Friends With Boys - Page 65

Hm, fight. I bet this bubbling tension will just resolve itself offscreen. What do you think? XD

Okay, so proper blogging this week! I visited a friend in Quebec City last weekend, and go the chance to peruse some very lovely French bookstores, which always have amazing comic sections.  As a properly raised Canadian Kid (okay, my parents kind of fell down on the donuts and hockey thing, but they tried their best!) I grew up with the famous-everywhere-but-the-States Asterix and Tintin comics, and while in college I’d take trips to Montreal to enjoy the humongous French comic book (or bande dessinee) sections in pretty much every bookstore. Face it, French culture is straight up awesome when it comes to comics. The books are huge and lush, and reading them is like falling into some gorgeous painting. It’s really too bad so few of them are translated into English.

Anyway, while in QC I made a beeline for the nearest bookstore, not only to check out the bande dessinee but also to get my paws on some manga unavailable in English. Here’s pics!

Here’s the front of the comic store we visited. Every bookstore had a comic section, but this was specifically a bande dessinee store, no prose books.

A lovely display of comics in one of the store windows. A few were French editions of English comics.

The other end of the window display, with Elmer by my first publisher, SLG. If you haven’t read Elmer, I recommend picking it up. It’s a bizarre but touching satire about chickens becoming self-aware.

Inside the store had a little display table with local comics and zines out for display (some were in English). Zines and mini-comics always look their best when displayed like this; I cringe whenever I see them stuffed spine out on a shelf in a comic store.

A glowering painting of Captain Haddock oversaw the store.

I love seeing other editions of comics I like. Locas is a particular favorite, and I really like that cover. I love Hopey when she has long, dreadlock-y hair.

There’s a lot more manga published in French, too. Here’s volume 16 of Drops of the Gods (volume 1 has just now come out in English), and a couple of comics by Osamu Tezuka that I’m not familiar with at all. Okay, I’ve heard of the Unico animated movies, but I didn’t know there was a manga. Adorable!
The depth of the French manga section was kind of overwhelming… I posted a lot of pictures of various books in my twitpic account, which you can see here (scroll down a little bit).

Also, I found copies of Brain Camp at an English bookstore!

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into what a French comic book store looks like. In conclusion: Tintin.



26 Responses

  1. glopishloub says:

    i have to say that’s what makes me most proud to be french ^_^ As long as i can remember, there was always a shelf full of comics in the house. Too bad my wallet so thin! But i still go read some directly in the bookstore

    • Faith Erin Hicks says:

      Yes, that is my one complaint about album-sized French comics: they are very expensive! $18-25+ for a single album is a lot, when you can get an entire graphic novel for that price and manga for half that. Much as I like french comics, my wallet does not.

  2. Ben says:

    Growing up, I spent 3 years in Kenya and learned how to read using Astrix and Tintin. No real idea how I obtained them there, but ah well. Still have most of them too. Good memories.

    • Golux says:

      Asterix is winter reading in my family, English version of course. Up to 6 months of cold rain in the US PNW kind of keeps you indoors.

  3. staticgirl says:

    Ah (((French comics))). For years I read about them but struggled with my rubbish GCSE French. Now Cinebooks in Canterbury (UK) are selling French titles translated into English and I have started buying a few when finances allow. I wish I could buy pretty much all of them but hey ho.

    Hope you don’t mind me posting the link but there’s loads of pretty pictures on the website and it might give new French Comics fans a place to start…

    • Faith Erin Hicks says:

      Oh, excellent! I didn’t know about that site. Thanks for the link! I would really like more bande dessinee, but the cost (easily $18-25 per book) is kind of off putting when you can’t read the language.

  4. Vanessa says:

    Those of us sadly stuck state-side have a lot to be jealous of you Canadians for when it comes to comics. Even the French comics that do make it into English don’t do so in our stores very frequently. The last time I went to Vancouver I bought SO many comics because a lot of them I knew I’d never see here (and I was right!). In general, the French treat comics much more like an art form – it’s a reason to learn the language. (Then I’ll be able to read my Sky Doll book!)

    Also, about this page: my first thought was totally “Dun dun DUN!”. Drama! Great layout, page flow and panel cropping!

    • Faith Erin Hicks says:

      Yeah, the French-Canadian culture does give us more access to French comics. I was so surprised when I traveled to the States to visit family and none of the kids had heard of Asterix or Tintin! They were my favourites. I read somewhere that 1 in 5 books sold in France is a comic book, so comics make up a significant percentage of their bookseller market.

      • Vanessa says:

        Asterix I only found out about as an adult, though I’d heard of Tintin as a kid – I watched the animated show ALL the time. I wanted a dog just like Snowy! Though I only recently started seeing the comics here in the states.

        • Faith Erin Hicks says:

          I’ve met a few people who’ve never read the Tintin comics, but were familiar with the character through the TV show. I highly recommend picking up the comics, tho.

