Tintin’s flying submarine

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Belgian air carrier Brussels Airlines unveiled a new (?) plane this week. The Airbus has been christened the Rackham, and has been completely decorated so as to call up the famous shark submarine from Red Rackham’s Treasure, down to little fishes across its flank.

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I must say, it feels a little strange, an airplane that’s made to look like a submarine, but then, Belgium is known for its surrealist tendencies…

(photography © Brussels Airlines, Tintin © Herge/Moulinsart 2015) 

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Charlie and the mouse : Spiegelman on freedom of expression

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In the February 28 edition of the French daily Le Monde, Art Spiegelman published quite a long take on the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo horrors, and how it has affected our stance on freedom of expression versus the “right” to be offended.

I have not been able to track down an English-language version of the strip, even though I did find a Dutch translation in the Flemish daily De Standaard.

(Cartoon © le Monde, high resolution image via BD Fugue)

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This is not a post about Zippy The Pinhead

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Wednesday’s Zippy the Pinhead cartoon is wonderfully meta, and also delightfully Belgian. And it made me think about how early comics used to attach the balloons to the characters for clarity’s sake. What more to ask!

(Thanks, Gene-on-Facebook!)

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Sunday Funny

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Tom Gauld has a new strip in the New York Times Magazine! In his first serving, he brings up a topic that is probably quite familiar for many of us book addicts – what to do when a book is boring you? Can you just leave it unfinished? Do readers really have rights, at all?

Or is this just a thing that we ponder on while the world keeps turning without batting an eye?

(Via Mike, with great gratitude, as always)

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Matt draws history

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I knew Matt Madden has a definite penchant for comics that use constraints (either rather liberal to extremely difficult), but I didn’t think even he would pull of this stunt : present an overview of the history of US comics from the Golden Age of superheroes to the graphic novels of today.

Madden evokes not only the prevailing art style of these various “ages”, but also the themes and attitude towards their predecessors. I particularly like his jab at current creators’ obsession with autobiography as a breeding ground for good comics.

You can buy a litograph print (by Paulo Patricio) of this comic for yourself from this website.

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Quick loves chocolate

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Back when he was still slaving away to fill Le Petit Vingtième with comics, stories and pictures, Hergé also produced the odd advertisement for a whole host of clients.

This ad for the Belgian chocolatier Côte d’Or was made in 1935, to be published in Le Petit Vingtième, and features Quick and the Policeman, two of the characters from Hergé’s other famous comic, Quick et Flupke.

The original of this page goes on auction at Christies in Paris on March 14, and is expected to be sold for a mere 40,000 Euros…

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Comics Dress Code

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In the March 2015 issue of Air France Magazine, New Zealand’s own comics genius Dylan Horrocks has a sweet little comic about how he gets invited to a comics festival in France, and goes out looking for something suitable to wear. As ever with Dylan, this seamlessly blends in with the alternative reality of Hicksville and The Magic Pen, his graphic novels set in a world where comics get the respect they deserve. Ah…

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