Panel Talk

21 09 2008

My friend M@ alerted me to a WSJ article on eurocomics and la glorieuse B.D. Sardine gets a mention, and First Second quite a few. What an odd roundup of authors, at least among the Francophones… wonder who author Brigid Grauman’s sources were. Not strictly American publishers, apparently–and thank God–but the selection gives a glimpse into the randomness of how reputations are furthered. I’m surprised she unearthed Schuiten and Peeters. The few English volumes of their monumental Cites Obscures have been available forever, but putting everyone in the same article makes them sound recent as Guibert. I’m glad David B. got mentioned, and sad I will likely never get to translate more of him than the excerpt in WWB, sewn up as he is by NBM and Fanta.

And then, too, the inevitable icky feeling that one’s toys have been soiled by the hands of the general public (Ms. Grauman at one point mentions the influential comic “The [sic] Watchmen“): a certain version of the evolution of alterna-BD in France has clearly now made its way in simplified form into a mainstream middlebrow paper, and a certain formerly exclusive knowledge is cheapened or even made destitute by becoming common coin. Of course, Ms. Grauman doesn’t mention that her account is at least a decade out of date, and alliances have since shifted, fled; L’Asso’s founding members have all but deserted it for greener pastures since grown up largely because of its fertile influence.

Meanwhile, back at the blogcave, going round (and round) the skull of a certain W.S. are German images of an unearthly wonder. I wish this guy were still alive, and drawing comics.

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