Always Never podcast show notes

Episode 95: “Always Never” News and Speculation

I’d love it if you’d listen to the podcast version of this, but in case you don’t, here’s what I’m talking about:

Dark Horse is doing a print edition of Jordi Lafebre’s “Always Never” in August. You can pre-order it now. It’ll be $25 for a hardcover edition. They don’t mention its dimensions, but I’m hoping for the same size as their Blacksad books.

You can read my review of the book from last year. It was on my Top Ten list of comics for 2021.

But here’s what this brings up: Jordi Lafebre’s best-known series is “Glorious Summers.” I’ve reviewed all the available English editions of that series here. That’s five albums’ worth of entertainment about a Belgian family trying to take a holiday in France and getting into all kinds of trouble along the way. It’s a delightful book that I definitely recommend. It’s also the kind of book that many American artists have noticed and championed on social media in the past, too.

The twist: There are six books out in France now. The sixth came out, I believe, a few months before “Always Never.”

Why did Europe Comics stop translating the series after book five? Could it be that they sold the license to an English language publisher who maybe has their own translator they like to use, or who just wants the exclusivity of bringing a previously unseen book to the market first?

Could “Always Never” be Dark Horse’s trial run with Lafebre before kicking off the “Glorious Summers” series?

Look at what they’ve done with “Blacksad” or “Isabellae.” They could package the series into two three album collections. The second book would then feature a new, never-before-seen-in-English edition of book six. That’s a good marketing push for the second book.

I know a big part of this is my own wishful thinking, but I think it makes sense. I’m pretty sure I’ve argued my point in the podcast somewhere along the line that Dark Horse would do well to concentrate its efforts on more European books. They don’t have all those Hollywood licenses, so this would be an interesting and different direction to go in. They’ve dabbled in it over the years. Now is the time to make a push!

I can dream, can’t I?

(And if they need a special consultant, I’m here for them…)

The Digital Footnote

Europe Comics published “Always Never” in English just about a year ago now. It’s been in the Izneo and Company-Formerly-Known-As-Comixology libraries under their name since then.

When Dark Horse publishes the print book, their license also includes the digital edition. Does the Europe Comics book transfer to Dark Horse? If you’ve purchased it already, is that where it goes? Or do you keep the Europe Comics edition, but it’s not available for a new purchase anymore?

Always Never is available in two different editions on Amazon at the moment

Currently, on Amazon, you can pre-order the print or digital edition of the book from Dark Horse. Or you can buy the digital edition of the book right now, and it costs $5 less. (Even if it wasn’t on sale, it would still be $3 less.) Maybe there’s a bonus materials section at the end of the Dark Horse book? Sketches, layouts, something else?

We’ll see what happens in just over three months, I suppose.


What do YOU think? (First time commenters' posts may be held for moderation.)

3 Comments

  1. On your recommendation I gave it a try, found it today at my local library, the reverse time thing is a gimmick to bring a pedestrian story some artificial depth, bit of a trope at this point isn’t it ? Sure it’s leagues above your ordinary american comic, but I’m somewhat blasé, since I read those romance novels my grandmother used to have on her shelves years ago. I’m still a bit weary of the quasi-monochrome treatment in current BD, the beginning of this book is very pink, then very yellow, etc. Feels pretentious to me and lazy at the same time… It’s a nice little story.

    1. For a first-time writer to go with that trope, I’m impressed. That’s shooting for the stars there. But I do think it works. I don’t have the depth of romance stories that you bring, so I’ll forgive your blase attitude. 😉 And I don’t mind the color scheme. It changes from scene to scene, which helps separate the scenes a bit. I like the bright colors, in particular, after decades of reading comics that only wanted to be dark — or serious and muddy brown. (Hello, Vertigo!) But I think “pretentious” is not the word I’d use. At worst, you could call it “trendy,” but I don’t think that’s it, either.

      1. Doesn’t he simply write a regular sequential Harlequin story then just reverse the chapters and adds some dropped hints ? How hard is that ?

        True, single colors are better than all-brown trend but not by much imho. I see what you’re doing you have to be nice and positive, that’s fine, I’m the stereotype of the grumpy old french man so I don’t have to pull my punches.

        On the other hand I can’t resist a good Hallmark romance or any book with shirtless Fabio on the cover. I’m so deep lol.