A collage of 100 comics covers I've reviewed this week.

100 Reviews in 11 Months; Plans for 2018

How It All Began

Europe Comics catalog

On January 9, 2017, I published the article, “The Year of Franco-Belgian Book Reviews.”

The article kicked off by discussing how the rise of digital comics meant that translating European albums to English-speaking audiences is all of a sudden fiscally responsible.  European publishers were busy translating so many albums that I could devote this entire website to their books.

That’s what I’ve done. I don’t know the exact percentage, but it must be something like 90% – 95% of the articles this year have been about les bandes dessinees, the Franco-Belgian album format for comics.

I made my vow in that article:

“I will review at least 100 European albums in 2017.”

So began the countdown. I got off to a great start, then had a slowdown in March and April for various non-comics reasons, and spent the rest of the year catching up.

 

Number One Hundred

100 Reviews of BD in Pipeline 2017 (and counting)

Click through for the full size 3100px wide image

This morning, I posted my review of the nineteenth volume of “Valerian and Laureline.”  Combined with the zero “issue” and the Matthieu Lauffray-drawn spin-off book, I’ve now reviewed 21 books in the Valerian series this year alone.  I plan on reviewing the next two books to finish it off in December.

But the nineteenth volume is the key one.  It’s review #100 for 2017.

One. Hundred.

Mission: Accomplished.

What Now?

Ken Games volume 1: "Rock" cover

“Ken Games” v1 began the review series.  It remains one of my favorites of the year.

This is only the beginning.

There is a gigantic world of Franco-Belgian albums. I’ve only scratched the surface.  It is my opinion that this format will continue to grow in the years ahead.  While it might never challenge Marvel or DC in the Direct Market, I think there’s only upside potential here.

I want PipelineComics.com to serve as the biggest repository of reviews for these translated albums. Every time there’s a sale on at Comixology or Izneo, I want to be the resource people turn to for a review to see if it’s a book they might be interested in.

My work has only just begun.

 

My 2018 Mission: Spread the Word

PipelineComics.com will continue to be focused on Franco-Belgian comics.  While I might include some other more North American-specific articles and reviews along the way, the vast majority of my time here will be spent on this emerging market.

I plan on doing another 100 reviews next year.  Heck, I’d like to go all the way to 125, if I can.

I want to write more articles introducing people to the art and history of the Franco-Belgian comic tradition. As I learn about this stuff, I want to pass it along.  There are some great behind the scenes stories in that world that will make for compelling reading.  I’m already working on a couple of them.

  • I want to have more articles to suggest books that you might like based on what you’re reading today.
  • I want to remove all the barriers possible to get you to read les bandes dessinees as part of your comics reading habit.
  • I still want to jumpstart the Pipeline Comics Podcast, and devoted it to this mission, as well.  (You can help!)
  • I want to jump on other podcasts to talk about this stuff, too, to carry the message out to new audiences.
  • I want to figure out some sort of short format video style to aid in this effort.
  • And I’d love to be able to afford more tools to make all this possible.  So, jump on in to that Patreon link today…

The goal is to bring all of the great reading I’ve had in the last year to more readers who haven’t been introduced to it yet, whatever it takes.

Quietly, one of the more popular articles this year has been the one in which I laid out my case for why now is the best time ever to be reading these comics. It’s little things like that that tell me I’m moving in the right direction.

Also, the last thing you need in the world is another person reviewing “Doomsday Clock” and whatever Marvel’s big crossover is this week.

 

Special Thanks

Europe Comics BD in English logoCinebook BD in English logoBuy this book on Izneo

 

Special thanks go to my friends at Europe Comics, Cinebook, and Izneo.com, all of whom helped to make this year’s goal achievable.  They saw what I was doing in the first half of the year and jumped up to help provide all the material I needed to continue.

They’ve made it possible for me not only to read a variety of material I might not otherwise try, but also to not rely strictly on whatever is on sale that week to keep costs low for a website that runs on a small and dedicated group of Patreon supporters.

 

Speaking of whom, thanks to the Patreon supporters, whose monthly donations keep the servers running and keep the comics coming.  We’re only about $20 away from the first goal that will pay for hosting for the return of comics’ first podcast, The Pipeline Podcast.  I got the domain name back for that already and everything.

Of course, thanks to all of you who’ve ever clicked over to this page to check out a review or another kind of article. You’re what I’m writing this all for.  Every person who clicks to this website is a positive step in the right direction for me. I’ll fight for every reader I can get.

 

To Be Continued…

I have a month to go in this year.  While things might slow up over the Christmas holiday, I still plan on reviewing more comics in the coming weeks.  110 should be do-able, as a matter of fact.

Thanks for reading!  And if you’ve discovered an interesting series or book this year from a review you read here, please drop a line in the comments below and let the rest of the world know what’s good.  What do you recommend? What did you discover this year?

Thanks for reading!

 

4 Comments

  • Carlos Cuba November 30, 2017 at 7:05 am

    First let me say that I LOVE your site! Been reading since your piece on comics journalism went viral and this is currently my favourite since for writing on comics.

    I am from Spain and while we do get more BD in printed format than the US, our market is still tiny and there isn’t anyone writing about these comics better than you do, and definitely NOT in spanish.

    Having said that I would love to see more reviews or writing on classics, or not so focused on new releases (tho I get that is probably what gets more attention), I’d love to see what you could write out of stuff like: XIII, Cities of the Fantastic, Aldebaran (or any Leo book), Yoko Tsuno, Blake and Mortimer, Freddy Lombard…

    Love your site and I hope you can keep it going for a long time!

    (PS If you thought The Beautiful Death was good, wait till somenone finally publishes Shangri-La in the US, it’s AMAZING)

    Reply
    • Augie November 30, 2017 at 10:18 am

      Thanks, Carlos! You’ve got some pretty great artists coming out of Spain that are published in France, too. =)

      As for the classics: I agree. Some of them I’ve reviewed in the past on ComicBookResources.com — I’ve reprinted a few of those old columns, but I think I could do a better job with those reviews today, so I’m definitely thinking about it.

      I’m tempted to do a series on “Asterix” in 2018: Reread and review the first 35 books. That would fill the hole left when I’m done with “Valerian and Laureline.” I do actually have a “Yoko Tsuno” book sitting on my desk I’ve been meaning to read for a few weeks now. I should get to that.

      It’s something I’ll definitely keep in mind for the future. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  • Arcturus November 30, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I might have already said this but I started reading The Campbells, Back to Basics, Sisters, and Fragments of Femininity thanks to your reviews.
    On top of that, I got Flight of the Raven after you reviewed The Reprieve and I say that counts too.
    Also I got back into learning French so I can buy the books because some of these have some juicy art and my phone is not nearly good enough to do it justice; I’ll definitely read Undertaker and Jerome K Jerome Bloche when I get the books themselves. and I also want to read Stern after reading your review.

    Reply
    • Augie November 30, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Thanks, Arcturus. You’ve picked some good ones to read, and I’m glad SOMEBODY is taking some of my suggestions. 😉 You beat me to “Flight of the Raven,” too. I need to get back to that. “Undertaker” in oversized print form will be beautiful, I bet. I just started playing with another Learn French app on my iphone in the past week. Haven’t gone too far, but anything that helps me to read the news websites out of France, and the various Twitter accounts will be fine by me.

      Reply

What do YOU think?

%d bloggers like this: