heard of Corto Maltese, UNCTarheel, I'll have to keep an eye out.

Darrell, isn't Heavy Metal a US publication? I dunno.

I think the UK shouldn't count, really, as the styles aren't all that different from US comics anymore. Since the 80s, at least. Probably because there are so many Brits working in US comics at the moment. With the possible exception of 2000AD, what's published today that isn't a superhero story or a licenced property? We're stuck in the same mire as the US market. These nifty Euro espionage books need to be translated. Granted, they could end up sucking really bad, but it's a different take on a medium. Not a genre, a friggin' medium.

It'd be like Mills & Boon being the only book publisher and suddenly a crime thriller is published. Wha-? Huh? It needs to happen!

05-28-2008, 03:44 PM
Corto Maltese is awesome fiction. A huge influence on everything i write. Since the main character runs into Hesse, Hemingway, London and so on. Frank Miller drops the name in The Dark Knight Returns as a salute to Hugo Pratt. Its hard to find now, but was all over in late 80's early 90's in reprints. It is a must read in my opinion for people who create other things than superhero comics. Hugo Pratt is right up there with Kirby and Eisner.

05-28-2008, 04:18 PM
I just looked it up on eBay. The most affordable volume was about 40. Then again, the same seller was asking for 100 for Onslaught Book Five: The Front Line! Bwahahaha...

Oh yeah, I own that. Ugh.

06-02-2008, 10:12 AM
Anybody reading Marvel's Euro imports/translations? The deal they have prevents us UK folk from getting them.

Ah, is that why I haven't been able to find any stores stocking Sky Doll? What a shame!

06-02-2008, 02:00 PM
I grew up with European comics. Tintin, Asterix, Lucky Luke...oh those were the days.
I used to stop by often at the local French culture center back in college when I found out that they have huge stacks of comics in their library. I don't speak French and I have absolutely no idea how to read those books but the art are amazing! And oh, the amount of nudity and graphic sex scenes in them is staggering.

06-11-2008, 05:58 AM
europian comics have some great styles, some of them are coming to the U.S,
and the U.s guys are using some europian artists these days, their styles are as you said very differ, i don't know the stories though, i always give them a look but i still enjoy the americans more.
uh check out marvel's soleil comics... the english versions are in the american regions i guess, SKY DOLL and some other ones, they are good.

06-11-2008, 06:03 AM
the only prob with the europian market is that as far as i know, they are not on a regular monthly basis, they come out according to the writer or the artist's will, i mean you could wait for your next issue for almost 2 years. just like image comic's late shipments.
but they are pretty good.

09-12-2009, 03:47 PM
Bringing this thread back because I went to the comic store to pick up Ultimate Comics Avengers and Skrull Kill Krew and found that my local comic store (Travelling Man in Manchester) has started stocking European comics! Woo! I bought Orbital vol 2 (They'd sold out of vol 1) although if I'd had a little more money there were three more I wanted. I wish I could remember their names.

The art styles are varied, there's quite a lot of dialogue on every page... I just love them. While I'll always have a lot of love for US and UK comics, the European stuff, for me, is purer whereas our usual books are becoming more cinematic.

I'll update once I've read this volume.