Comic Books define the Iconic characters of our youth. Comic book characters and stories have led to an infinite number of movies, story revamps, television series and comic book continuums have kept us enthralled for almost a century. Whether you are a comic book fan or not we want to share our enthusiasm for comic books with you so that you too may become enthusiasts and certainly appreciate the creativity of the genre. We believe that “No worthwhile comic book series should go unread”. The World of Comic Books is a hard one to wade through if you’re a beginner. We want to share the creativity and fascination of this world with you and so after much discussion we have created two lists of the most important comic books. We compressed our lists into two categories to give you somewhere to start. We have chosen the Top 12 (Because top 10’s are overrated and 11 just wasn’t enough) must read Franco-Belgiancomic books series, or “BD” (bandes dessinées) – literally drawn strip (as we call them in Europe) and the Top 12 must read Anglo-American comic books (Originally written in English).
Creating the Top 12 Lists: This list of “must read” series was put together with the help of an informal group of friends, all lovers of Comic books. Our challenge for the top 12Franco-Belgium was to provide a list of comics published in English so that English-speaking readers unfamiliar with French-language would be at ease to read and order them. The downsize was that we were unable to include Comic legends like Yves Swolf and his incredible series “Durango”, “Prince de la nuit” and “Legend” also a series from Jean Van Hamme called “Les Maitress de L’orge”, Andre Cheret & Lecureux for their astonishing journey of “Rahan”, Hermann with his remarkable series “Jeremiah, Commanche, Bernard Prince, les Tours de Bois Maury”. There is also the new generation like Malfin& Pecqueur with “Golden City” and of course Leo with his classics “Kenya,Aldebran, Betelgeuse”. There are so many I cannot list them all. Nevertheless, most classics “BD” are now available in English.
Artistic criteria, importance, influence and recognition played a role to make it to the top 12 list. The re-occurrence of a Title, Writers, Graphics artists name’s or a series selected by our jurors made it commendable for the final list. Also, the selection of an individual book as an illustration is to some extent, arbitrary. There are other Tintin, Bob Morane, Valerian or Blueberrybook cover equally worthy of consideration within it’s own series. Some illustrations are not a book cover but a relic picture of the series.
Finally, to buy these books:
In French visit Fnac
Tribute to Moebius:
The Pope of Comic-Book illustration or as European’s calls it the “9th Art”, passed away on Saturday: Moebius joined the stars. His death is a tremendous loss to the World of Comics. Jean Giraud, alias Gir or Moebius has used his talents well beyond comics, influencing film, painting, design, and the very practice of realistic drawing. With a powerful imagination and an ability to evoke the unusual. His characters are already key in the pantheon of classic:Blueberry, Arzak, Major Fatal, John Difool, created by him or with his long time partners Jodorowsky and Charlier. Thousands of lines are not enough to tell the cultural contributions and richness of this superstar.
Tributes are overflowing from peers, the world of culture; Japan, the U.S, Europe and from the millions readers who once shared his fantastic dreams. I join them to wish Jean Giraud a safe trip to the stars and pay tribute by introducing our first issue of our “Top 24 Comic Books You Must Read” with an overview of some ofMoebius’ greatest works.
Goodbye Jean, and thank you for everything.
Our first Franco-Belgium pick: Jean Giraud, Gir, Moebius
A series of 6 Masterpiece (1981 -1989) written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Illustrated by Moebius (Alias Jean Giraud). Jodorowsky and Moebius worked together to create a film adaptation of Dune in 1974 at the time he had not made Arzach nor Airtight Garage saga who became the most prominent book associated with the French magazine “Métal Hurlant” which Moebius co-founded and which reshaped the world of comics. Visually, it was such a tour de force that it influenced virtually every artist that followed in that vein.
The film was never made, but instead of letting all their designs and ideas go to waste (3000 drawings) (1), they took those concepts and 7 years later envision “The Incal”. The Incal saga is a marvel of intricate visuals, but also of ideas, set in a vast galactic empire where aristocrats, humans and all sorts of species (Bergs) roam in well cities or floating citadels and Galaxies. It is a strange, dazzling world that Moebius andJodorowsky have created where the drama unfold at breakneck speed, and never let up as they keep laying down new innovations, characters, dangers and plot twists. Jean Giraud alias Moebius is certainly one of the best comics creator of all time.
THE SILVER SURFER
The Silver Surfer, a Marvel Comic superhero created by Jack Kirby appears for the first time in Fantastic four #48 in March 1966. A two-issue mini series titled Silver Surfer: Parable, scripted by Stan Lee and drawn by Moebius and published through Marvel’s Epic Comics was printed in 1988 and 1989. You have here a recipe for a perfect storm of cosmic legends. Stan Lee helped revolutionize American comics and Moebius is a pioneer who has become a legend in the scifi/fantasy comic world. This two-issue series is a must as one master was playing in another master’s backyard.
There are a lot of things worth examining in Moebius’s work. You could look at the differences between his work under the pseudonymMoebius (generally sci-fi/fantasy) and Jean Giraud (more realistic). Then you would have to look at his incredible work as Giraud in his French Blueberry series, the Western comic to beat all Western comics.
Blueberry started in Pilote #210 (dated October 31, 1963) and the first story was titled Fort Navaho. It was 46 color pages, the perfect length to be published as an album. More than a mere western comics, Blueberry transcends the genre of adventure comics. This underdog hero is one of few characters to actually age throughout the series. Giraud’s superb art and Charlier’s historical approach confers to this saga an unparalleled realistic atmosphere. Blueberry is definitely one of the best western series of all time.