french comics 1

4 02 2009

as you probably know, the best comic strip artists come from france and belgium. some of the very well known masters are – UDERZO, FRANQUIN, LOISEL, BILAL, MOEBIUS, WASTERLAIN, MEZIERES, HERGE, ROBA and CONRAD. forgive me if I forgot too many, there are a lot!
there are even more in the younger generation I was not able to follow up as close as I wanted, because I don’t live in europe anymore. but one artist I would like to present, because I admire his work – FREDERIC BEZIAN. he was born 1960 close to toulouse in france and attended the famous comic strip academy in bruxelles. his comic albums came out with LES HUMANOIDES ASSOCIES. some of his very ‘dark’ titles are – ADAM SARLECH, LA CHAMBRE NUPTIALE and TESTAMENT SOUS LA NEIGE. maybe in a later post I will show some of these amazing pieces of art. here are a few images from a short black/white story published in a monthly comic magazine.



© bezian



9 responses

5 02 2009

Thanks. This guy is like the missing link to a lot of french artists i like.

5 02 2009

wow! beauticul, thanks for posting!

5 02 2009
Nancy Beiman

Hi Hans,
While I like French comic artists, I wouldn’t say they are the only outstanding practitioners of the art. Let us not forget past greats Winsor McCay, Walt Kelly, Charles Schulz, and George Herriman, none of whom were French…

from hans –
nancy, the only one I would compare to the outstanding french/belgian/spanish/italian comic strips is charles schulz with his peanuts. but this is not really to compare with the comics I am talking about. that would be more the marvel stuff for example, stan lee, bernie wrightson, alex nino and will eisner, not to forget mort drucker and the mad artists.
they are of course good, especially alex. the european art has just a different quality. mc cay was an amazing draftsman, his b/w illustrations prove that. but I always found his drawings to be cold, especially in little nemo, and not really funny. I love the peanuts, you could compare them to franquin. but he adds additional a whole caricatured world to his characters. I don’t want to be
european-nationalistic, it’s probably a matter of taste and what you grew up with.

5 02 2009
Ignacio Ochoa

What is your opinion about Alberto Breccia?. He worked from Argentina for the european market.

from hans –
I love his work and have several of his books. it is a bit hard to get them.
later i will post some of his stuff too…

6 02 2009
Ignacio Ochoa

Thanks Hans,
I am glad that you like his work. Is one of my favourite artists. I will wait your post to talk about him.

6 02 2009

It is such a shame european comic art is so broadly ignored in the english speaking countries. The standard is so high and in a different league to most American stuff. Now I just have to learn french cos so little is ever translated.

9 02 2009
Nancy Beiman

HI Hans,
I’d rate Walt Kelly and George Herriman up there with the best of them, since they had strong influence on European comic artists (particularly Franquin, Goscinny and Uderzo, and Martin Toonder.) Maybe I just misunderstood that you were talking only of European comic artists. I agree that McCay is cold, but he showed that comics could be fine art before anyone else tried.

19 02 2009
Steve Brown

Loisel’s 4-volume graphic novel of Peter Pan is a masterpiece! But maybe I would never have known about it if a French artist at Dreamworks hadn’t told me about it. I was able to pick it up at Hi-De-Ho comics in Santa Monica, probably one of the few purveyors of European comics in Los Angeles.

from hans –
then you should get more information about bezian, conrad, le gall, franquin, bilal, crecy … as well. the list is much longer. I will post more
about the french/belgian/italian/spanish comic scene once in a while. regis loisel did by the way a series earlier than peter pan – LA QUETE DE L’OISEAU DU TEMPS. excellent as well.

20 02 2009
Steve Brown

thanks Hans! The only other one in your list I am familiar with is Bilal. He did a very interesting “reportage” graphic novel about a visit he made to Los Angeles. Are you familiar with that?

from hans –
yes, that is pretty old. in case you are interested about the others send me an e-mail and I will get you the ISBN numbers.

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