A couple of years back on a trip to Montreal, I was searching through a bookstore there and came across this amazingly beautiful comic book. I took 5 years of french, but even reading a Tin Tin comic is a bit hard for me, since they are written for above a 3rd grade level. However I bought the comic, not understanding 90% of it. But I wanted to know more. Over the years I’ve collected a few of these volumes from random french speaking areas (canada, france, belgium), which I found out were part of a series called “Les Cités Obscures” created by a Belgian artist named François Schuiten. By now I’ve been able to get the gist of the stores about a distant land and its collection of independent city states each with a unique style, but honestly a lot of the plots are still a mystery to me.
I knew these weren’t very popular in the states, but recently I’ve found out only a couple of these hard bound comics have been reprinted in english, however I’ve stuck to picking up a french version every now and then, its makes it more of an adventure for me to translate it, and more time to admire the illustrations.