Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bandes Dessinée

Have you heard of Adele Blanc-Sec?

Have you ever picked up any B.D.s (pronounced Bay-Days)while in Paris?

B.D. or bandes dessinée are hard bound comic books mostly for adults but very much available for kids as well. Bandes dessinée —in France is a place where the adult comic book is a major vehicle for communicating information and emotion," says Adam Gopnik. A French boyfriend got me started with Adele Blanc-Sec, a 19th century mystery series by Belgian artist Tardi.

Tardi is fabulous for his highly detailed views of Paris... I found this Eiffel Tower mystery at my local Alliance Francais library... Perfect reference for painting "Harvard"

Another of Tardi's terrific on the scene views - sur les toits de Paris

Did I mention reading BDs is a GREAT way to learn French colloquial slang. The balloons illustrate how the French really speak-slang! 

This BD tells the story of the everyday life of your typical French Joe Blow

I found this kid's BD in the foreign magazine area of Penn Station but you can find these at most Paris relais in the train stations. J'aime Lire is a popular kids (aux enfants de 7 à 10 ans) magazine.
I love the drawings and the handwriting as well as the dialogue

Artist Soledad Bravi, illustrates Pierre Herme's macaron boxes, does a wonderful series of comic books. You can find it at www.Amazon.fr
You've probably seen this cat somewhere or other - Phillipe Geluck, another Belgian BD artist, even has his chat immortalized in chocolate at Galler.
And speaking of chocolate, Chocolat Michel Cluizel has a fine way to understand how his products are made in a 72 page bande dessinee! Think about it next time you're in Paris and stop in a BD shop.


  1. Anonymous1:56 PM

    Great post! Thanks for alerting me to this wonderful art form.

  2. I especially love the art work in the the detective series!
    Very nice illustrations all around.

  3. Foodwalker8:02 PM

    This was great.
    I'll tell my French class about it.

  4. Laurie8:07 PM

    I have seen many of these "BD" shops in Parisand always wondered what lurked within..
    Now I shall enter and enjoy. These are FABULOUS!

  5. JoAnne S.8:09 PM

    LOVE Geluck's Le Chat and the choco book.
    Delighted to discover the witty Solidad- I have one of her PH boxes in fact!

  6. That's one big dog, Carol!!

  7. This is awesome! I love the drawings and scene in Paris, very beautiful. Thanks for featuring this here.

  8. Great finds! Though I haven’t got ant BD yet but I would like to get one.

  9. Great finds! Though I haven’t got ant BD yet but I would like to get one.

  10. I have been following your blog for some time now; and I LOVEEE it:) I am heading over to Paris at the beginning of September, and I want to visit some pastry shops while I am there. I turn to you for advice on the best ones to visit-- or the ones worth checking out.

  11. Madelina, there are tons of pastry shops on PB..just do a search in the upper left corner
    I have no favorites - they are all worthy of visits
    Why not discover something new!

  12. Thanks for showing the French comic books on your blog, especially Tardi.

  13. Parisbreakfast7:02 AM

    TARDI is still one of the best IMO!!! and he's been around since 1976!

  14. What sleuth! How on earth did you find out who designs PH's macaron boxes??Would you consider tracking down the theft of my Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder? The Hack detective I've had working on the case is getting nowhere.


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