Memos > Did you say "BD"?

Did you say "BD"? - Culture

With their specialist bookshops, trade fairs, exhibitions and countless festivals, French comics are a fully-fledged society phenomenon!

Franco-Belgian comics: the traditional comic strip

Its colour hardback albums tell heros' adventures in the form of series.
Hergé, with Tintin, is the main representative of the School of Brussels, with a style of drawing called "ligne claire" (clear line).
At the School of Marcinelle, Franquin favours humour and caricature with Spirou, just as Peyo does with his Smurfs, and Uderzo with Astérix. Titeuf, dreamt up by Zep in 1993, is still very popular.

The "ninth art": late recognition

What initially started out as simple entertainment for children has, since the 1960s, become known as the "ninth art" and is now created for all ages and walks of life.
Some authors create very personal universes: science-fiction with Nikopol by Enki Bilal, detective investigations in Paris at the turn of the 20th century with Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc Sec by Jacques Tardi.
Comic strips then became more realistic. Marjane Satrapi, for example, has published her autobiographical story Persépolis.

Changes: influences and new authors

In the 1970s, formats changed and the graphic novel appeared on the scene. American comics and Japanese mangas influenced the look, narration and themes of French comics.
No subject is left uncovered today, such as in Journal by Fabrice Neaud or Rural ! by Etienne Davodeau, which look at current affairs and issues of concern to society.
Young authors like Pénélope Bagieu are becoming known thanks to the Internet, through specialist blogs and such websites as espritbd.fr.
The new generation of "BD" authors also includes Joann Sfar (Le chat du Rabbin) and Riad Sattouf (Pascal Brutal), both of whom also make films.
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And elsewhere?

How do you say "comic" in other languages?

- Fumetto (fumetti in the plural): for the Italians, speech bubbles look like little clouds of smoke, and this is what they have named their comics after.

- Tebeo: it was the very first Spanish comic magazine, called TBO, that lent its name to comics in Spain. They are also known as historietas (short stories).

- Manga: this Japanese word also means doodle (Man = imprecision, lightness; ga = sketch, illustration).

Someone once said

"What's amazing in comics is that the reader can stop time, unlike at the cinema … Unless you go out and buy the film on DVD and pause the image."

Jean Giraud known as Moebius, a comic strip author and founder of the publishing house Les Humanoïdes Associés.

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The universe of Riad Sattouf

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