Tintin Forums

Tintin Forums / Other comics /

Franco-Belgian comics in English

Page  Page 11 of 12:  « Previous  1  ...  9  10  11  12  Next » 

george
Member
#101 · Posted: 31 Jul 2019 22:06
There were some discussions around the Lion publication over on Bear Alley as recently as *gulp* twelve years ago. I make an appearance in the comments, boring for England...

I did hope Cinebook would pick this series up, naïvely believing Uderzo's name recognition would help shift volumes, but even Herge seems to struggle to sell other than Tintin so that now feels unlikely.

George
jock123
Moderator
#102 · Posted: 1 Aug 2019 09:53 · Edited by: jock123
I should have guessed that if anyone would know, it would be you, George!
I know that John has said in the comments about this recent article that he's got someone writing an article about exactly the topic you mention on Bear Alley (the cross-exchange of Euro- and Brit-strips), which his writer is finding to be a greater undertaking than he first thought, so I wouldn't want to volunteer you, but if you have anything you can contribute on the subject, I am sure John would be happy to hear about it!

In re: Cinebooks, it's probably worth giving them a poke about doing T&L in English - I keep chipping away at them to do Lefranc, and something might come of it. I'm not sure why we got Clifton, for example over some of the other stuff that is out there.

Good point about the lack of inroads by Hergé's other works, so that is worth considering; however, I think that as ever, more "oomph!" in the marketing would help a lot of these things!
george
Member
#103 · Posted: 8 Aug 2019 17:40 · Edited by: george
jock123:
more "oomph!" in the marketing would help a lot of these things!

Forget about oomph, I've been hoping for new editions of Oumpah-pah for ever (*grown*).

Perhaps the mistake I make is thinking that the market looks at Tintin and thinks "Give me more Herge" rather than, as is likely, "Give me more Tintin". Same goes for Goscinny/Uderzo who seem to be the dream-team when it comes to translation in to English, but the reality is probably that it is Asterix that the buyers notice, not the creators.

jock123:
re: Cinebooks, it's probably worth giving them a poke about doing T&L in English

Cinebook would be out of business inside of ten minutes if they listened to a single one of my suggestions! As it happens, although they're approach is quite conservative, at least that has allowed me a shelf full of Lucky Lukes and Blake and Mortimers. There are numerous companies who've fallen by the way-side with much more ambitious plans that ultimately, I imagine, proved to not be cost-effective. The fact that 20% of internet conversations about translated comics include me should be proof enough of the smallness of the marketplace!

George
mct16
Member
#104 · Posted: 8 Aug 2019 22:14 · Edited by: mct16
jock123:
I keep chipping away at them to do Lefranc, and something might come of it. I'm not sure why we got Clifton, for example over some of the other stuff that is out there.

Do you really enjoy that series? because I find the characters very stiff and the stories lack humour. The holes in the plot do not help much either. The only interesting thing about it is the Olrik-like villain Axel Borg. Although he and the goody-goody Guy Lefranc are enemies, there is a curious mutual respect in their relationship and they have sometimes been allies, even friends, depending on the circumstances.

"Clifton" on the other hand is much more livelier, especially during the Turk & De Groot period. I love the way it displays a stereotypical England of tea drinkers but also more serious elements such as crime fighting and espionage (MI5 features in many episodes).

George
Have you tried "The Bluecoats" by Cauvin and Lambil? It is in the same vein as "Lucky Luke", with action, humour, lively characters and references to historical events and people. Well worth reading.
george
Member
#105 · Posted: 11 Aug 2019 20:49 · Edited by: george
mct16:
Have you tried "The Bluecoats" by Cauvin and Lambil? It is in the same vein as "Lucky Luke", with action, humour, lively characters and references to historical events and people. Well worth reading.

For me The Bluecoats is probably the revelation of Cinebook's line and, along with Franquin's work on Spirou, the releases I most look forward to in their current line up.

There's something to be said for Cinebook's in-it-for-the-long-haul approach as I certainly wouldn't have said this if all I'd read was the volume put out in America in the 90s. A single book didn't do it for me but a dozen or so later I get the rhythms in the storytelling and appreciate the depth of the characterisations. The running jokes are good as well!

Clifton I'm more mixed on. Everything about it should appeal to me but it has never truly worked for me. Suske and Wiske likewise - the surface elements should are right but I just cannot immerse myself in the stories.

George
Cayo
Member
#106 · Posted: 21 Aug 2019 17:38 · Edited by: Moderator
A French friend of mine suggested that I try the Blake & Mortimer series, but I don't know where to start.
Are they chronological? Or are there a few that are considered the best?

My e-mail is janarrah1 >at< aol >dot< com if someone here has suggestions.

Thanks!

Moderator Note: to avid your address being harvested by spam-bots, it has been written out in words - to use it, remove the spaces, and the text in between the chevrons should be replaced with the appropriate punctuation)
jock123
Moderator
#107 · Posted: 22 Aug 2019 12:05
Cayo:
Are they chronological? Or are there a few that are considered the best?

