Are you a comic book kind of guy or more of bande dessinée reader? A geek or a bédéphile? What if I tell you that you don’t have to make a choice? No really, I shit you not. It’s like someone asking you to choose between your mother and your father. It’s just fucking cruel. Why would you want to choose when you can have the best of both worlds anyways? But here is the thing, comic books, and in particular in Europe, are still regarded as a cheap and worthless distraction for the kiddies. BDs, which is the short form for bandes dessinées (literally drawn strips), on the other hand are often seen as a very thought-out, intellectual stimulating almost bourgeois form of entertainment for us oh so wealthy and tight-assed Europeans. In other words: a boring pile of shit. Those non-believers couldn’t be further from the truth because there are tons of great BDs that could not only work well but also sell in the American market if only somebody would have the cojones to support those kind of publications.
With that thought in mind I decided to compile a list of 3 BDs that I’m pretty sure would appeal to BD, manga & comic-book fans alike. Because truth be told, at the bottom of the line BDs are just comic books produced in Europe. Again I am not trying to come off as a preacher, or a wise-ass for I myself have never cared for BDs until just recently. BDs, manga, comic books, manhwa… they may not all have the same cultural influence, the same subjects and interests, the same background history but they all follow the same goal which is to spark our interest, our imagination. They allow us to dwell into different worlds and give us the opportunity to escape our tiresome daily routine.
So without further ado let me show you the 3 BDs that kick-started my new and ever-growing interest in Franco-Belgian comic books. Because I haven’t been collecting enough shit as it is…
Nicodemus Red by Didier Crisse & Maba
A hunt like none before. A trip to the unknown. And yet many brave men and women will take part on this quest of unpreceeded proportions organized by the government of Amériland. A dragon hunt that will lead our heroes and their rivals into the freezing mountains of Hillrude. Written by Didier Crisse and drawn by Maba this steam-punkish fantasy-filled BD is a blast to read. The first and only volume out so far ”Les dragons d’Hillrude” was put out in 2013 by Ankama Éditions.
Ekhö – Monde Mirroir by Christophe Arleston & Alessandro Barbucci
It is the flight that would change Fourmille’s life forever. The plane that should have taken her to New York gets hit by a thunder which causes Fourmille to faint. When she awakens she finds herself in a distant world. A familiar and yet completely different world to ours: Ekhö. Fourmille and her seat neighbor Yuri will have to adapt quickly and learn how to fit in a world where fantasy becomes reality. The first volume of this hopefully long-lasting series ”New York” was put out by Soleil Productions in 2013. Fair warning: some of the art depicted in this book may come over as a little too voluptuous for younger readers. So yeah in case you’re not into that kind of thing (really?): boob alert!
Miss Deeplane by Stéphane Louis & Véronique Daviet
Admired for her courage. Idolized for her kindness. Glorified for her beauty. Miss Deeplane is the world’s most famous super-heroine. A super-heroine like none before. The offspring of an alien and descendant of a ligne of druids who themselves are descendants of a freakin’ gallic god. Like I said, a super-heroine like none before. Ok this book may be a little to edgy for some of you as it contains quite a bit of nudity. Full-frontal nudity that is. The first volume ”Tomber les masques” was put out by Éditions Claire de Lune in 2013. Superheroes, boobies and beavers! OH MY!