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2009.04.16

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How expensive is this stuff? I need to check some of this shit out.

Ahh, b&w... such a pretty sight to see... they also did a little b&w mingled with color in François Schuiten's Hollow Grounds... Townscapes, meanwhile, got the contemporary colors treatment, albeit not as bad as with The Incal...

I guess technically the Chaland Anthologies are 'anthologies' in the sense you mean, although the only two volumes that got released happened to be all Freddy Lombard all the time, so it functions more as a collected series.

My long-delayed Metabarons post is still coming along... fucking week...

Chris-The hardest ones to come up with are Technopriests 2, The DC versions of Incal and a few scattered Jodorowsky books in between. The Bilal Library is easier to come by, almost all of them are sold at cover or under. (between 15-20) One notable exception is the DC version of Nikopol, but this can be picked up in the hardcover Humanoids collections from earlier in the decade--I just saw full sets at cover at some random, awful New York comics shop last week.

When Jog and I had to fill gaps on one's we missed, the best place was Amazon's used seller circuit, although Instock Trades did have a few as well. Devil's Due is supposedly going to deal with Technopriests and Metabarons at some point, but as Pedro Bouca has pointed out, Enki Bilal is no longer releasing his work through Humanoids. WIth nothing else on the schedule, I'd imagine the Bilal Library books will eventually be harder to come by. For now though, most of them are a steal.

Jog-I was treating Chaland Anthologies as Freddy Lombard all the time, but the title kind of sticks out as a "huh?", doesn't it?

Well, there were other two Chaland volums in France, but the US branch of Humanoids never went around to publishing them. Possibly because some of the stuff is (on purpose!) as offensive as any comic can get. I'm eagerly awaiting your opinion about his work, since he is one of the best (and probably the most "alien" for american readers) of the bunch.

Never got those very early Bilal reprints (although most of it WAS published on Heavy Metal years ago), so I don't have much to say. Got all the later stuff (except the newest album, which was published less than a month ago and have yet to make it here) in the last year or so, though.

You see, Casterman editorial went as mad as Humanoids' and decided to put new editions of Bilal's compilation books in small format and B&W editions (including originally PAINTED works!) costing ABOUT THE SAME as the original color oversized editions. So I decided to buy the older, better ones before Casterman compounded to that madness by taking the older editions out of print.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Pedro--I think that DC/Humanoids probably would have nailed the other Chaland stuff-there's some offensive to American eyes cartooning in the first volume that made it here--but the second anthology was closer to the tail end of the agreement, and it might be more likely that time constraints prevented it's arrival. (By the Numbers was clearly going to be followed up by another volume, which went adrift due to the end of the contract.)

The Chaland stuff is still a few days away, but I think you'll enjoy what we've got coming for those. Also, I'll be shifting back to "tsk, tsk Humanoids" for the next Bilal volume I'm dealing with, which, while not being a full abortion, included some really boneheaded decisions.

The african story on the first volume is small fry. The third volume (reprinting his early "Captivant" work - a parody of 50s belgian comic mags, with their eurocentric, borderline supremacist content) is REALLY offensive. That was the intention!

And if it's offensive to europeans, it'll pretty much enrage your average thin-skinned US reader who thinks Tintin in the Congo is terribly racist...

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Wait a minute, how does thinking that something racist is racist make you thin skinned?

(I think he means some of that shit is REALLY RACIST and not Tezuka/Herge-time-period racist)

Yes, the stories on Captivant are racist in a way that they look like a Chick tract for racism, BUT they were done by not-racist authors with decidedly not racist intentions.

They, as I said, were intended to parody 50s comics, by turning the most unsavory elements on those up to eleven. For example, there is a comic strip-style sequence where the hero (your typical 50s comic strip hero: Tall, muscular and blonde) "John Sahara" tortures and kills his way into the arabs. In a later sequence, his girlfriend is raped by an arab and John decides to kill her "to stop her suffering".

That was NOT the worst of the bunch, in case you are wondering. Just one I could describe here shortly...

This was done as a venomnous satire of period work, of course, but an unaware reader could get REALLY angry with that.

Which, of course, was the authors' intention the whole time. But keep in mind that the work wasn't taking lawsuit-happy USA into consideration...

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Well, before Jog blows up my spot, I'll admit to being a bit thrown by the black face, big lipped natives in Chaland Anthology # 1. He led me through the wilderness of "it's satire, man up", but yeah, I was definitely in the thin-skinned, surface-reading place. (Which is reason number 568 that we should all be happy that the Humanoids thing is a team-up with somebody who does actual background research.)

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