Thursday, 3 September 2015

National Lampoon Presents French Comics ( The Kind Men Like )

Here's something that was always advertised in the pages of Heavy Metal, and in fact, a lot of the strips here would've fit right in an average issue of HM, coming as they did from french comic mags like Pilote and Fluide Glacial, as a lot of Metal's early stuff did.
Ralph Reese's cover there is a bit of a bait and switch, as this isn't really a larky good girl book, but something quite a bit stranger.
Some of the pieces here, as I say, might just as well've ran in HM, some seem like underground pieces, and some just leave you stratching your goatee in befuddlement. Something for everyone, if you're a bit on the weird side.
They're also not joking when they plaster 'For adults only' on the cover, so we'll look at some of the less explicit stuff today.
Here's a selection, starting with a piece by Jean Sola. Like most of the artists here, I know nothing about this guy, but he's great, isn't he?

And here's a nice religious gag from Loup:

A fun piece about the facts of life from Copi:

And here's Jean-Claude Forrest with Speaking Of Pitchers: Not being an expert in French military history, I have no idea what they're going on about, but this is the guy who did Barbarella, which means the art is wildly, crazily beautiful and the colouring is magnificent. Sadly, some of the artwork bleeds into the binding on this book. C'est la Vie, as they say.

It's not big, it's not clever, but how much more French could Bridenne's artwork be here? And the answer is none. None more French.

Over to Spain now for Dracurella by Julio Ribera, who also did The Alchemist Supreme and What Is Reality, Papa? for Heavy Metal. Dracurella apparently had quite a run in France and, even though we're clearly midway through a story here, I'd definitely like to see more of this strip:

And if you think that was weird, try this one on for size:

And to close, some pieces from Claire Bretecher, who also had a National Lampoon Presents book ( all to herself )  in HM, and which'll feature here at some point:

1 comment:

  1. Many things here. First, sorry to play nit-picker, but it's Jean Solé (not Sola), famous for traveller's guide book covers (Guides du routard) and for illustrating Superdupont, a parodic super-french patriot, complete with mustache and beret ( Neal Adams did draw a Superdupont story!),among other things.
    Bismarck sure meant business as he won the 1870's war against Napoleon III (a nephew of the big first, who, with his architect, Baron Haussman, left an indelible mark upon Paris) and rewarded himself with eastern parts of France and financial compensations which fed a growing animosity between the two nations bursting in WWI, whose Battle of the Marne is one chapter(phew!).
    Bridenne is free-wheeling and it's great!
    Fred(a miracle) passed away not so long ago. He was a founding member of Pilot and created Philemon, a surrealist comic where the hero visits alphabet letters written on maps(some are whole continents!) and sure meets strange people and situations.
    As a super-hero geek, Bretecher wasn't my thing at all, but in seventies-eighties 'France, I remember her and Hugo Pratt being real big as adult graphic litterature. She was not only into social issues but also tackled religious matters as she drew the life of a saint(St Teresa of Avila, anyone?) in her own caustic way. You got to love the first page (Is it me or the third one looks Johnny Hart alike?)
    Finally, I'm nearly sure that Mandryka (creator of the Masked Cucumber and founding member of french mag L'Écho des savanes)drew the last scan, I could recognize his lettering anywhere.
    All in all ,a hell of a post.