Comics, Graphic Novels whatever you call them – they really are mainly the domain of the geek and within that, the male geek. Quite possibly not something the ordinary woman on the street would be interested in venturing into. Sadly, I’ve been into these shops and I can promise you – if it had been my decision I wouldn’t have bothered. They tend to be dark, smelly places full of comics with scantily clad women of bizarre proportions who are either fighting off the baddies or are being rescued. This is something I’m not interested in reading and the shops wouldn’t encourage me to start.
For the most part I think I prefer the comic strip rather than on going story – I still read For Better Or For Worse, Hägar the Horrible, and the all time wonderful Calvin & Hobbes! These are all generally available in conventional book shops and online – which brings me to Paris!
Paris has a whole different culture and association with the comic form. There genuinely does seem to be a Bande Dessinée (bd) for everybody! By everybody I do mean me of course!
We went into FNAC – something like the old Virgin Megastore where they had music, tech, games, books .
Other shops we went to were Boulinier – this could almost be described as a second hand version of Virgin – cash desk is straight in the door – music on first floor, BD on second floor. I don’t think it’s second hand but you can get the odd ‘occasion’
Another shop we went into is Gibert Jeune – now this is one hell of a chain of shops! They have individual shops for Music & BD, Occult, Educational, Stationery, Books – you name it they have a shop for it!
Then we ventured into the dedicated comic shop – Album. However like some of the other shops they had several within yards of each other – one for Manga, one for american comics. one for figurines and another for independent cross genre BD. Funnily it was the ones that stocked the stuff we could get here that were dark and verging on dingy, all of the others were bright and airy…
Last year I came home with “Débordée, Moi? Plus Jamais” – now it’s developing a close relationship with my french dictionary (this does tend to slow things down)
This year I may have added to this and thereby starting a collection (whoops!)
I spotted one book: 40 ans c’est pas vieux pour un arbre
As himself said could it be that it’s coming down the track to me at a rapid rate? Well Yes is the answer! (although I’ve still another 10 days before I hit 39!!!) however one might as well embrace the whole thing!
I spotted it in FNAC but decided to see if I could pick it up else where – I don’t know why ’cause in France there is a single price for the goods no matter which shop you went into unlike here where you shop around for the best price.
When we were in Boulinier I spotted another BD and thought Ooh! that looks nice! so the internal promise to myself was – I’ll buy that in the shop where they have the 40 ans book! They didn’t have it 😦 However Gibert Jeune did but I didn’t like the quality – so declined. In the end I decided FNAC was the place to get it, we went back, only to find there was a signing on and we were slowly descending the escalator into throngs of teenage girls and their screaming hormones!
We came back the next day.
So on the last day we went back to FNAC and picked up 40 ans AND Le Temps Perdu.
Now doesn’t that look lovely? From looking at his book shelf I’ve often found that the cover can be somewhat misleading. They are truly beautiful and then you open the cover and it’s a bit Ah!
This is a full story rather than comic stripes and it is so beautifully painted (I’m saying painted ’cause it all looks like watercolour)
On my/our hunt for these two I found one other that I simply couldn’t leave behind! Let me introduce you to Joséphine by Penélope Bagieu
How could I leave a pear shaped beauty behind? There’s so much of me in her that I had to have it!!! Due to the fact that a fair few of frames are silent it makes it a lot easier to read.
There were a few others that I spotted in the hunt that I would have given anything to buy but luggage & budget allowances were against me. So I’m thinking – online ordering and I believe I can get some of them from the Apple bookstore – woohoo!
As you can see there’s a slight theme/genre thing going on here: life of the modern female – something that isn’t available over here.