Last updated August 31, 2011-- added some recs from Mathieu Richir: Boulet, Davodeau, Larcenet, --Mark Rosenfelder So which are the best. Some but not all of these will be familiar to readers of Heavy Metal. Arnon 1990 The adventures of a pirate band, prominently featuring two pirate babes, the plot seemingly designed to give as many excuses for nudity and sex as possible. Arbrelune is a feminist writer who lived (with the artist) on a farm in the middle of nowhere. If you re more interested present-day France, I recommend Lewis Trondheim, Ferrandez, and Claire Bretecher. Avril & Petit-Roulet 1989 Short stories about what hard work hedonism is. Particularly good: Bilal, Moebius, Bourgeon, Schuiten & Peeter, and Valérian. Jurassic Girls The same formula, applied to the Pleistocene.
Half of it concerns the amorous intrigues of a communeful of oddly named dykes (Psapfa, Zaralk, Ellk, Diaf. The mood is dark, but never gives in to the mere nastiness which infects many European and underground cartoonists; rather, an Eastern European sense of horror and melancholy. Anything but kids comics is likely to have some eroticism, but there are also comics that focus on sex. It s cute, and certainly not like any US comics. The classics are Manara and Crepax; I also like the lighter touch of Ralf König and Frémond Arbrelune & jour de pluie 1997 The only French lesbian comics I know (I found them either in Paris or in Montreal, I forget). French humor tends to be caustic; some of my favorites are Gotlib, Edika, and Vuillemin. The Europeans are particularly strong in science fiction, usually featuring spectacular art and a certain melancholic nihilism indean sex chat and pichare. I give the approximate date of the first book in the series, so you can get some idea of the era it belongs to.
), which is very readable; the other half consists of one character s discovery of lesbian literature, which would come across as more evolved if it didn t depend so much on dissing other sexualities. Finally, the writing, spare, adding to the art without making the fatal mistake of explaining everything. Then, the milieu: a seedy fascist Paris of the future, with extraterrestrials and Egyptian gods thrown in.. What ll strike you next is the art, but at a deeper level: the subtle, somber colors, the sureness of composition, the febrile creativity, all creating an air of macabre mystery. Béja/Nataël 1995 A beautifully drawn, completely obscure story, which seems to make the rather unnecessary point that it might not be such a good idea to have no emotions. It actually works better, simply because the brazenness of the anachronisms becomes comic: bone and tortoise-shell sunglasses, bone-marrow six-packs. There s no dialogue, and the style is bright and stylized, rather in the manner of the 30s New Yorker. Enki Bilal 1980 Froid Equateur What ll strike you first about Bilal is his art: the panels are veritable paintings, reminiscent of Moebius at his best.