Saturday, April 16, 2005

PSA: Where to buy French comics

By now you're probably all aware that Humanoides' partnership with DC has gone the way of Valiant CrossGen the Dodo bird (and if you aren't, read about it at the Beat). What this means, pretty much, is that their books will no longer be translated into English.

So if you want to get the seventh Technopriests book, the second part of I am Legion, the eighth volume of The Metabarons, or any other book in the Humanoides catalogue that isn't out yet or wasn't translated into English, what are you to do?

Buy the French editions on the Internet and get a sympathetic French-speaker (easliy found on most message boards) to translate them for you.

If You Live in North America

You're in luck, you don't have to fork over wads of cash to have books shipped from France.

You can order them from Quebec!

The two biggest French bookstore chains in the province have websites where you can buy (among other things) bandes dessinées.


They both have English versions of their sites if the French proves too difficult for you.

(I really have no opinion on either store's web presence, as I only buy from their brick & mortar stores.)

If You Live in Europe

(And by 'Europe', I mean the UK. Because if you live on the Continent, chances are you aren't an anglophone, and you can buy this stuff at your local bookstore, in your native language.)

I only know of two, since I don't buy stuff over the Internet. If someone suggests more, I'll add them.

Just from the point of view of browsing (I use them to find out release dates for the French editions of manga), I prefer Fnac because it seems more organised. It allows you to search by series, which is really, really useful.

I don't think their sites have English versions (as they're aimed at unilingual francophones), so it might not hurt to get a little basic French under your belt.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Mainstream Superhero Comics & Medieval Texts - A Snippet

Apologies for such a long time between posts. School has been busy along with other things. Just have a little snippet of an idea this time, but I'm working on some larger things that I should post soon.

I've been thinking about mainstream superhero comics and medieval texts for a few months, and how similar they are. You see, in medieval times, readers didn't want original works really. They preferred to be told the same story over and over and over again, but in slightly different ways. The pleasure came out of the differences, the minor alterations.

I've read five or six versions of the death of King Arthur this year for a class, and while they all tell the same story, each has its own little spin on it. Some more drastic than others, but each is updated for its own time and own sensibilities. One will look at it from the perspective of British history, while one will focus on courtly love, while another will focus on combat, while another will focus on the randomness of it and so on.

This seems to be what mainstream superhero comics are all about: telling the same stories over and over again, but with little changes and personal touches to make them slightly different. Hell, the "Ultimate" line is a prime example of it. Think of the "Ultimate" books as translations of the originals. Millar, Bendis and the others have taken the outdated originals and made them new with modern language and all. The stories are all familiar, but changed--and many readers' interest lies not in the comics themselves, but what the changes are. How is this villain updated and stuff like that.

Just something I noticed and found rather interesting.