Space Battleship Yamato 2199

There have been two anime versions of Space Battleship Yamato.

Star Blazers (released in 1974)

The first in 1974 was called Space Battleship Yamato 宇宙戦艦ヤマト in Japanese and Star Blazers in the US and Canada.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Battleship_Yamato

It was the first Japanese anime of its type to make its way to Canadian television, with a complex multi-part story, each episode following on from the last.  It was light-years beyond the usual American and Canadian animated kids shows that were available.

You can get it e.g. on iTunes as six episodes of about 1.5 hours each.

Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (released in 2012)

There was a remake in 2012 called Space Battleship Yamato 2199 宇宙戦艦ヤマト2199 or Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Blazers:_Space_Battleship_Yamato_2199

The remake has dramatically higher quality animation and although it starts out almost identically to the original, it begins to diverge episode by episode from the original story.  It is much better from basically every perspective.

You can get it e.g. on iTunes, in two different versions: the Japanese version with subtitles, or a dubbed version.  I’ve only watched the Japanese subtitled one.  Season 1 is split into two parts of 13 episodes each.  You want either Pt. 1 & Pt. 2 (Original Japanese) or the dubbed Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 (they are all separate purchases).

Also, in the Japanese version of the new series at least and I would expect in the dubbed version as well, aspects of the 1974 series that were bowdlerized for the US and Canadian audience, such as Dr. Sakezo Sado’s fondness for drinking sake, are now shown in full.

Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is very good.  I would skip episode 1×07 Farewell to the Solar System as it has a drunken party including Makoto Harada (the chief nurse) in an inappropriate outfit.  All the other episodes are good.

Particularly notable is episode 1×09 Clockwork Prisoner, which I think is the best episode of season 1 and is the first episode where you can really see they are making a very different show than the original.

Space Battleship Yamato 2202 (released in 2017)

Season 2 of the new series is called Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Warriors of Love 宇宙戦艦ヤマト2202 愛の戦士たち. I haven’t watched it.

Books

There are accompanying books that are very confusingly named.

The book of the 1974 series is inexplicably called Space Battleship Yamato: The Classic Collection (it really should be called Star Blazers). ISBN13: 9781626929128.

There are four books for the 2012 series, all with the title Star Blazers 2199 (they really should be called Space Battleship Yamato 2199).

  • Star Blazers 2199 Omnibus Volume 1.  ISBN13: 9781506712208.
  • Star Blazers 2199 Omnibus Volume 2.  ISBN13: 9781506712215.
  • Star Blazers 2199 Omnibus Volume 3.  Not yet released.  Estimated date December 28, 2021. Provisional ISBN13: 9781506712222.
  • Star Blazers 2199 Omnibus Volume 4.  Not yet released.  Estimated date December 28, 2021.  Provisional ISBN13: 9781506712239.

finding BBC Radio audiobooks

The short answer to finding BBC Radio audiobooks that you can listen to outside the UK, is use BBC – Programmes – Categories: Audiobooks – Available now and then look for only the books that say “BBC Radio” after them.  Books that say “BBC Sounds” are not available outside the UK.

This doesn’t cover all of the things you may consider to be audiobooks, as BBC categorizes many of them as “Drama”.  The BBC website doesn’t provide any way to filter out just drama based on books.  It also doesn’t have any way to filter just drama presented on BBC Radio 4 Extra (which is mostly books).

Dramas are also not consistently named.  Sometimes it’s by author.  Sometimes it’s by author and book title.  Sometimes it’s by character name.  e.g.

  • BBC Radio 4 Extra: Dick Francis (author) – “Adaptations of the popular thrillers by the British steeplechase jockey turned crime writer.”
  • BBC Radio 4 Extra: Jack London – The Sea Wolf (author and title)
  • BBC Radio 4 Extra: Miss Marple (character) – “June Whitfield stars as the iconic sleuth created by the queen of the whodunit, Agatha Christie.”
  • BBC Radio 4 Extra: Sherlock Holmes (character)

The two main audiobook programs are Book of the Week and Book at Bedtime.

  • Book of the Week – BBC Radio 4 – audiobooks, usually in 5 or 10 episodes
    • Note books are only available for a limited time; only books with a speaker icon are actually available online
  • Book at Bedtime – BBC Radio 4 – audiobooks, usually in 5 or 10 episodes

It used to be the case that the multipart BBC Radio 4 audiobooks would be made available on BBC Radio 4 Extra in combined omnibus episodes at the end of the week (on Sundays I think), usually one omnibus for every 5 episodes.  However once the current pandemic crisis got underway, BBC Radio 4 Extra stopped posting omnibus editions, so you will have to listen to the individual episodes for now.

