Archive for Hergé

Ted Benoît (1947-2016)

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , on October 9, 2016 by xi'an

While not the most famous of French comics artists, Ted Benoît was a significant contributor to the “ligne claire” school in the continuation of Hergé and Jacobs. His masterpiece is called Berceuses électriques (1982), published at a time when I regularly read comics magazines like A Suivre, l’Écho des Savanes or Métal Hurlant (besides Charlie). The story itself is surrealistic or just plainly irrelevant, while the dialogues and drawings are both brilliant, set in an America borrowed from the 1950’s Noir novels, plus a dose of cynism from the 1980’s. A decade later, Benoît also contributed to the “Blake and Mortimer” series, after Jacobs’ death, drawing “L’Affaire Francis Blake” (1996) and “L’Étrange Rendez-vous” (2002). Both impeccable graphical outcomes, if somehow weak in the plots.

Blake & Mortimer [volume 20]

Posted in Books, Kids with tags , , , , , on January 8, 2011 by xi'an

The second part of La Malédiction des Trente Deniers has now been out for a month. This is volume 20 in the Blake & Mortimer series, but the drawings are (predictably) done by yet another artist, Antoine Aubin! The style is not that bad (despite yet another awful cover!), but the scenario by van Hamme is very poor and the story does not move much when compared with the first volume: both heroes manage to find the location of the tomb of Judas and survive the trap set by their enemies… In the previous post about the first volume, I was mentioning the Indiana-Jonesque feeling about the plot, but it got much stronger with this volume! A ray of light comes from the heavens and burns the bad guy on the spot, while Blake & Mortimer escape by an unlikely underground river, along with the young Greek woman who had betrayed them to save her fiancé… The story borrows to earlier Blake & Mortimer stories, for instance the underground exploration is reminiscent of the beginning of l’Enigme de l’Atlantide, but the connection with Hergé s Tintin is stronger: the evil Beloukian behaves like Rastapopoulos in Flight 714, the shipwreck and the escape on a home-made raft is very similar to the one in The Red Sea Sharks, and several drawings evoke the atmosphere of The Black Island. Hopefully, the next volume will see a clear improvement by the new team, Sente and Julliard, but their botched Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent is not very promising…

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