I guess I don’t see myself as a comic book reader but I read a ton man. Basically from 83 to 98 this was me on weekends:
I read a lot about comics these days since Marvel movies and superheroes are so in but I just don’t really connect with that. I’m a child of the European format, bigger and longer than the American one. 40 to 60 pages with a start and an end. Consistent, impeccable drawing quality. And, outstanding diversity:
I loved les petits hommes –the little men- so hard. It’s the story of small humans the size of a glass of water with highly sophisticated technology (as a kid I couldn’t stop starring at all those robots and spaceships etc.) living crazy adventures like this one, where they come back to Earth and everything is white and monochromatic. And weird robots took over. Oh and there’s a version of the hyperloop in this world.
I don’t even remember names or relationships. I just know those stories –a lot influenced by 50s and beyond American cinema mixed with post war European artistic hope- transported me far away. 70s-80s-90s European comics are completely amazing at that.
Papyrus and his cute friend. And giants walking for real.
Bidouille & Violette. 81 to 86. It’s the story of that little chubby guy and his first love in a little town in the north of France. It’s sweet as hell and it was a companion story back way back when. I loved it and at the same time of course as a dude I didn’t want to tell anyone about that. And this unique drawing style. Man.
This one is special to me. I really enjoyed the amount of detail put in the drawings, in the motorcycles, so cool. And then puns after puns after puns after puns. I’ve never read anyone that prolific with stupid puns. See the moto risées title? I can’t even explain, it’s dumb and hilarious at the same time. I think it brought me a sense of wanting to play with language more than any comic book really.
One of my fav. Yoko Tsuno the electric engineer and her crazy ass stories. Phenomenal.
Awesome mecha designs and compelling tech-heavy stories. Drawings you can look at forever. If you love sci-fi you got to try out some of the 27 albums.
The man who shot faster than his own shade. Not only that’s pretty fast but LL didn’t show off. As a kid I wanted him to right? But no he’d be cool and use his talent here and there. Super chill.
There’s a humility and ordinary feel to all those heroes and stories. And yet they transported me. They’re not about how heroes change the world but how the world changes people. A lot of stories where in the end the “bad guys” are not bad, they’re just trying to make it. Some violence and death and sex, but mostly non-violent, “let’s agree to disagree” endings.
I read this one late but, shit. We follow this brunette during the 18th century in the middle of the slave trade. Now nowhere on TV, at school or at the movies people were showing the slave trade like this comic book showed it to me back in the mid 80s. It shows a lot of angles and it was a fascinating read. It’s raw, hard. The kind of read for which you need to turn the music off.
So, when these days I read about comic books and antiheroes and character development I’m lost because I’m about the adventure, the locations, eternal characters that don’t change because they’re just an excuse to travel, a vessel for the mind to build a word around.
More Interstellar than Avengers I guess.
The story comes and goes. You cannot become a fan of something that comes and goes. It’s a healthier relationship to me. American comics immediately create strong feelings when you’ve been following a character for years. I have read some forums, people go apeshit on their cape-wearing bae.
Anyway in the end it makes me feel like, what we try to do and fail often at today in the entertainment industry –inclusivity, strong duos, diversity, stories and themes that touch a lot of different people-, I had that in spades in my parents’ European comic books collection (all albums of all comics above and so much more). I read them all a bunch of times. It was great. It made me push my imagination and let it run, how much you can mix up things and re-invent classics.
In games we constraint ourselves so much on universes and themes, it’s frustrating.
I recommend that EU stuff for inspiration, creative people. And your kids.