I was in Paris this past week on vacation and returned yesterday afternoon jet-lagged and broken from nearly 8 hours on the plane and an inflight viewing of "Skyline". However, I quickly perked up this morning as I unpacked my suitcase full of French comics and art books. The city architecture was amazing, and the food was great of course, but the real highlight may have been all the sick comic shops [and even a vintage game store] that I came across on my day to day travels.
I picked up an issue of the French graffiti magazine "Blazing" for an extended train ride that my wife and I took. There is such a jaw dropping amount of graffiti in the outskirts of Paris, it would seem that 1 in 5 citizens was a writer! Along the RER rails from the airport into the city, it just goes on for miles and miles. Lots of shitty stuff, but some really amazing pieces too.
I had to get some Moebius while I was in Paris, and apparently just last year he released a new Arzak book entitled "Arzak L'arpenteur"; which is kind of an origin story of his most famous character. His line work is incredible as always, though this time the pages are colored digitally. This certainly gives the book a different look, but still very cool . I also just added a comparison image of his mid-90's "Panzer Dragoon" cover illustration, as there are undeniable parallels between his Panzer and Arzak works. Not sure how widely known this is, but Moebius collaborated with Team Andromeda during the development of "Panzer Dragoon" and its sequel "Zwei".
Above a short comics compilation by French artist Enki Bilal entitled "Memoires D' Outre-Espace" and an art book featuring my favorite Italian artist Tanino Liberatore. [concepts, illustration work, early comics] I was pretty psyched to find this one because most of the work I hadn't seen before.
So I guess I'm late to the party on this one, but Hugo Pratt was [and still is] a huge deal in France. His black and white work is gorgeous, and I'm really into his main character and comic, this badass sailor and adventurer "Corto Maltese". I picked up this new art book "Le Voyage Imaginaire d'Hugo Pratt" which is a collection of his work from various comics throughout the years; also a little postcard. As soon as I saw Corto on the shelf, I was instantly reminded of Jotaro from "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure". Anyone else think that Araki was possibly influenced by Pratt's character? Loads of similarities, not just in his dress, but also his vibe and attitude.
Finally, I got my hands on a copy of the Tekkonkinkreet "White Side" hardcover art book which features all the background matte paintings from the animated movie. Legendary stuff in here. I was cursing the weak US dollar all the way on this bad boy, but well worth the money. Now to track down it's companion, "Black Side", which features all of the character design.