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AsterixAndVikingsAnimatedMovieAsterix the Gaul, Captain America, and Steroids

What if Tyrion Lannister had Popeye’s super powers? What if Thor had the appetite and I.Q. of Cookie Monster? What if the Spartacus universe was cross-pollinated with the Smurfs? Well, then you’d get Asterix, Obelix,… [more]

The Complete PersepolisOn Chicago Public Schools Censoring Persepolis‘s Images of Torture

In the recent discussions over censorship of Persepolis in Chicago public schools, there’s been a notable lack of discussion over why anyone would want the book removed — and what such reasoning represents.

The Fever of Urbicande, bottom of page 45The Fever of Urbicande, Chapter 4 Concludes

We’ve previously looked at The Fever of Urbicande‘s prologue (and some of its implications), as well as chapters one, two, three (in two parts), and most of four (parts one, two, and three). We now conclude our… [more]

from Fever of Urbicande, page 42More The Fever of Urbicande, Chapter 4

We’ve previously looked at The Fever of Urbicande‘s prologue (and some of its implications), as well as chapters one, two, three (in two parts), and most of four (in two parts). We now continue our look… [more]

from The Fever of Urbicande, page 41The Fever of Urbicande, Chapter 4 (Cont.)

We’ve previously looked at The Fever of Urbicande‘s prologue (and some of its implications), as well as chapters one, two, three (in two parts), and the beginning of four. Although it’s been a while, we… [more]

PersepolisPersepolis & Fun Home: Women and Comic Books in the College Classroom

There’s been a lot of controversy over women’s rights in the United States in the media lately.

Herge-Group ShotThe Adventures of Tintin in Critical Controversy

It is commonly held that the United States helped create the comics art and literary genre; however, what is often overlooked is the significant comics community thriving in Europe during these early years, particularly in… [more]

The Fever of Urbicande, top of page 38The Fever of Urbicande, Chapter 4

We’ve previously looked at The Fever of Urbicande‘s prologue (and some of that prologue’s implications), as well as chapters one, two, and three (in two parts). This time, we’ll begin to look at chapter four,… [more]

The Fever of Urbicande, bottom of page 26The Fever of Urbicande, Chapter 3 (Cont.)

We’ve previously looked at The Fever of Urbicande‘s prologue, some of that prologue’s implications, chapter one, chapter two, and the beginning of chapter three. This time, we’ll conclude our look at chapter three, in which the… [more]

The Fever of Urbicande, bottom of page 20The Fever of Urbicande, Chapter 3

We’ve previously looked at The Fever of Urbicande‘s prologue, some of that prologue’s implications, and chapters one and two. This time, we’ll continue to chapter three of this fascinating story.

from The Fever of Urbicande, page 15The Fever of Urbicande, Chapter 2

We’ve previously looked at The Fever of Urbicande‘s prologue, some of that prologue’s implications, and chapter one of the comic proper. This time, we’ll continue into chapter two of this fascinating story.

from The Fever of Urbicande, page 5The Fever of Urbicande, Chapter 1

We’ve previously looked at The Fever of Urbicande‘s prologue and some of its implications. This time, we’ll dive into the story itself.

Palace of the Soviets (from Mechanix Illustrated, Sept 1939)The Fever of Urbicande: Ayn Rand, Totalitarian Architecture, Brutalism, and Busselization

We’ve previously looked at The Fever of Urbicande‘s prologue, which sets up Eugen Robick’s status quo as the story starts. This time, we’ll explore some fascinating parallels and implications of that status quo. Also, I’ve… [more]

Fever in UrbicandeThe Fever of Urbicande: A French Masterpiece You Probably Haven’t Read

More than any other, this is the the book for which The Obscure Cities is famous. In his afterword to The Walls of Samaris, Benoît Peeters writes that his main criticism of that initial volume… [more]

The Walls of Samaris -- sundew motifThe Walls of Samaris, Part 4: Textual Variants

We’ve previously examined the story of The Walls of Samaris, a French masterpiece that deserves to be known among comics-literate Americans. In part two, we looked at several implications of its trompe-d’oeil device. In part three, I wrapped up… [more]

The Walls of Samaris - final panelThe Walls of Samaris, Part 3: More Mysteries… and Some Possible Solutions

We’ve previously examined the story of The Walls of Samaris, a French masterpiece that deserves to be known among comics-literate Americans. In part two, we looked at several implications of its trompe-d’oeil device.

The Walls of Samaris, panel from the top of page 3The Walls of Samaris, Part 2: The Trompe-d’Oeil and You

Having introduced The Obscure Cities and walked through its first volume, The Walls of Samaris in some detail, I ended with that book’s conclusion. I’ll pick up there, so it’s necessary that you read part… [more]

The Walls of Samaris, bottom of page 9The Walls of Samaris: A Classic French Comic You Probably Haven’t Read

Many fans of The Obscure Cities (which I introduced here) will tell you that the first volume, The Walls of Samaris, first collected in 1983, represents a freshman effort, despite the acclaim it’s won.

The Walls of SamarisThe Obscure Cities: An Introduction

The Obscure Cities (Les Cités Obscures) arose in the midst of a pivotal time in the history of French comics. So let’s talk about French comics, shall we?

ValerianValérian: Spaceships, Simulacra, and Star Wars

The French Connection is back after a long hiatus with the same purpose it had two years ago, to present and review significant bande-dessinées. Previous columns dealt with recent publications, works by Sfar, Trondheim or… [more]

Manu LarcenetNot-So-Ordinary Victories

To my surprise, Manu Larcenet was nominated for last year’s Eisners (“Best US edition of Foreign Material”). He did not win, since Sfar did, but that was a reliable signal that Larcenet had acquired both… [more]

donjon attackDeep in the Donjon

I wasn’t sure where to start, now that the introductory articles are over. Should I focus on a mainstream, and therefore easily accessible, series? Should I select, instead, some obscure but brilliant work, while knowing… [more]

platesbandes030320061Independents and/or Avant-Garde

In the latest issue of l’Eprouvette, a critical review published by l’Association, BD creator Edmond Baudouin provides a retrospective look on his relationship to the medium. Since he hadn’t read much BD, he started in… [more]

AsterixBandes Dessinées in a Material World

My name is Nicolas Labarre. I am French, and while completing my Ph.D., including a dissertation on “Theories of Mass Culture in the United States,” I write comics. Or more precisely, bandes dessinées.