Going Euro: Titan Comics Ups its bande dessine-sourced titles

The Nikopol Trilogy by Enki Bilal

Art from The Nikopol Trilogy by Enki Bilal

 

Titan Comics has revealed more details of its plans to expand its line of European-sourced albums for English-speaking audiences, with a new edition of Enki Bilal’s The Nikopol Trilogy in the works, among other titles.

News of further releases follows Titan’s appointment of top graphic novel editor Lizzie Kaye, who previously worked for the award-winning publisher SelfMadeHero. Kaye has stepped on-board to lead the charge with Titan Comics’ ambitious new slate of graphic novels being published in English, some for the first time, adding to a range that already includes Sean Phillips science fiction Void, a brand-new comics adaptation of Michael Moorcock’s Elric saga and Snowpiercer, which is now a major motion picture starring Chris Evans.

Recently-released titles include World War X by Jerry Frissen and Peter Snejbjerg and Masked: Anomalies, written by Serge Lehman with art by Stépane Créty and Julien Hugonnard -Bert, with The Chronicles of Legion: Blood Brothers written by Fabien Nury, the latest in a series, on sale from 5th May.

Both Elric Volume One: The Ruby Throne and Snowpiercer have been critical and commercial successes, demonstrating the demand for such works.

New editions of the works of Philippe Druillet, Enki Bilal, and Régis Loisel (creator of a stunning retelling of Peter Pan, published by Soaring Penguin Press) are planned, as well as gems undiscovered by many readers in the UK and the US, with between 20 to 24 titles in the work for 2015.

Their plans include some longer series, distinguishing Titan’s bande dessine line from most other publishers, although both Cinebook and Humanoides – which recently set up a UK office – do deliver ongoing sagas such as Thorgal to British and US readers.

Kaye also plans to add material from Germany, Spain, and other European sources, complementing the publishers’ Franco-Belgian titles.

In the works is a new edition of Enki Bilal’s The Nikopol Trilogy, last available from DC Comics which took the author some twelve years to complete. “I’m beside myself with excitement about,” Kaye told the comics retailer site ICV2. “It has been out in English before, but many, many years ago, and it’s been out of print for a long time.”

 

The Six Voyages of Lone Sloane

The Six Voyages of Lone Sloane

 

The Six Voyages of Lone Sloane by Philippe Druillet, will launch in June (Volume Two is scheduled for December), the first of a series by Druillet in an oversize (9″ x 12″), 72-page hardcover, bringing the classic work back into print in English for the first time in 20 years. Since the edition I have came out in the 1970s, I’d say a new edition was long overdue!

 

Under: Volume 1: Monsters Beneath

Under: Volume 1: Monsters Beneath

 

Under: Volume 1: Monsters Beneath by Christophe Bec, Stefano Raffaele, and Christian Favrelle, will launch in August.

For Lieutenant Wilson Jericho, Hell is real: and it’s in the sewers of the sprawling city Megalopol, where, as an officer of the Sewer Police, he’s responsible for ensuring the the bowels of the city run smoothly. He knows everything there is to know about the underworld, which is why he’s chosen to serve as tour guide for Sandra Yeatman, a young scientist who aims to prove the truth of legends about the strange wildlife in the sewers.

Stefano Raffaele is an Italian comic book artist, known for his work on New Gods, Birds of Prey, Batman, X-Men Adventures, X-Factor and the Conan the Barbarian series.

 

Samurai by Jean-Francois Di Giorgio and Fredric Genet

 

Samurai by Jean-Francois Di Giorgio and Fredric Genet, published by Soleil in France as an eight-volume edition will launch later this year with an omnibus collection comprising the first four French volumes followed by four single volumes of 48-64 pages.

Tapping into the rich mythology of the noble Samurai, creating a nuanced look at the fabled Japanese warriors, the opening collection centres on Takeo, who, having become a samurai, feels strong enough to confront his past. On the borders of Japan, a terrible plan is being plotted: General Akuma, one of the Empire’s most influential figures, seems to be dead set on betraying the Emperor to his own advantage. However, a grave secret links the two men: the 13th prophet.

Meanwhile, Takeo hopes to discover who he is. Why did he grow up in a monastery? And why was he abandoned by his brother ten years earlier? His quest will put him in deep torment, placing him in the middle of the dark destiny of the Empire and the 13th prophet…

 

La Quête de l'oiseau du temps - Tome 1

The French language cover for The Quest of the Time Bird

 

The Quest for the Time Bird by Serge Le Tendre and Régis Loisel, is a glorious fantasy tale of dangerous gods and a curious witch, published by Dargaud in France and first serialised in Charlie Mensuel in 1982, will be released in an oversized Masterpiece format. “It means you just have these incredible pages that really show off the artwork,” Kaye says.

 

Mutafukaz - Book One

Mutafukaz – Book One

Titan will release Mutafukas by Run in October, a story about a dystopian Los Angeles called Dark Meat City that follows two incredible little characters who have life thrust upon them who have to figure out their way around it.

Angelino is a young loser like thousands of others in the city. He and his friend Vinz are squatters at a seedy hotel room in the Latin Quarter, Rios Rosas. A stupid scooter accident will plunge Angelino into a hurricane of unimaginable trouble, as he becomes the only person on Earth capable of recognizing the vicious cosmic entities that walk among us, who are readying themselves to invade the planet.

 

Showman Killer: Heartless Hero

Showman Killer: Heartless Hero

 

Titan also plans to release Showman Killer by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Nicolas Fructus in December.

Space is a dangerous place, made more so by the existence of the Showman Killer, a heartless assassin, genetically engineered by an insane scientist to be devoid of any emotion, and trained to kill. The only things that give him anything approaching pleasure are destruction or money. That is, until a fateful mission throws him into the path of the mysterious and fascinating Ibis.

“Titan has been interested in bringing European graphic novels to the UK and US market for a while now and started the process quite slowly in late 2013,” Kaye told ICV2. “I have been amping up the schedule, amping up the line as time has gone on.

“The thirst is there,” she insists. “People want to be reading these stories and people are aware that there is some fantastic work coming out of the Franco-Belgian market. It’s up to Titan now to bring it to people, and I’m hoping that that’s what we’re going to do and people are going to be thrilled with it.”

Read Lizie Kaye’s full interview on ICV2 here

• Titan Comics is at http://titan-comics.com/

Read a profile of Enki Bilal by Paul Gravett

 

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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