One of the longest-running has been Les McClaine's Jonny Crossbones. At one point it was to be published by Dark Horse, but it became a victim of recessiony cost-cutting and lost its place. But it's beautifully drawn and a super mystery story to boot, so I'm sure it will see print at some point. Les has been pretty busy recently so it's been a while since it updated, but there's plenty to see online in the meantime.
I've enthused about David O'Connell's Tozo plenty of times here, and there's good reason for that - it's a superb strip! It's a romantically-hued science-fiction tale, a bit art deco, a bit steam-punky, and a lovely world to get immersed in. Book three has just come out in print form.
Ellie Connelly is an adventuress of the late-Victorian era, and she's currently involved in the hunt for the legendary Energy Vortex, thanks to her creator, the fantastic Indigo Kelleigh. This is great historical adventure with a hefty twist of the supernatural thrown into the mix. Stirring and absorbing stuff!
A couple of new British-based webcomics have surfaced in the past few months, and both are worth mentioning here too. Michael Ewing (no relation) has been providing us with the antics of Hugo & Co. since last August. Each new instalment turns up the mystery and keeps you riveted, a very enjoyable read. And I also heard from Mike Dutton who impressed me greatly with his work on The Zander Adventure. I love the pastoral setting which lends one to think something of the atmosphere found in Asterix or the Smurfs, and on top of that the characters and dialogue provide some excellent chucklesome moments - I look forward to reading more!
One thing about making comics in the fairly rigid format of a classic Franco-Belgian album is that it forces you to keep a strong narrative going. It's not easy, and there is less opportunity to rely on a number of the shortcuts comic authors sometimes use. The progression of the story has to be kept clear and logical. It's a real discipline, but often results in a comic that keeps good sequential storytelling to the fore.
If you know of any more comics in the clear line style, or in the family of classic Franco-Belgian adventure tales, do leave a comment and a link!