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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Aquaman #80 - French Edition

Comics Weekend I have a bunch of "new" foreign editions of Aquaman comics sitting on my shelf, so I thought I'd devote this Comics Weekend to looking at a couple of them.

This is a French edition of Aquaman, generously provided by F.O.A.M. member Russell Burbage.

And what a book it is! 76 pages long, it has all kinds of features crammed into it, all with some of the oddest formatting I've ever seen in a comic book, of any country.

After you get past the cover (printed on slightly thicker cardstock--and check out the all-around Go-Go Check border!), you get the same cover, again, this time printed on traditional comic book cover paper.

After that are two pages of what looks like those Statement of Ownership thingies comic companies used to have to put in all their books from time to time (except there, the dry facts and figures are accompanied by headshots of some characters like The Fox and the Crow). Then after that is yet another cover, this time of the story in question:
Inside, the whole book is printed on slightly better paper than standard comics were at the time (1973), giving the artwork and the colors a brighter look, even all these years later:
After the Aquaman story, there's a couple of text pieces (with accompanying spot illustrations), and then a reprint of what I think is a story from Strange Adventures ("Les Olympiades de l'an 3000"), featuring art by Carmine Infantino.

Then the book seems to sort of start all over, with another set of covers, printed on slick paper:
When I first saw this, I did a double-take: what Aquaman cover was this? Then I turned the page and realized that it was just this story's splash page, with some art changes made to turn it into a cover:
For some reason, this story is printed in alternating pages of color and black and white. Two pages of color, two pages of black and white, two pages of color, etc.

Luckily, Aquaman as a character has been blessed by having superb artists render his adventures, so the Nick Cardy work here looks just fine without the color:
Following this, there's another text piece ("L'Etrange Jimmy"), and then to top the book off...a Detective Chimp story?

Oh, I'm sorry--"Le Chimpanze' Detective":
And that wraps up the book, save for a one page ad for a French humor strip called "Pumby", which is a funny animal character.

Not knowing much about this series (I couldn't find any listing for it on the GCBD), I don't know whether this was an anthology series that just happened to feature Aquaman for this issue, or this was an ongoing Aquaman series.

If the latter, then that means this Aquaman series, at issue #80, lasted longer than any of his American series. *sigh*

Anyway, I loved getting a look at this French version of the King of the Seven Seas--thanks Russell!


Dixon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dixon said...

Spotlighting French Aquaman comics on the day of American independence? "Le Justicier Des Mers"? Really, Rob?!

I'll just take this is a sly joke, then...

rob! said...

Well, Dix, the French did help bankroll our fight for independence against the British, so...

Wings1295 said...

Interesting. I believe I have, somewhere, a couple of Italian issues of Aquaman or JLA that my cousin sent to me when she was stationed in Italy. Will have to try and find them!

Dixon said...

Alright, Rob. You've won me over with your attentiveness to the history of the American revolution. And besides... These comics are pretty cool! Happy Fourth!