The Luc Besson adaptation of Jacques Tardi's ADELE BLANC-SEC movie, due this Spring, now has a teaser trailer which can be seen here:
No shots of Adele herself yet, but the bearded fellow in the final scene is Armand Fallières, whose name Jeopardy! champions (paging Ken Jennings!) will shout out, preceded with "Who is...?" — if the clue is "President of France from 1906-1913." Encouragingly, the scene is taken straight from the book. Will this be a movie adaptation of a classic comic that remains totally faithful to the original, without COUGH*Watchmen*COUGH embalming it?
I'm sure everyone is now thinking, "Gee, with that ADELE movie coming out, wouldn't this be a great time to re-release those ADELE books that Dark Horse and NBM released the first few volumes of back in the last century, although preferably with spiffed-up lettering and a brilliant new translation, in time to enjoy some of that movie P.R.?"
One of the funnest parts of editing the CRITTERS anthology lo these many years ago (1985 to 1990 if you're counting -- gah, two, two and a half decades ago!) was working on the great "Gnuff" stories by my old buddy Freddy Milton. I was always sorry that there was not enough demand for these charming, neo-Barksian adventures to graduate to their own books, and of course by now those original CRITTERS comics are nigh impossible for find.
Well, thank God for the internet! Freddy, who is now a respectable retired gentleman of leisure (although he still cartoons up a storm), has been amusing himself by combining the original CRITTERS translations with color art files done for the Danish edition, and if you go here you can read the entire 46-page epic "introductory" "Gnuff" story -- as Freddy points out not the first one he did, but the earliest in the Gnuff chronology and the first to be printed in CRITTERS.
Freddy has also put up the only "Gnuff" story to be printed in full color in English, "Double Star" from the out of print USAGI YOJIMBO COLOR SPECIAL #1. Lettered by Bill Spicer, incidentally.
As if that weren't enough, Freddy has commissioned another old buddy of mine, Dwight Decker (who actually translated most of the CRITTERS "Gnuff" stories back when) to translate a classic Woody Woodpecker story of his, "Happy Water," and that can be found here -- and here's yet another Woody story, "The Coming of the Blot."
In fact, if you go to the main page and cruise down the menu bar you'll see a huge amount of great stuff, including (down toward the bottom) video interviews with Freddy and Daan Jippes in English.
For those of you unfamiliar with Freddy's work, he hit upon a pretty great racket: He'd do stories for European Disney and/or Woody Woodpecker, keep the copyrights for the work itself but not the characters, so he was able to later convert, say, a Woody Woodpecker story to a Gnuff story. If I remember correctly one particular story he did was re-purposed something like three additional times, changing characters from ducks to woodpeckers to dinosaurs (and as needed removing or adding one of the three kids, as Donald had three dependents and Woody and Gnuff only two).
I always thought Freddy's work was absolutely charming and felt bad that none of it has been available to English-speaking fans for many years. Well, now there's three full graphic novel length stories available for your reading pleasure, and for free. Enjoy!
This has been a bit under the radar for American fans (I don't remember seeing a peep about it on such sites as aint-it-cool) but Luc Besson is well underway filming his adaptation of what looks like the first two or three Adèle Blanc-Sec albums by Jacques Tardi , and the movie is supposed to premiere in France next Spring and open throughout Europe during the Spring and Summer. (No American distributor yet, but it's hard to believe a Besson movie wouldn't find a Stateside berth.) It's intended as the first of a trilogy, too, presumably adapting the whole series.
With a cast that includes Bond villain (and, for the art-cinema crowd, Diving Bell and Butterfly star) Mathieu Almaric and go-to psychotic Philippe Nahon (of I Stand Alone, Irreversible, and High Tension infamy), as well as a relatively unknown but mighty pretty young woman as Adèle (although it's a pity that Isabelle Huppert, who was born to play Adèle just as much as Shelley Duvall was born to play Olive Oyl, is too old for the part by now), Adèle looks like it could be a lot of fun; the plot description suggests that Besson is hewing very closely to the original. (And the "Indiana Jones meets Amélie" description is inspired.) It's Besson's first all-out action/adventure movie since The Fifth Element 12 years ago.
Here's the poster, and click here for a scan of the PR one-sheet:
The first volume of Mezzo and Pirus's extraordinary suburban horror trilogy, KING OF THE FLIES, will be released early next year. As an advance teaser, we're serializing the first chapter, "Hallorave" (which is also the title of the book) right here, a page a day. Since it takes place on Halloween, it seems appropriate to run it this week.
This is the first foreign book of ours in a while I didn't translate, control freak that I am; fortunately I found Helge Dascher and John Kadlecek to pick up the slack, and they did a superb job on it.
Volume 2, "The Origin of the World," will be released at the end of 2010, and Volume 3, assuming Mezzo and Pirus have it finished by then, will (we hope) premiere by San Diego 2011.
If this looks at all familiar, a few chapters of this book were published in HEAVY METAL five or six years ago - probably to the bafflement of readers since even though the book looks like it's a series of short stories, they're a very tightly interwoven narrative, and HM only published a couple of them.
Each volume will be in the traditional European hardcover format, 64 big, very dense, full color pages. The cover price will be $18.99. It will be worth every penny.
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