PLEASE Consider Supporting CBO

Please consider supporting Comic Bits Online because it is a very rare thing in these days of company mouthpiece blogs that are only interested in selling publicity to you. With support CBO can continue its work to bring you real comics news and expand to produce the video content for this site. Money from sales of Black Tower Comics & Books helps so please consider checking out the online store.
Thank You

Terry Hooper-Scharf

Monday 31 October 2011

Lady S. – Game of Fools

Lady S. – Game of Fools

Authors: Aymond & Van Hamme
Age: 15 years and up
Size: 18.4 x 25.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Publication: October 2011
ISBN: 9781849180962
Price: £5.99 inc. VAT

Suzan and her father are taking a well-deserved break in the south of France. But their holidays are cut short when several men burst into the house and kidnap James Fitzroy. What Suzie doesn’t know is that the attackers are actually CIA operatives: The Agency is offended by the existence of an unofficial European counter-terrorist outfit. But in their attempt to use Lady S. to draw her employers out, it’s the American spooks who may be made the fools…

What can I write?  This is Van Hamme at his usual best (I’ve not come across anything written by him that is weak in anyway) pacing the action well, giving good characterization and the usual dirty dealings, deceits and betrayal that we come to expect.

And the art?  Beyond fault.

It’s very annoying really. Olivier Cadic chooses books that he likes and believes have potential and despite waiting a few years now, as a reviewer I have to say I’m annoyed. Nothing poor or trashy published.  But then, he has the cream of the European comic industry.

This is highly recommended.  I still wait, though, for Van Hamme to write the story of Mavis who works as a supermarket cashier but is also a part time super secret agent.  It could happen.

Tops for action and story.

Sunday 30 October 2011

Cardiff and Comic Expo -The Big February Events

Cardiff International Comic & Animation Expo is back
25-26th Feb 2012 Holland House Hotel

Sunday 19th February 2012
Rougemont Thistle Hotel

Long John Silver III -The Emerald Maze. Yaahr!

Long John Silver – The Emerald Maze
Authors: Dorison & Lauffray
Age: 12 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 56 colour pages
Publication: October 2011
ISBN: 9781849181051
Price: £6.99 inc. VAT

The bloody mutiny was a success, and Long John is now in command of the Neptune. Following their native guide, the survivors find the mouth of the Amazon and sail on towards Guiana-Capac. But after the dangers of the open ocean, it’s the unknown terrors of the jungle they must now face ̶̶̶ with a damaged ship and a reduced crew. To what doom will the lush labyrinth of the Amazon lead Long John, Lady Vivian and Dr Livesey?

Now come on: is that a great cover or what? The ship sailing through the jungle into the kingdom of Emperor Viracocha is pure childhood fantasy for me (I’ve not developed much since I was ten years old).  Now, combine pirates and native treasure, add in that jungle, the betrayal and deceit and…POW!

I wrote before that this series was a high budget movie in comic form. I still stand by that.

Dorison and Lauffray have given us, in this series, something that you can’t say about every comic series (even European) –a classic.  If I’d had this book as a child my brain would have exploded with the possibilities.  This is a series that keeps me waiting very eagerly for the next part!

Absolutely wonderful….now, where’s my pirate outfit….

Lucky Luke 31:Lucky Luke Versus The Pinkertons

Lucky Luke Versus the Pinkertons
Authors: E. Benacquista, D. Pennac & Achdé in the Style of Morris
Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Publication: October 2011
ISBN: 9781849180986
Price: £5.99 inc. VAT

It’s the start of the 1860s, and the Old West is changing—a change that comes as a shock to the Daltons when they’re arrested not by Lucky Luke, but by… Allan Pinkerton! The man is determined to turn bandit-hunting into a modern, rational business—even at the cost of the American people’s personal freedom. It’ll be up to Lucky Luke to ensure that the USA is protected against all evil-doers, rascals and lawmen alike…

I opened this up and started reading it but only at around page 28 did I think “There’s something odd here” –I really am that ‘bright’!

This is, of course, the first Lucky Luke by the team of Achde, Benacquista, Penna with colour work by Anne-Marie Ducasse.  All the jokes and puns are still there and the art is spot on (if looking a bit crisper?).

The 31st volume of Lucky Luke. That is far more than have ever been published in English in the last 50 years!  Oh, where are the doubters now?  This will be the first generation that can finally read all the books –and the, uh, “more mature” kids can now read them without struggling with the French language!

Definitely for kids of all ages!

Saturday 29 October 2011

The Best American Comics 2011

Editor  Alison Bechdel
ISBN  978-0-547-33362-5

I’ve noticed a couple of people have been outraged at what they call “genre snobbery” in the introductions because super heroes are dismissed for various reasons.  This has always gone on.

People putting together books have told me I was rejected “because you do super hero comics” -ignoring the fact that I also do slice-of-life, horror and the decidedly weird. It’s ignorance because, when you look at it, comics survived in the United States because of the super hero genre, then horror, then Westerns and then back with super heroes.

The snappy response to such snobbery is always “Well, super heroes is a multi media genre that has made millions more than any Independent comic. Word to you mother.”

Personally, I don’t give a flying nun on a rocket powered tricycle riding around the rings of Saturn what Jessica Abel or Alison Bechdel (whose great work I noted many years ago online) write in these books.  I always think that what speaks volumes are the contents.

Firstly, this is a lovely packaged book, nice hard cover and reproduction inside in both black and white and colour is excellent.

Gabby Schulz (aka. Ken Dahl) has an excerpt from Monsters which made me smile.  Joe Sacco’s Nov. 3, 1956, on the other hand was pretty ****** grim and not designed to make you smile. I did have a problem, because of the style of lettering used, to understand the strip by Robert Sergel -it’s Up Up Down Down.  That said, the crisp black and white art work was really good.

Out of the colour strips Michael Deforge’s Queen stands out.  Almost Brendan McCarthy-esque. Then there is Angie Wang’s very stylish Flower Mecha -very stylish.

Now, when I was publishing Zine Zone International and then when I moved onto the web, I was criticized for being “female creator biased”.  So?  I think that with Girl Comic, Jess Bradley’s very popular work, Sonia Leong, Emma Viecelli, Nuala Murphy as well as the continuing success of Donna Barr, the fact that women can draw comics and popular comics to boot has been proven. Apologies to Roberta Gregory for almost leaving her out there!

This current volume contains no contribution from any of those latterly named creators (NO Donna Barr or Roberta Gregory???) but does have contributions from Gabrielle Bell, Sabrina Jones, Jillian Tamaki, Julia Gefrorer and, as mentioned, Angie Wang.  Now, some may be tempted to say that female creators need a book of their own. I used to at one time until I realised it gave the impression that female creators could not compete with male creators.  Of course they can -this book proves it.

Personally, I still find it almost dumbfounding that Roberta Gregory and Donna Barr have never had contributions included.

This book would make a wonderful gift to introduce someone to the world of Independent comics and it may also inspire a few people out there standing on the lines the push they need to get creating.  Various styles and story types.

And in case you think I might be a bit biased there is a review on Comic Girl:

and the BAC 2011 page:

News From The Krah

Lots of new paintings and a new Art print, come to the opening of my next Art shows this week :)
Email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

This week it’s a double whammy with two shows opening on Thursday 3rd of November…
I will be showing lots of new paintings at the:
LAVA Gallery | Group show
The Rag Factory, 16-18 Heneage Street, London, E1 5LJ Exhibition from: 3rd-6th November 2011. Opening party: 3rd November, 6-10pm. Then open daily, 12-7pm
Artists:  The Krah, Stik, Otto Schade, Ashes57, Forged Signatures, Lucas, Neas & Emma Dexter.
Room 2: Art Splash Charity Auction Help our friends Eska and Pikto raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Like Art on Facebook

Alekano Gallery November the 3ed
3-7 M0WLEM ST,
(just off Vyner street)
nearest station:
Cambridge Heath

The second Art show is called:

Alice in Conspiracy Land show I have a new screen print realise
made especially for this show.
Limited edition of only 10 prints…
And will be showing some
original artwork.
A group show exploring
the interesting, entertaining
and fast growing subject of
Conspiracy Theory.
For more info
and to view more
of my artwork
visit my website:

Dr. D – The Krah – Otto Schade – Cosmo Sarson
- ColourKid – Thomas Dowdeswell – Android Jones -
Hugo Fergusson – Ali Hamish – Elizabeth Eisen-
Ricky Richards – Dot Connector – Scarlett Monahan
and more..

Copyright © *|2011|* *|THE KRAH|*, All rights reserved.
Copyright © *2011 THE KRAH STUDIO*, All rights reserved Our mailing address is:

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Friday 28 October 2011

ROK Comics Launches first iPad Comics – STRIP Magazine and ‘The Iron Moon’‏


Lancaster, England, 28th October 2011: ROK Comics, Britain’s dedicated mobile comics publisher, is pleased to announce the launch of a digital edition of the graphic novel The Iron Moon, a creator-owned comic story by acclaimed Commando comics artist Keith Page and film writer Stephen Walsh.

Described as ‘Rorke’s Drift in Space’, The Iron Moon is a fast-paced steampunk-inspired adventure starring no-nonsense adventuress Charlotte Corday and is now available worldwide for iPad from the Apple iTunes store.

In the story, the twentieth century is just around the corner and Queen Victoria is hale and hearty as she heads into the second century of her reign. The British Empire stretches from the white cliffs of Dover to the red skies of Mars. Go-getting men and women of the imperial dominions flock to the colours, eager to make reputations and fortunes in the wilds of high space.

Take lieutenant Charlotte Corday, for instance. Born in what used to be known as France, she has risen to prominence through the ranks of the Royal Space Navy and now finds herself up to her neck in her greatest escapade yet. Watch as she travels to the mysterious Iron Moon! Marvel as she grapples with a conspiracy that may see the galaxy plunged into war! Goggle as she meets new and strange races, both mechanical and biological! Ponder how she manages to put away so many cups of tea! And prepare to have your brain scrambled as she scoops us up and carries us to the very limits of this universe… and into the next!

ROK Comics partnership with Stephen and Keith is one of several new agreements with comics publishers and comic creators. These include the release of an iPad edition of the first issue of the adventure anthology comic STRIP Magazine, published by Print Media Productions, which includes a special ‘prequel’ strip for The Iron Moon.

ROK Comics recently launched its first fully originated comic, TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. which is initially being published as a weekly web comic (at, followed by roll out on iPad and other devices.

ROK Comics has previously published creator-owned and licensed strips for mobile, with three iPhone apps – Ligeia the Vampire by Rodrigo Diaz Ricci, The Mobile Gospel by Rich Diesslin and Madd Science by Steve English.

Further iPhone and iPad apps, working with a number of different publishers, are in development.
ROK Comics, part of ROK Global PLC, continues to provide mobile comics content for WAP subscription services across the globe and is currently working with partners in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
• The Iron Moon can be downloaded for £4.99 at:
• Visit ROK Comics at:
• A print edition of The Iron Moon is available from Print Media Productions –

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Guerre Des Boutons -The War Of The Buttons

Guerre Des Boutons

Newman(W) – Follini- Orbe (A)

Editions Jungle


Full colour

Album (A4)

Hard Cover

Available November, 2011-10-26

Company website:

This book arrived as a complete surprise to me. Now, my French is very basic so I was a bit worried as to whether I’d be able to tell what was going on. I need not have worried.

I had no idea that Guerre Des Boutons (War of the Buttons) was a novel written by Louis Pergaud in 1912.  I also never knew that the current film was the latest of five to be based on the book –the first in 1935 and a better known version from 1962. The book is still, apparently, in print so it can’t be that bad –we are talking a hundred years now (gulp!).

War of the Buttons, a novel of my twelfth year (full title) was described by Pergaud as being about the “war” being by gangs of children from two rival villages -Longeverne and Velrans, in the French countryside and originally set in the late 19th century.  This BD sets the story in April, 1944 (presumably as in the film).

Every Autumn the children go to ‘war’.  Those from Langverne led by Braque and those from Velrans led by Aztec:’war’ without mercy fought with sticks, fists, feet and stones.  The defeated have their buttons cut off –hence the title.  And, of course, a kid returning home with torn clothing and all the buttons removed usually gets a scolding from their parents.

But there is more as the adults of Longeverne have to deal with their own bully –something that later involves the children to resolve the matter.  It is a bitter sweet tale and the thing is that before even attempting to read the book I knew what was going on just via the panels.

The story is presumably written well enough by Newman to guide the art team of Follini and Orbe in a way that tells the story in pictures alone.  The art style is slightly Manga influenced but is full of fun and some very eye-catching panels.

You should be able to order online and it is worth getting a copy even though on both the info sheet and online I cannot find a cover price.

