European Invasion Of America In Full Force
I’ve noticed a recent trend with comic book companies where they are offering more material from writers and artists, mostly artists, from Europe. American and Japanese comics are easy to find on the book shelf and I’m always looking to expand my reading habits.
There are several companies that specialize in European comics. There are three British comic book companies that I see regularly on the stands. Rebellion is a British comic book company most famous for 2000 AD and it’s most famous character Judge Dredd. Rebellion also publishes video games; their most well know game is the Sniper Elite series, which is getting it’s own comic in August. Titan Comics publishes mostly licensed comics, though they have some originals. Some of the titles they’re publishing right now are Doctor Who, Warhammer 40,000 and Tank Girl. They also publish a series of mystery and crime novels. The last British comic publisher I see regularly is Panini Publishing; they’re mostly known for publishing Doctor Who Magazine, but DWM has been running a comic since it’s earliest days. They also print collections of their Doctor Who comics.
From Spain comes Amigo Comics. They mostly print horror comics, but they’ve been pushing into more kid friendly fare. My favorite book from them is Rogues a fantasy parody comic about a couple of thieves that get caught up in various sword and sorcery shenanigans.
There are a few publishers that deal in French comics. Cinebook has many titles, you might recognize the title Valerian, which was turned into a movie by Luc Besson in 2017. And if you are a cinefile you might know of Alexandro Jordorowsky. He writes a book called Metabarons, many story details of which come from his unfilmed adaptation of Herbert’s Dune.
Even the big five have either dabbled or are currently publishing comics from European creators. Dark Horse has been reprinting Milo Manara’s comics in hardcover and paperback. In 2015 IDW bought Top Shelf Productions, which prints most of Alan Moore’s current comic work like the last two League of Extraordinary Gentlemen stories and the two Nemo spin offs. And if I’m talking about Top Shelf and Alan Moore I have to bring up From Hell; Moore’s story of Jack the Ripper. At 576 pages it’s a massive tome, but well worth the time invested. I’ve been thinking of rereading it again, if I can find my copy. In their June/August 2018 edition of Image+, there’s an interview with three European artists they have working for them right now. Of those three, two of them are being written by American writers, so I want to focus on Mirka Andolfo’s Unnatural. It’s about anthropomorphic animals living under a fascist regime, but it was the cover of the first issue that sold me on the book.
Another reason I wanted to read Unnatural is that it’s a mini-series being sold for four dollars an issue. Because the biggest problem with European comics is that they tend to be expensive. I’m not sure Humanoids, for example, publishes a book cheaper then twenty bucks. From Hell is thirty five, and worth every penny I assure you, but the pricing on these comics is a barrier. So I applaud companies like Image, Amigo and Titan for offering comics for a standard four dollar price point. In the mid-2000’s Marvel was publishing a number of French comics as part of their Soleil imprint. I was interested in several of them, but the cover price for most books was between five and eight dollars an issue and this was back when Marvel published comics with three dollar cover prices, so I wasn’t interested in spending two and a half times the standard cover price for some comics, French or not. One of those books, Sky Doll, was created by Alessandro Barbucci and Barbara Canepa who work for Disney Italy. Sky Doll’s third volume is now being published by Titan Comics for a four dollar cover price.