  5. Janna says:

    The tension is love. I tell you.

    French graphic novels. Yes. And it’s kind of funny how there are some titles translated into Polish (my native) and not into English! Like this beauty: (which takes place in Quebec actually).

  6. Mickie says:

    When will Superhero Girl a.k.a The Usual Powers come to paperback?

  7. reynard61 says:

    French-language comics may not be particularly famous in The States, but they’re hardly unknown. I was introduced to Tintin way back in the 1960s through a gift subscription from my grandparents to Children’s Digest. ('s_Digest) In fact, after a while, Tintin was pretty much the only thing that I would read from it because the rest of the magazine was getting too boring for my then-rapidly-developing reading skills.

    I was introduced to Asterix slightly later in Elementary school because the school library had several copies.

  8. clemon says:

    Re comic: Did Alistair and Matt break up or something? Or were they once friends? Or…I guess time will tell. (It better!)

    Re french comics: I did read a lot of Tintin and Asterix at the prompting of my dad when I young (by “read” I mean “look at the pictures”) My first introduction to comics! I’ve only read one QC comic, but they seem pretty fun.

  9. Clairikine says:

    I think your writeup of French comics is awesome. French comics are, accordingly, completely awesome.

  10. Anne says:

    I’ve never understood why there isn’t any scanlation of BDs going on. Not that I approve of scanlations or anything. But when you think about how much easier French is for English speakers to learn than Japanese, it just seems strange that there aren’t more people doing it.

    Luckily I can kind of read French. (A whole lot better than I can speak it – I don’t know how to pronounce half the words I know.) Anyways I recommend Yoko Tsuno – Belgian comic from the 70s about a female Japanese electrician who has space adventures among other things.

  11. Sporky says:

    Aw… Is that tension a challenge for the imaginations of fangirls? XD

    oh wow. It’s awesome to see a comic (Elmer) from my country earn itself to be placed in a French comic bookstore. I just found out from this post that it’s published internationally by SLG too. It’s filling me with wishful thoughts for the future of my comic artist career T_T

  12. Lana says:

    I no longer can promise not to continue commenting…

    I much like the clothing in the comic. Lucy’s style reminds me of Delirium from The Sandman, whimsical and a bit goth. Or whatever the kids are calling themselves these days. :-P
    Also, horned hoodie = super cute!

    Re French comic shops…
    I’m not very aware of French comics (besides Tintin) except for The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec.

    I bought the first volume not too long ago, after seeing it in the store and remembering seeing the trailer for the movie which Luc Besson directed. But even though *I* think he’s a big deal… it never got released here in the old US of A.

  13. Abu says:

    You completely ignored ‘From Hell’! HAW!

  14. Dieter says:

    I just came across your comic. Great story, amazing artwork (is that the correct expression)?

    “Tintin” is also very popular over here in Germany and the pictures of that shop make me want to go to my little trusted shop (even though it’s not that beautiful).

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Friends With Boys, webcomic edition!

Hello readers, new ones just discovering the comic and those who’ve been with it since the beginning. Friends With Boys is now complete online. You may read it in its entirety, all 200+ pages, for free, for the next eight days. Then the image files of the comic (except for a short preview) will be taken down. While the comic was being serialized online, I blogged a lot about my comic making process. I did write ups about how I make comics, what my opinions on what makes a good comic are, and pointed out various Easter eggs throughout Friends With Boys. That stuff will all remain up, so if you buy a hard copy of Friends With Boys, you can still read along with my thought process.

And now (today!), Friends With Boys is a published book! Yay! I hope that if you’ve read the web version and liked it, and want to support me as a creator, you’ll consider buying the book.

I’ve really enjoyed serializing Friends With Boys online. If you’re new to my work, I started out making comics online before moving into print. I posted the very first page of my very first online comic on my very first website back in August, 1999, and wow, was that page ugly. Here it is! Notice a weird similarity to the first page of Friends With Boys? Yeah, that was not deliberate, I promise. But look how much your drawing skills can improve if you draw thousands of pages of comics over a ten year period! Anyway, I’m really thrilled my wonderful publisher First Second Books has allowed me to return to my roots and put Friends With Boys online as a lead up to its publication. As a reader and purchaser of comics, I have bought quite a few hard copy versions of online comics, because I enjoy the reading experience of having the whole thing collected, and I want to support the author. I hope you will too. :)

Otherwise, there are a few upcoming events I hope to see some readers at:
Book signing! At my local comics shop Strange Adventures, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 3rd (Saturday), 2-4pm (EDITING TO ADD: The book launch has been moved to the following Saturday due to the books not shipping to Strange Adventures on time. The launch will now be March 10th from 2-4pm. Go here for info).
Comic convention! I’ll have a table at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, May 6th-7th. There are a few other conventions I am trying to attend, but everything else is up in the air at the moment. For updates, please follow my twitter or join my Facebook fan page.  I’m pretty good about updating those two spots.

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