One day, maybe, Cinebook will publish an English language version…?

and more relevant for our French friends..

Monday 24 October 2011

Antares…Science Fiction In Comics At Its Best!

ANTARES –Episode 1
Authors: LEO
Age: 15 years and up
Size: 18.4 x 25.7 cm
64 colour pages
Publication: October 2011
ISBN: 9781849180979
Price: £7.99 inc. VAT

Humanity migrates to a new planet, the secrets of which Kim Keller will have to unravel.

After the failure of the Betelgeuse colonisation mission, Kim is back on Earth, where she is an increasingly popular figure. Meanwhile, advance scouts on planet Antares have witnessed some distressingly strange events. Worried about the future of this new mission, the sponsors of the Antares project call upon Kim to accompany the first colonists, offering legal amnesty for Alexa and Mark in exchange. It’s the beginning of a new adventure for the young woman and her friends.

This is, as stated, the follow up to the incredible Betelgeuse.  That series was hard to put down and I know I got to be boring recommending it to anyone I met but it was that good.  So, when Antares turned up I was a little reluctant to open it up.  Any follow-up to Betelgeuse had to not be very good. Right?


The cover grabs your eye and promises a few surprises inside. Does it deliver? Yes. The art is incredible –from the initial look at Antares to Kim’s public recognition in the Paris zoo, all the stuff that goes with fame such as tv interviews –drawn wonderfully. The clothes, figures, backgrounds and settings –none can be faulted. And where Leo really grabs you is with his imaginative alien flora and fauna.

And the story is great. We’re introduced to a strange phenomena/mystery at the start of the book and the book leaves off with the same thing –affecting one of the explorers.

I doubt comic sci-fi could get much better. Compelling from start to finish (well, up to “to be continued” at least!).

Sunday 23 October 2011

Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague

Time Bomb Comics is delighted to announce that their next release, Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague, is being released internationally as well as in the UK.

Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague is being launched at the Leeds Thoughtbubble weekend of the 19th & 20th November, where the creative team will be conducting a mid-day signing session at the Time Bomb Comics table on the Saturday afternoon. 

One week later, Steve Tanner and Time Bomb Comics will be at the Malta Comic-Con taking place in Valletta, Malta over the weekend of 26th & 27th November to launch the book internationally.

The long-awaited follow-up to the critically acclaimed one-shot Dick Turpin and the Restless Dead,  Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague features the notorious highwayman up against a nest of vampires in 18th Century London.  Once again written by Steve Tanner, this second horrors and highwaymen mash-up from the Birmingham based company features artwork from rising star Graeme Howard – who is currently drawing Cy Dethan’s Cancertown 2 for Markosia – and lettering by the talented Nikki Foxrobot.

Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague also contains The Rogues Gallery featuring exclusive Dick Turpin artwork from Keith Page, Stuart Tipples, Simon Wyatt, Alex Thompson, Josceline Fenton and Glenn Jones.

It has also been confirmed that Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague will be available to order in the December 2011 Diamond Previews Catalogue.

DICK TURPIN AND THE CRIMSON PLAGUE, 56 pages, Graphic Album, perfect bound, full colour cover, black and white interior, retail price £6.99/$11.99, ISBN 978-0-9561822-4-1

For more information on this and any other Time Bomb Comics please contact

UK Golden Age -TNT Tom

Graphic Novel and Manga Festival

Karen Rubins Manga artwork

Graphic Novel and Manga Festival

Karen Rubins Manga artwork
Central Bedfordshire Libraries are celebrating all things Manga with a programme of activities and events. 
So if you love Manga or are fascinated by the art form why not join us and learn more?
Not sure what Manga is then why not check out the Manga booklist.
Don't forget there are a number of Manga book groups that you can join.

Tuesday 25th October
Manga Workshop with Karen Rubins
11.00 - 12.00
Leighton Buzzard Library
Love Manga?  Want to learn how to create your own Manga character?
If you are aged between 13 and 18 come along to our free workshop and learn more from Manga artist Karen Rubins!
Collect your free ticket from the library.

Tuesday 25th October
Mad About Manga
11.00 - 1.00
Dunstable Library
Love Manga?  Join us in celebrating the art of Manga with sushi making, Manga eyes, history, culture and cosplay!
For children aged 12 and over - collect your free ticket from the library

Tuesday 25th October
Manga Workshop with Karen Rubins
2.00 - 3.00
Dunstable Library
Want to learn how to create your own Manga character?
If you are aged between 13 and 18 come along to our free workshop and learn more from Manga artist Karen Rubins!
Collect your free ticket from the library.

