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Showing posts with label Marcel Uderzo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marcel Uderzo. Show all posts

Feb 9, 2009

CineBook - Biggles Recounts | Rugger Boys | 2007

Distributor in India: West Land | Price: INR 195 | Color | Pages: 48 | Laminated/HardCover

Thanks to all the Comikers who travelled with us back in time to re-live the yesteryear Tamil Comics, Thigil, in our last post, and chose to leave their valuable comments.  My replies to the same could be found at the end of the post.  No surprises, that old comics review would be an integral part in our future posts. But for now, we are back to our favourite CineBook instalments, as we will be looking into two more sets from their famed batch release in India last year.

Biggles First up the order will be a known hero for Comicologists, the famous British Novels, Biggles, who was brought in comic format through one of the  famed Franco-Belgian genre creators Francis Bergese.  If you had been following Comicology regularly (which I am sure you would), then you would recall that we covered an exclusive post on the Biggles Indian debut through Euro Books.  If you had not read it yet, now is a good time, as I have updated that post, to make it in line with the Comicology’s trend of detailing the creators behind the series, and a complete account of the originals; a concept which was originally pioneered at Comicology, and now being followed by fellow comics bloggers.  So in many ways, the update to the earlier post is a bonus for this post.

Biggles Recounts 1: The Falklands War
ISBN: 978-1-905460-22-9
Biggles Recount 01 Cover1
BR 1: BackCover
Size: A4 | Published: 2007
Biggles Recount 01 Cover2

Biggles Recounts is a new French series, which is different from its predecessor Biggles series, by the way that except the title, the storyline doesn’t always revolve around the main character Biggles.  The series is more like a self account of Biggles, during the real historical events which has happened through the World Wars which shaped the world as we see it today.  Since the Biggles character is fictional, the writers have the flexibility of basing him in every historical incidents, thus it is narrated as if Biggles had experienced the events from a first person point view.

So, if you had been expecting Biggles adventurous series, then you have to take a reality check, before browsing through these historical archives, delivered in graphical format.   Since the impact of W.E.Johns and Francis Bergese to the Biggles are already discussed in detail in our earlier post, we will look at the storyline and new artist/writer duo for this two set series.

The Falklands War is set in 1982, in the backdrop of the decade long conflict between Britain and Argentina, over the ownership of Falkland Islands. Deciding to make a head start over the 500 years of futile claims and negotiations, Argentina forcefully occupies the Islands.  A British task force is deputed it reclaim the island, which brews into a full blown war between the cross continent countries, with Argentine garrison finally accepting its defeat.  The war actually paved way for a testing ground for the modern weaponry of electronic warfare's, where Britain stamped its authority to the world.  Surprising even though the title says it is Biggles, the character itself doesn’t make any appearance in 48 page comic book, which takes the sheen out of this historical issue.

This was originally released in French titled Biggles raconte la bataille des Malouines in 2003.  This was a new series consisting of a team of brand new writer and artists, in the form of Bernard Asso & Joel Rideau donning the role of Writers, while the artwork was taken care by the duo of Daniel Chauvin & Marcel Uderzo (who is the older brother of Asterix creator Albert Uderzo).  None of these creators were known uniquely for their other work, so it says best about their attempt to create a pot-luck out of the Biggles brand.  I should say that even though the historical accounting is real good concept, I cannot help but noticing the fact that it was little over-used for a graphic novel format.

Biggles Recounts 2: Battle of Britain
ISBN: 978-1-905460-39-7
Biggles Recount 02 Cover1
BR 2: BackCover
Size: A4 | Published: 2007
Biggles Recount 02 Cover2

Bergese's Artwork in Biggles The second album on Biggles Recounts, is the Battle of Britain, where the story unfolds in the Spring of 1940. The Third Reich forces streamed into the north-west of France, after pushing through Sedan.  France crumbled within 35 days.  The Germans pressed their advantage and trapped the British Expeditionary Corps in a corner.  English army managed to escape back to England.  And the fate of the world was rested on the shoulders of a handful of men, the Pilots of RAF, where our fictional hero Biggles is placed in service.  The story then unfolds his team’s adventures through these war torn times, which also interlinks with the real event about the Bombing of Germany in 1943-45.

This was originally released in French titled Biggles raconte la bataille d'Angleterre in 2003. The story was again scripted by Bernard Asso, along with real historical events for which the Biggles Recount series is aimed at.  Surprisingly Francis Bergese, stepped into add his charm to the series which he revolutionized in 90’s.  I should say that his art has breathed new life into the series, which at times over-weighed by the predominant historical events.

