Pictologs, BD blogs, and so on..

It looks like French bloggers are really blazing a trail as far as the latest blogging craze is concerned–pictologs, or BD blogs as they’re also called, which are like a kind of blend of webcomics and traditional (!!) blogging. France is of course right up there in the graphic novels/comic books top three–the other two being the US and Japan, of course–and BD (bande dessinee, or comics) have had a long and semi-respectable life in French culture from the early twentieth century. Bookshops are full of BD titles–featuring everything from violent, erotic fantasies to adventure stories to history very digestibly told for kids to political satire to surreal philosophical explorations, and the genre is very lively and active (though French filmic animation is, sadly, rather thin on the ground, unlike the US and Japan). Though the country has taken a while to really embrace the internet–it’s still damn difficult to find internet cafes, even in Paris–that’s changing rapidly. And certainly the French have taken to the BD blog like ducks to water.

The BD blogs, which really started taking off about 18 months ago, are getting more and more readers, and one of the most famous, Frantico has now been not only featured several times in the press, but offered a contract by the big publisher Albin Michel to publish a print version of his illustrated online journal. Many of the BD blogs, such as Everland are run by professional illustrators/comic book artists. Others, like Crayon dans le Coeur are run by hopefuls who both enjoy creating digitally whilst hoping to attract the attention of less ephemeral publication outlets!
Most of the BD blogs I’ve seen, whilst incorporating the odd social comment (like Frantico’s on reality TV taken to extremes), tend to focus on the creator’s personal life, a la American Splendour, I suppose. Their fascination lies in the revelation of personality–whether artful or deliberately or ingenously artless–within a kind of modest little soap opera. And despite this universal focus on personal details and personal small events, they’re very particularly French, in feel.
(As a lover of comic books, animation and graphic novels from way back, I only wish I could draw well enough to create such a fun thing! )

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8 Responses to Pictologs, BD blogs, and so on..

  1. C.L. says:

    My one blog regret is that I can’t draw and upload cartoons. That would be a great way to comment on events in a new and entirely representational way. Nicholas here at TA has managed to combine both skills. Photoshopping is another plus for the blogger – see Don – and I really should give that a whirl.

  2. Fyodor says:

    Thanks, Sophie, you just gave me an intensely nostalgic flashback to a youth filled with b

  3. Fyodor says:

    Sorry, link didn’t work:


  4. sophie says:

    Thanks for that link, Fyodor.They’re webcomics though–I guess I was focussing more on the blog aspect. You’re right, the BD blogs I mentioned could be better, but as I said, they’re blazing a trail–couldn’t find any English-language blogs doing it quite this way at all. I think we’ll see better ones springing up as the genre gets going.
    One of my big, longstanding ambitions is to write a graphic novel. It’s really hard to get publishers here or in the UK(which are my main markets) interested, though. It drives me crazy! I’m getting around it at the moment by writing a comic-strip adventure, which one of my sons is illustrating, to go in one of my books–the crime series. it functions both as a story within a story and a source of clues. It’s so much fun to write it!

  5. Fyodor says:

    The following Anglo comicblog is hilarious, but perhaps not to your political taste:


  6. everland says:

    Thanks for the link
    (and sorry for the quality of my blog Fyodor :o)

  7. sophie says:

    Thanks for dropping in, Martin. Your BD blog was my favourite of the ones I saw, actually. More fun than FRantico’s, actually, I thought.

  8. Fyodor says:

    Must try harder. It’s not exactly “Gaston”, is it?

    Salut ;-)

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