Paris is by Andi Watson and Simon Gane. It's a neat little story set in 1950s Paris, and is sumptuously brought to life by Simon Gane who's artwork I have liked for a long time. I don't know if it echoes French New Wave cinema, or if, as that is my only experience of the specific time and place (eg. 'À Bout de Souffle', 'Vivre sa Vie'), I impress that experience onto the book myself. The 'opening credits' are indeed reminiscent of a film's opening scenes. I do know that the setting is very evocative, and the feeling of Paris, the city, drifts off the pages into your mind's eye. I really enjoyed it.
I have been following Lewis Trondheim's 'Petits Riens' for a while, and struggled (badly) through the French language - chuckling at the visual jokes (eg. the light sabre) and completely missing his effective yet simple narration and dialogue. So I'm delighted NBM have made a book out of them in English under the title Little Nothings - The Curse of the Umbrella. If you know Trondheim's work then you'll know this will be a treat - very funny, very familiar, and sometimes surprisingly moving (p.81!).
Another English translation, from its native Danish, is Sussi Bech's Nofret. Nofret and her twin sister, Kiya, are slave girls who get separated and Kiya becomes the wife of the Pharoah Akhenaten. When she is murdered, Nofret finds herself taking on her sister's identity, and intrigue, deception, friendship and jealousy are the order of the day (the day being Egypt in 1360 BC). The artwork is attractive and skillful, and the historical detail seems authentic, so you are immersed in a world where the story can take over. I guess you'd say it's a kids' comic, but has wider appeal (please don't use that horrible term 'all ages'). It's a little bit sexy in places, but it seems natural and is not done for titillation, unlike many American superhero comics which distastefully verge on the pornographic in their depiction of women. This is a refreshing European album, in the best sense, and I hope there is more of Sussi's work up for English translation in the future. You can buy it from Eudor Comics.
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