Bande Dessinée (not graphic novels nor comics Nah!)

Ahem, they're called "graphic novels".
Post Reply
User avatar
Rolistespod
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:22 pm
Location: London
Contact:

Bande Dessinée (not graphic novels nor comics Nah!)

Post by Rolistespod » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:16 am

Got myself a copy of Valerian et Laureline in hope to record something about it with a fellow podcast ahead of the movie adaptation by Luc Besson.

Besson's last attempt at adapting a BD to cinema was sadly dreadful (Adele Blanc-Sec) but i hope Valerian will see the French director find his way back to what made Fifth Element cool.

Regarding the title of this thread... :ugeek:

...I strongly believe that there is an interesting contrast between BD, Comics, manga and Graphic Novels due to the way they are produced, owned or not by their authors, printed and distributed.

There are many sub-categories as well as cases of creations bridging those. A good example is the French BD/Manga "L'Autoroute du Soleil" by French author Baru following an order by Kodansha.

However I feel those categories are still a cool prism to look at things.

Anyway...

...anyone gave a try to Valerian yet? I still have to open it. :mrgreen:
Kalum from The Rolistes Podcast
Twitter/Instagram: @RolistesPod
Show via WordPress, ITunes, Stitcher & most podcast apps

Welcome among The Rolistes!

User avatar
kwiksotic
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:11 am

Re: Bande Dessinée (not graphic novels nor comics Nah!)

Post by kwiksotic » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:37 am

I only heard about Valerian due to the movie preview. The chatter around the movie indicated that it had been a comic beforehand, that's the extent of my knowledge. The movie does look pretty damn good, though.

I usually don't hold bad movies against directors because there are many factors than can affect the final product. Heck, I even gave Uwe Boll a bunch of chances before I resigned myself to the fact that I didn't like any of his movies. M. Night is another one of those that doesn't usually make films I enjoy, but he did well with Sixth Sense and Lady in the Water (even though he made himself a messiah in that one).

User avatar
Rolistespod
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:22 pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Bande Dessinée (not graphic novels nor comics Nah!)

Post by Rolistespod » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:39 pm

Well the thing is most of what he directed (or more often produced) since 5th Element have been repeated disappointments and I have don't think most of those even managed to cross the Pond. In general, it's quite sad but French cinema has known better days.

However, I found Lucy to be entertaining.

Valerian & Laureline is one of those BD I saw in shop windows or as posters in my childhood and teenage years but never took the time to get into (Thorgal is another example).

Quite excited to give it a try.
Kalum from The Rolistes Podcast
Twitter/Instagram: @RolistesPod
Show via WordPress, ITunes, Stitcher & most podcast apps

Welcome among The Rolistes!

Farlander
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:33 pm

Re: Bande Dessinée (not graphic novels nor comics Nah!)

Post by Farlander » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:55 pm

I had not heard of Valerian and Laureline before seeing some of the early promotion for the movie, but heard that it was influential to the design and world-building of Star Wars, which got me curious. So I looked up the comics, and found that four volumes had been printed in English, so I ordered them.

Overall, they weren't quite what I expected. I guess I'm spoiled by Moebius, whose phenomenal artwork and entrancing worlds were my previous window into French comics or graphic novels. There are some visionary elements in this series by Mezieres and Christin, but the actual artwork has a hasty feel about it that isn't as much to my taste, particularly in the rendering of the lead characters. The first book is The City of Shifting Waters, which has our intrepid heroes time-traveling back to a flooded New York City, circa 1986. This is not quite the introduction I was hoping for into the European vision of fantastical worlds, though the post-apocalyptic elements do at least transform the environment. There's a mad scientist who looks like Jerry Lewis, playing to the old stereotype about the French: Germans love David Hasselhoff. My favorite bit is when the heroes are captured by a machine that shoots out giant bubbles, which float them helplessly into the villain's lair. Overall, City of Shifting Waters introduces the characters well, but seemed like a wide detour from the space fantasy stuff I was anticipating based on the hype for Luc Besson's new movie.

Empire of a Thousand Planets, the second volume, and The Land Without Stars, the third, are more in line with that fantasy world vision, and I enjoyed both of them considerably more. There's some evolution to the drawing, so I can hope that the lead characters start to feel more aesthetically appealing the further into the series we go, as the artists grow and develop. These are titles that seem likely to have served as inspiration for the film; though there are around 8 other volumes in French that haven't been published in English yet, so perhaps elements from those plots informed the movie. The Empire of a Thousand Planets certainly sounds close to the movie title, but after watching the film, I don't see a lot of other similarities in the plot. These books were originally drawn and written in the early 70's. I've no idea how the English translations vary in comparison to the French; there's always a difficulty in porting tone, style, and idiom from one language and culture to another.

With regards to the movie, I was happy to have seen it on the big screen, because it was lush and beautiful, with a wealth of detail in settings, alien races, artifacts, and absurdly wonderful technology that my brain absorbed with absolute delight. The casting of the leads was unfortunately a mark against the film, for me. Valerian in particular, the namesake of the movie (Laureline somehow having lost her top billing from the comics), was not a character who pulled me in. He seemed too young, insufficiently charismatic to hold the center, and was hamstrung by some clumsy writing. I thought that Clive Owen, who has a smaller role as one of the antagonists, would have done far better in the lead role as Valerian. There was a portion of the film in which Valerian disappears, and we follow Laureline instead. It was much better, until she rescued him, and then he was there again, being mediocre in the middle of a gorgeous spectacle.

Overall, the artwork in the movie surpasses what I've experienced in the graphic novels, thus far, but the writing in the books is better, and the concepts and design inspiration drawn from those books is an impressive springboard for any imagination to play with.

Post Reply