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It just goes to show, if you complain about something enough times into a sympathetic and influential ear, you get what you want! Specifically, this forum is now described as being for "Western" and not just "American" comics!

Gia suggested I start an Asterix thread, but I said there'd be more mileage in a thread for European comics in general. I'm going to be unashamedly swiping the format for Cel's "So you're new to Western Comics?" thread and tossing out what recommendations I can (I think Cel and Pindy are my best bets for assistance with that, but if anyone else has a Euro comic they'd like to push, by all means!).

Be warned though, the recommendations will come in two flavours; English and non-English. One of my greatest frustrations in life is that there are hundreds of wonderful European comics that don't get translated into English, and don't get the international audiences they deserve. I've recommended a lot of 2000AD in the forum already, so I'm going to repost it here. Also, for those of you living in the United States, be warned that even getting the English translations might be tricky.
So You're New To European Comics? (under construction)

Comics Available In English

Reasonably Required Reading

Astérix - Story by Rene Goscinny, art by Albert Uderzo.

The year is 50 B.C. The Roman Empire bestrides the world like...a big...bestriding thing. Julius Caesar (the Roman Geezer) is the ruler of the Known World...almost. One small village in the North of Celtic France (known at the time as Gaul) resists the military might of the Roman Empire, thanks to the magic potion brewed by the druid Getafix, which grants anyone who drinks it superhuman strength!

Unsurprisingly, the stories centre around the adventures of diminutive warrior Asterix, accompanied by his fat nicely-covered best friend Obelix, and their pet Dogmatix. One of the main things I like about the comic is that nobody dies. The battles are all in the vein of Looney Tunes. The baddies will get a right going over, and come away with nothing worse than a collection of bruises and a nosebleed.

Asterix is probably the most widely-known French comic, being a hit in practically every country apart from the U.S. and Japan, because you both have your own comics to be getting along with. That said, Superman and Asterix have met and fought. Kinda.

Asterix is also the only comics character I know who has an entire theme park dedicated to him, Parc Asterix. I've been a few times, picking up plushies, plastic wingéd helmets and Magic Potion gourds while I'm there, as well as going on the highest rollercoaster in Europe.

There's no doubt in my mind that the pinnacle of Asterix was the stories that started with Asterix & The Chieftain's Shield and ended mid-way through Asterix in Belgium, with the death of writer Rene Goscinny. Uderzo continued to write and draw the series, but there was a definite dip in quality (for the most part, Asterix & The Magic Carpet is one of my favourite books of the series). The less said about the latest book, Asterix & The Falling Sky, the better.

Caveat: As with many comics of its time, there are some, by the standards of today, unflattering racial stereotypes of African and Asian characters. Though to be fair to the authors, the most prevalent stereotype seen is that of a white French male. Fairly warned be ye, says I!

Les Aventures de Tintin - Words and art by Hergé.

In Britain, we say "Tintin" as if it's two metal cylinders fused together. In the Belgium of his birth, I am given to understand, it's pronounced "Tantan". What bearing does this have on the forthcoming recommendation? Aaaabsolutely none whatsoever. I just thought it was a neat little tidbit of info to share. 3nodding

Tintin is a young Belgian Reporter, travelling the globe (but curiously never reporting in to any kind of editor, at least as far as I remember) with his dog Snowy, and his friend, Captain Archibald Haddock (Two-guys-and-a-pet seems to be a popular motif in Euro comics). Other recurring characters are hapless (and identical yet curiously unrelated) detectives Thomson and Thompson, and deaf-as-a-post-and-about-as-with-it scientist Professor Cuthbert Calculus.

Anyway, if I had to liken Tintin to anything it'd be the Indiana Jones movies. I keep hearing how Speilberg loves Tintin and wants to make a movie of it, but I don't know to what extent that's true. I could believe it. Though you won't find Tintin butting heads with the Nazis. Many, to steal Pindy's phrase, "ponderous P.H.d's" are quick to cite this when speculating that Hergé was a Nazi sympathiser. I myself think that Hergé was a prudent man, who probably thought having a pop at the Third Reich would be career (to say nothing of literal) suicide, considering they'd Occupied his country by that point.