Wednesday 26th October
Manga Workshop for Artists

2.30 - 3.30
Biggleswade Library
Book your place on this workshop for all budding Manga artists aged 10 and over.

Saturday 5th November
Learn how to write and draw your own story

10.00 - 12.00
Dunstable Library

Animator and artist Chris Cox join us to share his expertise and skills.  For more information about Chris please visit his website
The event is for adults aged 16 plus - collect your free ticket from the library

Women Of Wonder Day

Women Of Wonder Day 2011
October 30, 2011

Returning for a SIXTH year with a new name and an expanded mission!

Images of the World’s Most Iconic Heroines Will Help Benefit Domestic Violence Prevention-Intervention Agencies in Oregon, New Jersey, and Texas!

Portland, Oregon, October 14, 2010 – In October 2006-2010, five annual Wonder Woman Day events raised over $110,000 for Domestic Violence programs in Portland, Oregon and Flemington, NJ. The five-year combination of auctions of over 1,100 original art pieces, plus collectibles, autograph signings, and photo opportunities garnered spectacular turnouts and four Portland Mayoral Proclamations!

This year, the event will take on a new name and an expanded mission! On October 30, 2011, the new Women of Wonder Day – again as a part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month – will take place, returning to Excalibur Books in Portland, Oregon, and Comic Fusion in Flemington, New Jersey, as well as at Heroes and Fantasies in San Antonio, Texas!

This year’s contributions for auction include not only artwork featuring heroines from the world of comics – Wonder Woman, She-Hulk, Storm, Michonne from Walking Dead, Leetah from ElfQuest – but also from the world of media as well, including Lisbeth Salander, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hermione Granger, and others! Plus, TV series such as Glee, Nikita, Big Bang Theory, Castle, and others have donated special items as well! And the all-ages events will include artists and writers signing autographs at each event, as well as costumed characters with whom you can take photos! And in Portland, white-hot writer Brian Michael Bendis is auctioning off a role in one of his upcoming comics!

Some key points:

 The website for Women of Wonder Day is

 Over 250 pieces of original artwork and collectibles will be auctioned between the three Women of Wonder Day events. All art is posted to view at the event and at

 Portland’s Mayor, Sam Adams, has officially declared October 30th to be “Women of Wonder Day ” in the City of Roses.

 Previous Wonder Woman Day events have raised a grand total of more than $110,000 to benefit survivors of domestic violence and their children. 100% of all proceeds went to the charities.

 October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

 Producing the annual event for the sixth year is best-selling author and DVD documentary director Andy Mangels, who is also the curator of the online Wonder Woman Museum, and one of the world’s top experts on super-heroines.

Details about the three events follow:

Excalibur Comics, 2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, Oregon
Sunday, October 30, 2011 – noon-6pm, FREE

An ALL AGES celebration and benefit for domestic violence prevention-intervention agencies! Proceeds of the event will benefit Bradley Angle, one of Portland’s leading domestic violence agencies. The free all-ages event will include local and national artists signing comics and special edition prints, as well as a silent auction of original art and collectibles. There will be costumed super-heroes, pirates, and science fiction characters on-site, raffles and prizes, and more.

Andy Mangels is chairing the Portland event, with Debbie Fagnant and Bradley Angle’s Rebecca Norman. “Women of Wonder Day is so special to our agency,” says Norman. “For the last six years, it’s not only been a key part of how we fund our domestic violence programs, but it’s also become a day that brings a different kind of energy and excitement into the work we do. Women of Wonder Day helps us reach out to an audience that might not know our services are available or might have wanted to get involved with charity work but never knew how. And the new format of the event just increases the potential to spread awareness–it means we’re going to be able to celebrate even more heroines, and involve even more fans!”

“In 2010 alone, more than 40 Oregonians lost their lives due to domestic violence, which brings the number of victims since the downturn of the economy to over 100. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month and on Women of Wonder Day, we remember that countless men, women, and children continue to live in unsafe situations and fighting for survival–and we celebrate everyone’s potential to be a hero. How can you be a hero? Tell a friend or family member who you believe might be experiencing domestic violence that they deserve to be safe and help them find resources like Bradley Angle; bid on one of the amazing pieces of original comic book art that we’re auctioning off on EBay and at Excalibur Comics during Women of Wonder Day; and bring your family to the event and talk to your kids about what healthy relationships look like. You can be a hero, too!”