A slightly more complicated question than you might think!
E.P. Jacobs wrote the original eleven volumes in what would seem to be chronological order - they certainly can be read that way without any problem (unlike, say, Tintin, where a book like The Black Island now causes problems because of its 1966 revisions, which makes it hard to set in the original French publication order, where it should sit between adventures in the 1930's, and the fact that Tintin is still young in the seventies, although he was a boy reporter in the 1920's).
The 12th volume is a completion of the adventure started in book 11, worked on by Jacobs and Bob DeMoor, so it is also chronological.
The later volumes (now over a dozen, so there are more of these continuation titles than "originals") are by other teams of authors, and whether by accident, design or a policy of the rights holders, these tales take place (by and large) during the time period of the publication of the original 12 - so between about 1946 (when Secret of the Swordfish was published in French) and 1967 (the Sato books).
The only exceptions - I think - are a lengthy flashback sequence in The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent,to Blake and Mortimer's initial meeting, which is set in 1933 or thereabouts, and Plutarch's Staff, which is designated in publicity as "their first mission", and is set in 1944.
These two push back the start of the chronology, but I think we have yet to see anything after Sato - in fact, I think all the "new" books come before The Time Trap, Jacob's third to last story (fourth to last book, if you count the two Sato books separately).
Generally the other "new" books fit between "old" books, but they have not followed a linear time-line, so have not an ordered chronology themselves: the first "new" book, 1994's The Francis Blake Affair is set later in the time-line than The Septimus Wave (a sequel to Jacob's The Yellow "M") which was published in 2013 in French).

If you want a further level of complication - and I am sure you do? :-) - the Cinebook release schedule has brought out a mixture of old and new books, following neither the original publication order nor the chronology, and confusingly they have numbered their English books in the order they have released them, which really doesn't offer much help to anyone. They do provide guides at the back of their books, showing you the original publication order for the series, and what they have released, but it is maybe time that they included a time-line too, to help make the B&M universe a little more accessible to new readers!

As to where to start? I might (as I have said elsewhere - there are several threads on the series on the go on these forums if you do a search) avoid starting with the Swordfish story, which is very slow, spread as it is over three volumes. The Yellow "M" is often held up as Jacob's masterpiece, and the Pyramid two-parter is also good, so you might want to try those for the "original" tales, and to get a sense of the characters.
Then maybe work in a couple of the new ones, and see what you make of them - if you've read Yellow "M", maybe try the Septimus sequel, for example. The Gondwana Shrine and The Voronov Plot are also good, but to be honest, the sequel quality has been pretty high, and certainly makes a good job of capturing the spirit of Jacobs (including taking on a few of his bad habits too - somewhat static characters, and far too many words at times!).

Anyway, have fun! :-)
mct16
Member
#108 · Posted: 22 Aug 2019 22:35 · Edited by: mct16
To make things even more complicated, the latest Blake & Mortimer adventure, "The Valley of the Immortals", is a direct sequel to the very first story, "Secret of the Swordfish", and takes up where many scenes leave off. :)

On the other hand, the plot then moves on to other events which could, in a certain way, make it a separate story. In any case, it is a two-part adventure and the second part has not been published yet.

I would read "The Secret of the Swordfish" before most of the others. It is a bit episodic at first, but I think that it gathers pace as it goes along and you get to know Blake, Mortimer and their sworn enemy Olrik and the conflict between them.

My first B&M was "The Yellow 'M'". It is good, but my problem was that it included references to previous stories which I had not read and thus there were elements of the plot that I did not understand. For example, they mention a "sheik" and a sort of magic spell which only made sense when I read "The Mystery of the Great Pyramid".

The French publishers, Dargaud, have suggested the following chronological order based on the actual time the stories take place - though I have moved "S.O.S. Meteors: Mortimer in Paris" up the list since it ends with the villain being jailed and then escaping at the beginning of "The Necklace Affair" which also takes place in Paris.

Enjoy:

1. Plutarch's Staff (1944)
2. The Secret of the Swordfish, Volume 1 (1946)
3. The Secret of the Swordfish, Volume 2 (1946)
4. The Secret of the Swordfish, Volume 3 (1946)
5. The Mystery of the Great Pyramid, Volume 1: Manetho's Papyrus (1950)
6. The Mystery of the Great Pyramid, Volume 2: The Chamber of Horus (1950)
7. The Yellow "M" (1953)
8. The Septimus Wave (1954)
9. The Oath of the Five Lords (1954)
10. The Francis Blake Affair (1954)
11. The Strange Encounter (1954)
12. The Curse of the Thirty Denarii, Volume 1: The manuscript of Nicodemus (1955)
13. The Curse of the Thirty Denarii, Volume 2: The gate of Orpheus (1955)
14. Atlantis Mystery (1955)
15. The Voronov Plot (1957)
16. The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent, Volume 1: The Universal Threat (1958)
17. The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent, Volume 2: Battle of the Minds (1958)
18. The Gondwana Shrine (1958)
19. The Testament of William S. (1958)
20. S.O.S. Meteors: Mortimer in Paris (1959)
21. The Time Trap (1960)
22. The Necklace Affair (1964)
23. Professor Sató's Three Formulae, Volume 1: Mortimer in Tokyo (1967)
24. Professor Sató's Three Formulae, Volume 2: Mortimer vs. Mortimer (1967)

