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Category Archives: Translations

Bande Dessinée: A Physical Culture? MUSCUDERZO!

by Philippe Capart

Translated by Annick Pellegrin

Edited by Lise Tannahill

Original publication: Capart, Philippe. “La Culture de la bande dessinée, une culture physique ? MUSCUDERZO !” TONIQUE avril 2017. Print.[1]

 

 

A School for Unlearning

Bande dessinée gives one the impression of reading without thinking. Like a laxative that transforms the literate person into a savage and the illiterate person into a criminal. After the industrial and methodical pulverisation of millions of people—World War II—Western educators, be they Communist, secular or Christian, agreed on the source of juvenile delinquency: THE ILLUSTRATED PRESS FOR CHILDREN.[2] They worked hand in hand, fighting to control, restrain or ban the series of little figures on paper. For many of those literate men and women, only single-panel illustrations, the statue-like figure firmly attached to its textual pedestal allowed one to preserve the model, the exemplary and the ideal. But a sequence of images was the victory of the trivial over the sacred. Thus, in their eyes, bande dessinée became a manual leading the pseudo-reader to mimic a series of figures. When they were noble actions, no problem, but when they were burlesque exaggerations, violent actions, sex, they were veritable manuals for troublemaking, guides to lust and crime.

“En ce temps, la bédé était un divertissement pour minus !” [At the time, comics were a form of entertainment for wimps!] Morris[3]

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Death to Bandes Dessinées! Long Live Hypergraphy

(Geste hypergraphique by Roberto Altmann, 1967)

by Antoine Sausverd

Translated by Annick Pellegrin

Edited by Lise Tannahill

Original publication: Sausverd, Antoine. “« À mort les bandes dessinées ! Vive l’hypergraphie ! » (Geste hypergraphique de Roberto Altmann, 1967)” TONIQUE avril 2017. Print.

For bande dessinée, the year 1967 seemed to favour formal and aesthetic experiments. After Les Aventures de Jodelle (1966), Pravda la survireuse appeared in the pages of the monthly Hara-Kiri from January to December, before being published in album format in 1968. The stylisation of shapes and the uniform solid colours were openly inspired from the pop art aesthetic. Similar to the exquisite corpse,[1] Saga de Xam by Nicolas Devil was an epic work that bore the marks of the counter cultures of its time: from chapter to chapter, the work alternated between various graphic styles, challenging established page layout norms.[2] The texts were written in three alphabets, two of which were invented and undecipherable, unless one consulted a correspondence table at the end of the work. Finally, the same year saw the release of the first situationist comics: posters and tracts reproduced bandes dessinées and replaced the content of the speech bubbles with excerpts of revolutionary political theories advocated by the Situationist International, that would play a significant role in triggering May 1968. It was also in 1967 that Geste hypergraphique, a strange album just as original as the previous ones, was published in Liechtenstein. Completely unnoticed at the time and still largely unknown to date, this “hypergraphique narration en 15 chants” [hypergraphic narration in 15 songs] was the work of a young Cuban aged 25, Roberto Altmann, who was at that point part of the lettrist group.

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Natacha: Flying Bellhop

by  Philippe Capart

Translated by Annick Pellegrin

Edited by Lise Tannahill

Original publication: Capart, Philippe. “Natacha : Groom de l’air.” La Crypte tonique nov/déc 2012: 28-34. Print.[1]

Peyo’s Gang

Peyo, Franquin, Will, Tillieux and Roba, the creative nucleus of the magazine Spirou, were buddies. Stuck at their drawing tables for long days, they occasionally needed to get together and often went out as a gang. However, Gos specifies: “But it was their… they were friends amongst themselves, as for us, we were a generation below, hey!”. There were drinking parties that sometimes made Mondays a difficult day for the team. According to Gos,

François [Walthéry] understood psychology better than I did, he had said to me “For God’s sake! Don’t come and show your drawings on Mondays, he may have partied hard on the Saturday and still be headachy, it’s not the right time to show him what we’ve done! I never show him anything on Mondays, I show him on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.” François, he’s a “clever peasant” as Peyo used to say.
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A Survey of Flemish Comic Strips Under Nazi Occupation

A Deceptive Crusade In Flanders Fields – Part 3/3[1]

by Danny de Laet

Translated by Lise Tannahill

Edited by Annick Pellegrin

 

Original publication: de Laet, Danny. « La BD flamande sous l’occupation : Entre croix gammée et croisade faussée. » La Crypte tonique septembre – octobre 2013: 35-44. Print.[2]

Lots of young people got their break with Henri Winkeler, who was already interested in animated cartoons before the war, so much so that he wanted to create a studio, funded by Wilfried Bouchery (who, after the war, would produce Claude Misonne’s animated version of Hergé’s Tintin adventure The Crab With The Golden Claws). To achieve this, he hired several students from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp: Bob de Moor, Ray Goossens, Jules Luyckx, Marcel Colbrandt and a few others including Jef Nys. This greatly displeased their tutor, Baron Opsomer, who threatened to expel them. Only Nys, after working on Smidje Smee for three days, would return to the fold.

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A Survey of Flemish Comic Strips Under Nazi Occupation

A Deceptive Crusade In Flanders Fields – Part 2/3[1]

by Danny de Laet

Translated by Lise Tannahill

Edited by Annick Pellegrin

 

Original publication: de Laet, Danny. « La BD flamande sous l’occupation : Entre croix gammée et croisade faussée. » La Crypte tonique septembre – octobre 2013: 35-44. Print.[2]

 

 

How Did The Situation Evolve?

 

The situation evolved in two ways. Firstly—as noted—with the disappearance of some existing media and then the emergence of replacement media, combined with the (political) evolution of those pre-invasion publications that remained. For some illustrators this meant certain promotion and considerable financial gain; for others, more cautious or politically opposed, it meant putting their careers on ice. Two young artists made the most of this new situation, by hook or by crook: DeBudt and Vandersteen.

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