Comic Fusion, 42 Main St., Flemington, New Jersey
Saturday and Sunday, October 29-30, 2011 – noon-5pm, FREE

An ALL AGES celebration and benefit for a domestic violence shelter will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 29th and 30th, in Flemington, NJ, at Comic Fusion, as part of their “Super-Hero Weekend.” Proceeds of the event will benefit Safe in Hunterdon, a domestic violence shelter in New Jersey. Comic creators will sign and sketch, and costumed characters will be available for photos.

Stacy Korn is chairing the New Jersey event with Beth Delaney. Korn says, “From our first small event, this has grown into a Super Event our community loves! Super Heroes, Super Artists and Super Volunteers are all ready to put some smiles on faces. We look forward to raising money for such a worthy cause as SAFE in Hunterdon!”

Heroes and Fantasies, 4945 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas
Sunday, October 30, 2011 – noon-5pm – FREE

An ALL AGES benefit and celebration for Domestic Violence programs at Family Violence Prevention Services of San Antonio! The free all-ages event will include local and national artists signing comics and sketching art, as well as a silent auction of original art and collectibles. There will be costumed characters on-site, raffles and prizes, and more.

Fred Bronaugh is chairing the Texas event with Adam Conley. This is the inaugural year for the Texas event.

Art images and Hi-Rez Posters are at
Portland Mayoral Proclamation is also downloadable at
For additional information about any event, or print-ready images, contact:
Andy Mangels

For additional information about the New Jersey event, contact:

For additional information about the San Antonio event, contact:
Fred Bronaugh

Partial list of contributors (all contributors shown at ):
Brian Michael Bendis – Dan Parent – David Lloyd – Gilbert Hernandez – Nicola Scott – Wendy Pini – Yldiray Cinar – David Mack – Ethan Van Sciver – Jamal Igle – Katie Cook – Michael Golden – Neil Vokes – Terry Moore – Ben Dunn – Billy Tucci – Bob Layton – Charlie Adlard – Don Kramer – Doug Mahnke – Humberto Ramos – Jeff Moy – Joe Benitez – Phil Hester – Scott McDaniel – Stephane Roux – the cast of GLEE – the cast of BIG BANG THEORY – the cast of CHUCK – the cast of NIKITA – the cast of CASTLE – Patton Oswalt – Robin Williams – Rick Riordan – Lynda Carter – and many, many more!

Comics -Why The Frebch Ain't Panicking!

My thanks to Sebchoq for this link. It is a very important article showing that the French can seemingly do what the home of comics (that used to be the UK) is incapable of doing. Increasing sales, titles and expanding.  There is no doubt that France is now the capital of European comics.
I have waited a few days to see whether I could get official permission from Actua BD to reproduce this article in English but my emails are returning as “undeliverable”.
So, my apologies but no infringement intended. The article was written by and is (c) Didier Pasamonik of Actua BD Agency -as are the photographs.
The original website (translated) can be found here:

Frankfurt 2011: the French comic book publishers are smiling

Is this a sign of recovery? French publishers of comics do not frown at this year’s International Book Fair in Frankfurt. On the contrary, despite the effects of the crisis, they benefit from a backlash from the manga around the world and, paradoxically, the wave of US comics to the movies. Journal of detail.

