I saw it coming. I knew it from the start. Now everyone can see the truth (well, for now, only if you speak French but you’ll get the idea). The INCREDIBLE book by my longtime friend and collaborator Xavier Fournier just came out. Now forget everything you knew about comics and order that book. And unlike Kim Kardashian, it’ll REALLY break the internet in half!
Before I get to the point, a little anecdote.
Xavier Fournier and myself met through a mutual friend named David Fakrikian. And I’ll never thank David enough for introducing me to Xavier, who’s been a working partner and a loyal friend for 18 years. At the time, I was gathering a team to launch Comic Box. And David, who was in my first “X-Men” recommended Xavier very quickly. He said : “He’s crazy, he knows everything about comics, he’ll be perfect for you”. I called him up and the first thing he mentioned, was a book about comics he’d been gathering information for. He said with all the information and knowledge he got through his readings and research, it would be a “piece of cake” for him to write articles about comics. Especially since he was already an accomplished journalist in the mainstream daily press. Xavier was living in the countryside at the time and was doing his Comic Box work on the side while maintaining his day job at Le Dauphiné Libéré.
Then when I got confident enough to offer him a position in Paris, he moved to join us permanently at the bullpen. He never left (thankfully!).
And three years ago, I handed him the reigns at Comic Box while I got myself busy working on writing comics.
I never thought much of the initial book project again. But I knew, all these years, Xavier kept on collecting data, archive, information. It was only a matter of years until that body of work came out.
It just did.
Xavier is probably the most competent historian of American comics we have in France. He knows pretty much everything. He’s a human encyclopedia. And he also has a true passion for the history of American comics’ influences in France. That includes the history of past and present publishers AND the local creation of French-Americanized comics.
I always find very stupid to confine American comics to superheroes. Superheroes are the biggest and most visible family of characters in American comics, but not the only ones. Yet, their influence went way beyond their initial market.
Except… They weren’t really created in America. And that’s what Xavier demonstrates in his book. There were superheroes, both fictional and real life, in France, starting in the 19th century!
Shocking? Wait until you get to the last page of the book.
I really hope the publisher, Huggin&Munnin succeeds in licensing this volume to a british or American publisher so that english speaking audiences can read it and discover a lost world. Hundreds of superheroes that populated the pages of French publications for more than a century.
For those who can read (or Google Translate) French, please visit Xavier’s website. It’s a gold mine!
And to Xavier (he knows it but I’ll say it publicly) : THANK YOU.
To be continued folks.