Benoit Peeters and Francois Schuiten at work in the field
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YouTube Fun with Hergè, Franquin, and Schuiten

I spend way too much time on YouTube, and I keep tripping across interesting videos related to the world of BD.

I thought it might be fun to share a few of them with you today:

“How to Draw Tintin Comics the Hergé Way”

Tintin in Alph Art from Cartoonist Kayfabe

I am not a Tintin guy. Honestly, I try it from time to time, and it’s never been my thing. One of these years, maybe it’ll click for me. I am, however, always interested in hearing about the character’s history and Herge’s life.

The Comics Kayfabe guys take a look at “Tintin and the Alph,” a book collecting materials that Hergé was working on for the next Tintin book at the time of his death. It’s fascinating to see Herge’s work process, of course. His layouts go back and forth between super loose and tighter technical drawings, as necessary.

It’s a relatively short video for them at 12 minutes, and you can skip straight to 2:15 for where it starts.

One of these days, I’ll get an overhead camera set-up so I can make Pipeline videos in this style. I’ve toyed with it in the past. (“Die Laughing” and “Pilote Journal“, amongst others.) They’re fun to make, but the process of building up and tearing down the camera set-up is a big detractor.

Franquin Videos

Andre Franquin YouTube video

This 26 minute video looks like it was probably a television special at one point. It’s all in French, so I’m only picking out phrases here and there. Franquin speaks just slowly enough that I can pick up more of what he says than anyone else.

But, it’s worth flipping through to see the people they got to be the talking heads to discuss Franquin’s work — Morris, Yvan Delporte, Jidéhem, Roba, and Batem. Franquin is interviewed in his studio, sitting at a table that looks ridiculously low to draw on. Or maybe he was just very tall. I’m not sure.

Andre Franquin draws Gaston La Gaffe with an impossibly small Sharpie

For a quick dessert after that, here’s a six minute video that includes footage of Franquin being interviewed as he finishes a Gaston drawing.

It always amazes me to see Franco-Belgian cartoonists picking up a sharpie marker and making a perfect drawing of their characters on a large vertical piece of paper. Episodes of “Tac au Tac” were famous for that.

If your French is super fluent, here’s a round table discussion of Franquin from 2017 that includes Angouleme Grand Prix winners, Florence Cestac and Emmanuel Guibert.

Schuiten Video

Here’s a 47 minute short film interviewing Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten.

Angouleme has all the best places in comics

It was created in 1990 to accompany the release of their new album, “Le Musee A. Desombres,” which hasn’t been translated to English yet.

I find it interesting for a few reasons. First, the interview is purported to be happening in Angouleme at the Museum of the fictional painter, Augustin Desombres. (Look! He got a bust and everything!)

I always love to find another Augie out there in the world!

Second, it’s fun to see Schuiten with a head full of thick brown hair and all the energy and enthusiasm of a young comics creator. His interview segments as well as his conversations with Peeters show how expressive and into his work he was at the time.

He also bears a slight resemblance to Stephen King here:

Francois Schuiten as Stephen King

I almost chuckle at the lengths they show Peeters and Schuiten going to make their comics together.

Peeters and Schuiten in a hot air balloon

Here’s Schuiten doing some drawings out in the field — from a hot air balloon! Now that’s dedication to your cause!

The next scene has Schuiten and Peeters climbing a snowy mountain top to get some sketches from a high vantage point.

Benoit Peeters and Francois Schuiten locations count in the snowy mountains

Schuiten is so good at this drawing thing that he does great work even when penciling with winter gloves on.

Schuiten draws from reference in the snow mountainside

Later, they are seen running across a lawn to reach — a greenhouse! They talk to a conservator there while Schuiten starts to morph into David Byrne from The Talking Heads, though it’s Peeters who wears the oversized suit jacket:

Francois Stop Making Sense Schuiten
Stop Making Sense, Schuiten!
Benoit Peeters and Francois Schuiten walking the greenhouse
Peeters and Schuiten take in the greenhouse

I joke a lot, but the video does intercut between the various locations and some of Schuiten’s architectural renderings that show the influence they had on him. Peeters also sits down for interviews at random desks, stairs, and any place the filmmakers must have thought would look new and different from scene to scene.

Check out AltaPlana.be’s coverage of the book to see more pictures of the lengths they went to for the exhibit to accompany this book. It included an entire soundtrack and a multi-room experience that sounds very, er, high concept.

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2 Comments

  1. There goes your afternoon, victim of the Youtube rabbit hole. We’re so used to this kind of video here that it’s not much of an event , but I totally understand where you’re coming from.

    1. Yeah, it’s totally new here and unlike anything we’re used to. There are some classic videos about superheroes and their creators on YouTube, too, but nothing like this. (There’s a completely goofy one I found recently that was a TV special for Superman’s 50th anniversary that I should link to someday, hosted and featuring some Saturday Night Live stars. Just weird.)