CineBook has shown its keenness to publish the Biggles Recount series, as they have at present launched a 3rd album in UK (this time Biggles recounting the Wright Brothers from their early years; that’s sounds interesting), which is yet to reach India.  Moreover, CineBook have also started to reprint the Biggles series from 90’s, starting of with Spitfire Parade.  That and 13 other from this series have already been released in India by Euro Books.  So we might not being seeing CineBook Biggles editions over here.

Overall Biggles & CineBook seem to have got locked in for a long partnership, which is only good news for all the Biggles fans.

The next CineBook series review for this post would be Rugger Boys.  I wanted to review this long back, along with the Children Category posted earlier at Comicology.  But, this was clearly a set which I couldn’t quite fit into that sect.  It neither could make it into the more mature Winch & IR$ comics series review post at Comicology.  And since I strongly felt that this series doesn’t deserve a complete post on its own, I had to plug this in with the Biggles post over here.

I might be sounding pretty harsh about it, but the fact remains that Rugger Boys is a series which you can safely ignore from the lot delivered by CineBook.  It talks about the stories and adventures of a French Rugby team named PAC (Paillar Athletic Club), rightly subtitled as “Old Muckers”.  It showcases a bunch of rogues, dim-wits, half-minds, and their adventures, as they walk the breath and width of Europe in the name of the Rugby club.

RuggerBoys Inner ArtMake what you want out of this description text on the first title

“They’re sturdy Frenchmen, big eaters and drinkers, more physical than intellectual, more losers than winners… The Rugger Boys.  With them, readers infiltrate the heart of the cloakroom, the scrum, the clubhouse and all the nuisances you can ever dream of in your life.”

Look at the naming of some of the lead characters in this group: Lightbulb, Fat Neck, Anaesthetist, Trumpeter and Romeo.  They are also two others named Trunk and Ding-Dong, the reasons for the name are strictly “censored”.  Come-on I know there are some kids who read Comicology too :)

The series is written by Beka and comically illustrated by Poupard.  I couldn’t find much details about these creators, except a bio on the Original French publishers of the series, Bamboo’s website, for which I have them linked-to.  Explore them more, if you would like.  As for me, I will give them a miss, until they come up with some series which is worth talking about.

Rugger Boys 1:Why Are We Here Again?
ISBN: 978-1-905460-33-5 | B6 | Published: 2007 
Rugger Boys 01 Cover1

Talking about a good point, I did like Poupard’s comical sketch work, an example of which you could se right above. 

One another thing I noticed in their layout, is the top most corner art, which symbolically denotes the subject of the particular page.  The last time I remember this concept being utilised was in Ducoboo, which we discussed earlier at Comicology.

Rugger Boys 1: Why Are We Here Again

The Rugger Boys are invited to England to play some friendly games.  What’s in store for them over there is full of surprises, as they are introduced another kind of rugby.  The story travels around their exploits and their eventual return to their home.  Do they come up Triumphs is the overall subject of this instalment.

The Original edition of this book was released in French titled Les Rugbymen – On n’est pas venus pour etre la in 2006, by Bamboo.

Rugger Boys 2: A Spoonful of Style and A Tonne of Class

In Spoonful of Style, the All Blacks look for a sparring partner in order to prepare for the World Cup.  The stars of the team, Lightbulb, Fat Neck, Anaesthetist, Trumpeter and Romeo, can’t resist the call of the southern hemisphere.  The story is full of Cauliflower ears, broken noses and black eyes for which the Rugger Boys series seem to have aplenty.

The Original edition of this book was released in French titled Les Rugbymen – On va gagner avec le lard et la maniere in 2007, by Bamboo.

Overall, I should agree that there are some comical and funny moments pictured in these stories, but there is a clear over-dose of adult jokes and caricatures, which may only impress a few sects of the crowd.  It’s something which you can give a miss for sure, as they find their place in my collection only for the name sake.

It also seems Cinebook have themselves made their mind about the same, as there are no plans or announcements regarding a next issue in this series, even though the original French publishers Bamboo seem to have printed 7 albums so far on these characters.  Yeap… I agree there are some who might be liking these kind of stories too.. :)

Rugger Boys 2: A Spoonful of Style
and A Tonne of Class
ISBN: 978-1-905460-44-1 | B6 | Published: 2007
Rugger Boys 02 Cover1

And that brings us to the close of another CineBook review here at Comicology, which compared to the others which were discussed over here, should be the lowly rated instalments from the famed publishers. To improve things for better, we will take up some classic titles for our next Cinebook review, which may be of interest many Comicologists over here.  Stay tuned, to know more.

Wish you all a Happy Week ahead.  Have Fun & nJoY, while I will be back with another post shortly (probably our Muthu Comics latest issue review, which is yet to reach my hands). Adios Amigos !


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