"The Valley of the Immortals, Volume 1" and "2", should probably wait since Volume 2 is not due for publication until December 2019. They take place in 1946 after "The Secret of the Swordfish".
jock123
Moderator
#109 · Posted: 23 Aug 2019 12:14
mct16:
I would read "The Secret of the Swordfish" before most of the others.

We'll have to agree to disagree on that! It's the most static art, and deadly slow plot, of the series to me, and would have killed my interest dead in the water.

mct16:
my problem was that it included references to previous stories which I had not read

I know that you are not alone in that respect, but I've honestly never had a problem with that, in any series of books I've read - in fact I am pretty sure that I have probably read most series of stories from after the first book, just due to happenstance as much as anything.

With Tintin, my first book was Prisoners, neither the first published, the first translated, nor even the first part of the story, simply because it was the one that the library had at the time. I didn't see, let alone read, Crystal Balls until a good five years later. But that's a digression...

I'd recommend any other of the Jacob's tales simply because I think that they show what he is capable of; had Swordfish been his only comics outing, I don't think it would be much more than a footnote on his biography, perhaps because of his now very dated depiction of Eastern culture (a subject better handled by the time he gets to Sato (I note with interest that you put an acute accent on the "o" (I think it's actually sometimes given a macron, "ō", to denote a "long" vowel, but in many (most) cases of use in English it's not given - so, "Tokyo" rather than "Tōkyō", "Osaka" rather than "Ōsaka"), while still never accenting "Hergé"... ;-) ).

I also take it that you've translated the list directly from French yourself. Just to keep the record consistent, the Cinebook versions use the following variants for titles and subtitles, which it might prove useful to adopt for ease of reference:
5. The Mystery of the Great Pyramid, Volume 1: The Papyrus of Manethon
16. The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent, Volume 1: The Global Threat (1958)
17. The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent, Volume 2: Battle of the Spirits
22. The Affair of the Necklace
Just as another aside, it seems odd to me that Jacobs bothered to give S.O.S Meteors a subtitle, as it's only a single volume, and also chose to call it "Mortimer in Paris", given that the story starts with him leaving Paris and going to Jouy! Blake spends more time in Paris than that!

mct16:
I have moved "S.O.S. Meteors: Mortimer in Paris" up the list

I'm not sure that introducing another order - and another set of numbering - to the series is particularly useful, certainly not more helpful than having Jacob's stories contemporary to the years in which they first appeared!

Olrik isn't needed in the intervening books, and as nobody comments in Necklace that he was only recently sent to prison, we can safely assume that he's been incarcerated between 1957 and 1964. In fact there's an exchange on the first page of Necklace in which Blake tells Mortimer that Olrik is studying, and has allegedly read every book (on Parisian archaeology, at least) in the prison library, suggesting that he's had the time to do this, so a significant period of time has elapsed.

It also usefully explains why Olrik isn't in the intervening books; with the unaltered timeline, he can be accounted for - he's in La Santé, getting his plan together for Necklace; if you move S.O.S., Olrik just disappears, and becomes a non-entity for several volumes, before re-emerging in S.O.S.. The former to me seems better and neater.
mct16
Member
#110 · Posted: 23 Aug 2019 17:05 · Edited by: mct16
You can blame my poor Japanese on Wikipedia since I actually got the list from them. Ditto for Cinebook's alternative titles. :)

jock123:
Olrik isn't needed in the intervening books, and as nobody comments in Necklace that he was only recently sent to prison, we can safely assume that he's been incarcerated between 1957 and 1964.

Actually, Dargaud's chronology has "Meteors" just before "Voronov", "Sarcophagi" and "Gondwana" all of which include Olrik as out of prison and very active. In "Testament" he is in Wandsworth prison in London (after "Gondwana") rather than the Sante in Paris.

I also moved "Meteors" up the list because it, "Time Trap" and "Necklace" do form a sort of "Paris trilogy". That was the impression I got as a result of reading an article about the series and it felt more sense to have them together.

Page  Page 11 of 12:  « Previous  1  ...  9  10  11  12  Next » 

Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the Forum Posting Guidelines.

Disclaimer: Tintinologist.org assumes no responsibility for any content you post to the forums/web site. Staff reserve the right to remove any submitted content which they deem in breach of Tintinologist.org's Terms of Use. If you spot anything on Tintinologist.org that you think is inappropriate, please alert the moderation team. Sometimes things slip through, but we will always act swiftly to remove unauthorised material.

Reply



  Forgot your password?
Please sign in to post. New here? Sign up!