Frankfurt 2011: the French comic book publishers are smiling
“In the kitchen with Alain Passard” (Gallimard) Blain will be brought to Korea, Japan and the United States.
This year, unlike the previous two years who felt depressed, it felt a certain excitement in the stands of international publishers. The business seems to take over and the prospect of competition with the e-book no longer afraid.
The worldwide success of Graphic Novels benefits comics
What is striking is the conquest of the libraries in general comics. In recent years, thanks to Graphic Novels, it strengthens and expands globally. The mutation of Franco-Belgian comics in book format in compact blocks of several albums made by most publishers hexagonal bearing fruit: the transfers are increasing and very diverse in genres.
The trend is for fiction books and focused, “” In the Kitchen with Alain Passard “Christophe Blain (Gallimard) or” The Best enemies, a history of relations between the U.S. and the Middle East “by Jean-Pierre Filiu and David B (Futuropolis) or The Book of Roger de Florent Silloray (Sarbacane) are a good example of great documentary interest, “says Sylvain Coissard, officer Gallimard, Sarbacane and Futuropolis who managed to sell the Cockpit Package Collection in Japan, “because it is a highly focused,” he said.
JPEG - 43 kb
Sylvain Coissard agent, Gallimard, Futuropolis, or Sarbacane Package: “The trend is the comic documentary”
“The market’s Graphic Novel is both better established and yet more fragile due to a large number of titles appearing each year. But the people we are building catalogs sign is the long-term “notes Juliette Mathieu Delcourt. She adds, “Marc-Antoine Mathieu had a very great success last year in Germany, Spain and Korea. At the Fair, English and Japanese publishers were struck by his latest album “Three seconds,” and we hope this will allow us to publish in these two territories. Guy Delisle, all creators who talk about the company to today or aimed at comic book fans today walk abroad without a doubt.
JPEG - 37 kb
Juliette Mathieu (Delcourt) with the Danish editor Carsten Sondergaard.
Jerome Baron, in charge at Media-Participations Dupuis says the same thing: “The historical evidence bear:” The Photographer “(Dupuis),” Marzi “(Dupuis),” A Chinese Life “(Kana),” Nietzsche “(Lombard),” Freud “(Dargaud), Italy years of lead, Stalin’s death, all these issues fairly diversified with rich graphics allow us to approach publishers who may not have the BD and may decide to launch it. “Nietzsche” for example, authored by Michel Onfray (drawing Maximilian Le Roy, at Lombard) already published abroad was a great opportunity. “The Little Book of Rock” by Hervé Bourhis or “Planet of the wise” are subjects of Jul both educational and fun, with a design that works very well.
JPEG - 37.8 kb
Jerome Baron (Dupuis): “It was a nice offer, a nice line-up, a beautiful catalog that affects all types ranging from the album youth graphic novel.”
Some news comes further strengthen the presence of comics in general bookstore, such as the release of Millennium Dupuis: “We got a great announcement confirms Jerome Baron. While DC Comics has provided as the only one the rights to adapt the novel into comics, it’s not quite correct, since the deal with the Swedish Agency was signed to a distribution Manga, Comics, Graphic Novel. This announcement has generated considerable interest and questions also from our publishers because communication was not very well rehearsed between publishers and agents. We made ​​a mailing from Wednesday, October 12 in the morning, just before the Frankfurt Book Fair, in the day, we had fifteen requests for information. We had a visit from a lot of comic book publishers, but also novels that have expressed interest. I think it will be a great project to work, next year we’ll have fun.
JPEG - 39.5 kb
Sophie Castille, head of human Media-Participations (Dargaud, Dupuis, Le Lombard, Kana …). : For the demonstration, the iPad is needed …
The same strategy applies Glénat license with “The Little Prince” by Saint-Exupery developed BD: it is already optioned in many countries.

The format “comic” finally finds its legitimacy
Paradoxically, the opening of libraries worldwide general benefit to the traditional Franco-Belgian comics: in fact, the comic genre as compared to comics and manga is now finding its legitimacy: “The traditional publishers have been a lot of renewals team is hopeful. The market is tight and I did not feel that long-term contacts are increasing, so it’s a fragile situation. The real hope, visible in the European markets is that the general bookstore began selling more and more comics whatever the final format and content “we are told by Delcourt.
JPEG - 41.1 kb
The entire team of foreign rights group Glénat (Glénat, West Wind, Drugstore, Thirteen strange ..): Stephen Galli Bonnin and Olivier surrounding their new director Véronique Philibert Philbois, coming from the production company of Luc Besson, Europa Corp.
Assessed the situation particularly in the United States: “We’re starting to get more and more contracts, including youth, we are told at Media-Participations. We put” Mr. and Mrs. Badger Vixen “,” Children Moreover, “” Miss Annie, “” Sir William “in Lerner (Graphic Universe). A player like Fantagraphics Graphic Novel American has done a very nice “Gil Jourdan ‘.”
JPEG - 14.6 kb
Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox (Dargaud) reflects the United States.
Draw down in Southern Europe and dynamism of Germany
The financial problems of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy are reflected in the market of comics: “In old Europe, the traditional markets remain Germany, the Netherlands, even the Spain despite crisis: the prints are down, but it works a lot of sales, publishers are quite dynamic. Some markets are down as Italy, Portugal … and not talking about Greece, “deplores Sylvain Coissard, agent for Gallimard, Futuropolis or packet.

