For its 25th anniversary, the editions Delcourt publishes, in prestige Edition, twelve key works of their catalog. The opportunity to draw up a list – arbitrary and assumed – of the 30 essential comics to be included in the ideal library of the 21st century.
What if the cartoon gets into the Pleiades? Without waiting for this hypothetical event, and on the occasion of their 25th anniversary, éditions Delcourt decided to publish a dozen exceptional works: from From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, through the origin of Marc-Antoine Mathieu and The New York Trilogy by Will Eisner. These leading comics with a catalog of nearly 2500 titles prove-if there was still any need for them-that comics have now gone beyond the stage of critical and public recognition.
Founded in 1986 by the young guy Delcourt, passionate about comics, Les éditions Delcourt has now become one of the first three French publishing houses of comics. The movie has not deceived, who adapted, for example, the From Hell by Moore and Campbell, with Johnny Depp and Heather Graham, in 2001. We can see that in France, as in all world cinematography, the 7th art draws its inspiration more and more regularly from comic books, in the same way as literature or theatre.
Precisely in the ideal library of the “Honest Man” of the third millennium (in the sense in which the Rochefoucauld understood it in its maxims), what 30 reference works could be placed immediately?
In essence, the choice made here is arbitrary, subjective, and assumed. Tintinophiles may be offended to see only one album of the adventures of Tintin and Milou. The same applies to Asterix and Obelix by Uderzo and Goscinny and other iconic comic strips of yesterday and today.
The principle of this selection is to scan the main unavoidable works of the 9th art, trying to obtain a coherent and varied photograph, both temporal and geographical, from masterpieces published in comic strips, from the Franco-Belgian comic books to the manga books and American comic books. What emerges from this Florilege is the certainty that the series of adventures and Heroes of mythical comics, such as Lucky Luke, Corto Maltese, Blueberry, Largo Winch, Alix, Blake, and Mortimer or Valérian and Laureline form an imposing corpus.
Three distinct epochs are drawn in watermark: that of the so-called classical comic strip, from Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay, to Tintin and Milou by Hergé created in 1929, passing by Spirou or Lucky Luke. Then came the albums of modern comics, from Enki Bilal to François Bourgeon, Didier Comes or the tandem Schuiten & Peeters, not to mention a virtuoso like André Juilliard. Finally, in the 1990s, a new generation of authors such as Joann Sfar, Marjane Satrapi, and Blutch emerged, proving that comics are an eclectic universe in perpetual renewal. Bursting with culture and creation, as it should be.
If there were only one, it would be this one. The Temple of the sun, solar album, constitutes a precipitate of the genius of Hergé: mystery, adventure, exoticism, Inca treasure, cow humor (“when lama angry…”), without forgetting the last eclipse! An excellent introduction to all of Tintin’s albums.
This pharaonic album features a Cleopatra, more chips than ever with her nose to prick wafers. In 1963, the Uderzo-Goscinny tandem reached its peak. This sixth album is teeming with gags: hieroglyphics-Rebus, inenarrable architect Numérobis, without forgetting the nose of the Sphinx broken by Obelix. This is a masterpiece of humor that makes you want to read everything.
Emblematic Album of The Adventures of Blake and Mortimer, the yellow Mark (1956) plunges readers, with delight and fear, in a London “50’s” with Hitchcock, on the tracks of a mysterious villain signing his misdeeds of a “Mu” with yellow chalk. The Belgian and phlegmatic Edgar P. Jacobs, Hergé’s friend, signs here his “magnum opus”.
The African Adventures of the beautiful romantic sailor created in 1967 by The Venetian Hugo Pratt fascinate. Corto Maltese meets the Beni Amer Cush, a character as dangerous as he is endearing. The abstract, surreal sequence of rocks falling on Corto is mythical. The whole album is full of poetry and adventure. The large item
Without a doubt, Franquin’s Marsupilami remains one of the most touching creatures in the Franco-Belgian comic strip. In the nest of the Marsupilami, Spirou and Fantasio’s adventure companion must protect his home from the Jaguars, piranhas and other dangers of the Colombian jungle. A hilarious true-false wildlife documentary.