Were any more proof needed, Tintin himself spends a lot of his time going up against totalitarian regimes, as well as uncovering smuggling operations, recovering pirate treasure, going into Outer Space, you know the type of thing.

My favourite Tintin story is Hergé's own, Tintin in Tibet. There are no baddies and grand plots to foil, it's just Tintin trying to find his friend Chang amidst the Himalayas. It's been described as "serene", which I agree with, certainly in comparison to the rest of the canon. And Tintin is to date the only fictional character to win the Dalai Lama's Truth of Light Award.

Fun Tintin Facts! Tell Your Friends! Despair When They Don't Know Who Tintin Is!

Tintin was based on Hergé's brother, a Major in the Belgian army. He was subsequently referred to as "Major Tintin" by his troops. To distance himself from this, he adopted a wildly different appearance to his brother's fictional reporter. Sadly, by that time, the brothers had had a falling-out, and Hergé used his brother's new look as the basis for a villain. D'oh!

Tintin is quite notable for being the first man on the moon. He got there a good 15 years before Neil Armstrong and Buzz...Lightyear? Anyway, Hergé actually made fairly accurate predictions about what space travel and the lunar environment would be like (I remember seeing a great poster in La Cité des Sciences et d'Industrie in Paris, which had a surprised Armstrong being greeted by Tintin & friends mid-flag-plant).

French President Charles de Gaulle once said "My only international rival is Tintin."

While there's no Tintin theme park, there are stores specialising in Tintin merchandise. I've been in The Tintin Shop in London's Covent Garden, and I vaguely remember going in one in York.

Coming soon! The Smurfs and Lucky Luke!

Comics In Other Languages (Mostly French....alright, only French...)

Coming just as soon! Spirou et Fantasio & Petit Spirou, the works of Régis Loisel, Sky Doll and more!

British Comics...otherwise known as "2000AD"

Oh, they're around...
Reserved for...things.
*Camps out.* Heavy on the French, s'il vous plait. heart
Does Justice League Europe count?

Captain Britain? sweatdrop
Does Justice League Europe count?


Captain Britain? sweatdrop

Nnnnnnot rrrreeeally...but then I wanted to add the Doctor Who comics, some of which were published by Marvel UK...damn.
*Appears out of an evil door and looks around*

... ummm musta taken that left turn at Albuquerque ... Eh, I'll just stick around.
Does Miracle Man count? and if not, what are some cool 200AD things I should check out?

Nnnnnnot rrrreeeally...but then I wanted to add the Doctor Who comics, some of which were published by Marvel UK...damn.

Doctor Who Weekly was the turning point for Marvel UK. It had dipped a toe in the water of producing original material (rather than just reprinting US stuff) before with Hulk Weekly , but Doctor Who was the first major commitment.

A British editiorial team, British writers and artists producing a comic for the British market based on a British television program. I contend that the fact the publisher was owned by an American company is irrelevant here.

The Simpsons is not an Austrailian TV show.

Besides, during Marvel's financial problems in the 1990's then Marvel UK was bought out by Panini. Not a sandwich that looks like it's been stamped on by a hot iron boot, but an Italian publishing company. One that's doing an excellent job of getting all the Marvel UK strips collected in trade.

At this point it's a historical curiousity that the Doctor Who strips were once published by a subsidiary of Marvel and one that's got little bearing on thier status as an important product of the British comics industry.

Still lets not get bogged down in this...let's just make whooping noises about the wonderfully sane new mandate and this excellent new thread! biggrin

Fun Marvel UK/Me Fact...the first ever Grant Morrison stories I read were his original Marvel UK Zoids strips. Though I had no idea at the time that they were written by anyone in particular. I was very little. It was 1986.
Yes, some of us would be quite interested in hearing about Dr. Who comics at any rate. biggrin
Yes, some of us would be quite interested in hearing about Dr. Who comics at any rate. biggrin

Corto Maltese! Hugo Pratt! Eeeaaahhh!

Yes, some of us would be quite interested in hearing about Dr. Who comics at any rate. biggrin

Oh yes. Some of us would be quite interested in the Doctor Who comics.
VixterTheVixan's avatar

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What about the legendary Alan Moore? Surely you read his serials?

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