Confirmation of next Media-Participations: “Italy is not doing very well. It shows a reduction prints. The actors are still there, but you can feel a concentration of their market. Spain was marked by two new ones: the acquisition of Spanish Glénat by management and Planeta who lost DC Comics. We see the repositioning of the American publisher at European level: Planeta DeAgostini DC lost in Spain and Italy. In France, Urban Comics (Media-Participations) which took over the license.
JPEG - 13.8 kb
Lanfeust Troy (Sun) translated in Brazil
This is the German side that things are progressing well, “Germany restarts a little under the leadership of new publishers who have launched new collections and specialize, says Olivier Galli Glénat. The number of titles published in Germany is up for four years. There is a conquest and new audiences: Splitter Verlag relaunched its catalog of heroic fantasy, science fiction and adventure genres rather neglected by the traditional players in this market, Carlsen and Egmont, which has find a new and younger audience. So, Egmont is a little bit in this segment, while Carlsen, although traditional publishers of Tintin, tends to move towards the Graphic Novel.

Willy Fadeur Casterman finds a thrill in the Polish market, while England has become a regular partner open to Commonwealth countries, “Cinebook, Titan or Knockabout comics are regular customers for publishers Franco-Belgian” says Edmond Lee of Humanoids.

Dynamism of Asia and emerging countries
“In terms of emerging markets, we continue to work very well with Indonesia. For three years, the turnover is not huge but they republish the great classic series they have known there twenty or thirty years: Boule & Bill, Spirou, Gaston … “notes Jerome Baron.
“Korea is more interested in comics and youth interested in cross-functional projects between youth and education,” we are told Glénat.

“China is a very cyclical market, we are told in Media. In 2002, Lombard and Dargaud it had sold all their children’s series. For two or three years, the collaborations are increasing, not necessarily in publishing. This is an area of development possible on film, video games, licensing, etc.. Everyone looks at this very closely, there are plenty of things to do. But it takes time. There is a fundamental difference in culture from the approach of the book, but it is a matter of culture and relationship that takes time to understand. In terms of publishing, we continue to make new contracts …

The head of the rights of Humanoids, Chinese from Hong Kong, confirmed. Added to a problem that particularly affects of censorship in its catalog: all nudity is prohibited.
JPEG - 47.9 kb
Edmond Lee, head of the rights of Humanoids
JPEG - 17.3 kb
Fantagraphics, the publisher of the American avant-garde graphics published “Gil Jourdan”
Side of Japan, there is a thrill. Sylvain Coissard are sold in Kitchen with Passard for Gallimard, in the Louvre collection Futuropolis, including the Ice Age album by Nicolas de Crecy, who also sold his Bibendum Céleste (Humanoids). “In fact, the crisis and the sluggish market that territories such as Japan stunning tremble a little” analysis Juliette Mathieu also found a renewed interest in Brazil: “Brazil is very dynamic. There was the same phenomenon in many countries: they have had great success with American comics through Marvel films. They therefore re-open their catalogs to the comic and there is a bit our turn. There are really great things that go on there.

Edmond Lee agrees: “They have more buying power and larger groups, or as Devir Companhia da Letras”. He pointed out the place occupied by Panini in the wake of takeover of Mauricio de Souza, author of Monica, which the magazine is selling 2 million copies per month. By Casterman, we note also that these are the operations with the press to better penetrate the market.
JPEG - 44.6 kb
The Smurfs, Tintin, are back on top of the box office.
Tintin Superstar
The publisher and Moulinsart Tournai, publishers of Tintin, had bananas. Although the license was revived four years, all publishers have repositioned their catalog for the Spielberg film “Tintin is every day in every newspaper in the world, Willy Fadeur enthuses. We have difficulty ensure requests for reprints. It was too much work but there is every reason to be happy!
JPEG - 38.9 kb
Willy Fadeur Casterman. 2011 was a year Tintin.
The same is happening in the Smurfs are available in many products and whose license is reactivated in the world.

This improvement underlines, if need be, the relationship stronger and stronger between the book and film and other media.

Photos: D. Pasamonik (BD Agency)
(By Didier Pasamonik (BD Agency) )