SIDEBAR: Don’t use the very similar BBC Sounds – Category – Audiobooks page as it doesn’t show which books are BBC Radio and which ones are BBC Sounds.  END SIDEBAR

Culture online in a time of crisis

What can you listen to and watch?  The following content is free, uninterrupted by ads (with a few exceptions that I will flag) and uninterrupted by news.  There are thousands of hours worth of audio and video listed below.  All of the content below is available in Canada (as far as I know there are no geographic restrictions).

Audio

I’m mostly an audio person.  Plus which audio uses much less bandwidth than video, which is particularly important on weekdays when high demand may interfere with the delivery of essential services.  Note that some BBC audio is only made available for a limited time, often for 30 days from date of airing.  Many of the BBC Radio websites listed below are also available as podcasts, but BBC Radio podcasts have ads outside the UK.

  • Gramophone magazine – Artists in isolation: enjoy performances by musicians from around the world
  • audiobook – The Peregrine (abridged) by JA Baker, read by David Attenborough – in 9 parts – BBC Radio 4 – 8 months left to listen as of March 21, 2020
  • Sunday Morning – BBC Radio 3 – three hours of classical music, hosted by Sarah Walker
  • Essential Classics – BBC Radio 3 – three hours of classical music every weekday
  • The Essay – BBC Radio 3 – 5-part thought-pieces around a theme. No omnibus; only separate episodes. – 1390 episodes available
    • The Essay – Higher Thoughts and the Meaning of Welsh Mountains – Episode 1, Snowdonia – “Jon Gower, writer and keen walker of the Welsh mountains, explores unique features of each of Wales’s five ranges, reflecting on what they mean to the people who live among them.”
  • In Our Time (Archive) – BBC Radio 4 – Melvyn Bragg and guests (usually university professors) discuss a topic.  It’s kind of like attending a university symposium. – One of my favourite shows.  – 896 episodes available
  • Moonrise – by Lillian Cunningham at the Washington Post – there are ads, but it’s a good enough podcast that I could endure them – “the origin story behind the United States’ decision to go to the moon” – in 12 episodes
  • 13 Minutes to the Moon – Season 1: The Apollo 11 story – BBC World Service – in 12 episodes
  • 13 Minutes to the Moon – Season 2: The Apollo 13 story – BBC World Service – has 6 episodes available, but there won’t be a final episode 7 for a while
  • Desert Island Discs – BBC Radio 4 – “Eight music tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island? Guests share the soundtrack of their lives.” – over 2000 episodes available
  • The Life Scientific – BBC Radio 4 – “Professor Jim Al-Khalili talks to leading scientists about their life and work, finding out what inspires and motivates them”
  • Ramblings – BBC Radio 4 – “Clare Balding joins interesting people for a walk through the countryside”
  • Folger Shakespeare Library – seven complete audio performances of Shakespeare plays, available for free streaming until July 1, 2020
  • You can find episodes of the first through sixth series of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with varying availabilities.
  • audiobook – Landmarks (abridged) by Robert Macfarlane – in 5 parts – BBC Radio 4 Extra – 25 days left to listen as of March 21, 2020
  • You can listen to the first, original Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galxy 1978 radio series, in seven parts: Fit the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth – 17 days left to listen as of March 21, 2020
    • For the moment the first two episodes of the second series are available, with the rest coming week by week: Fit the Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth – 23 days left to listen as of March 21, 2020
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is 42 – BBC Radio 4 Extra – 17 days left to listen as of March 21, 2020

For more audiobooks than I have highlighted above, you can check out:

I used to listen to CBC Radio literally all day long, mostly CBC Radio 2.  But now I listen pretty much exclusively to the BBC.  Mostly because I find the CBC hammers me with ads while BBC (from their website) is ad-free.  Nevertheless…

Audio – Podcasts I listen to

Podcasts I listen to, sorted by largest number of episodes I’ve listened to:

  1. 99% Invisible – by Roman Mars – it’s sort of a podcast about design, but I think of it more as a podcast of interesting things – this is free to listen to, but it does have ads (after the main episode) and is listener supported, you can donate to the PRX network
  2. The Memory Palace – by Nate DiMeo – this is sort of a podcast about history, but I think of it more like little carefully-crafted gems of stories, often with a strong emotional impact – this is free to listen to, but it does have ads (after the main episode I think) and is listener supported, you can donate to the PRX network
  3. Travel with Rick Steves – I don’t think anyone is going to be travelling for a long time, so this may be a way to voyage vicariously – Rick Steves is a good interviewer and ranges widely – it’s not just episodes about destinations, he also talks to travel writers and other authors, he has even done segments about space missions – currently at 597 episodes (I don’t know if all of them are online)
  4. Spacepod – by Carrie Nugent – she interviews a space scientist about their research, in some detail
  5. Talking Headways (audio only on libsyn, episodes with descriptions and transcripts on Streetsblog) – by Jeff Wood – “a weekly podcast about sustainable transportation and urban design” – listener supported, you can donate to The Overhead Wire on Patreon
  6. The Urbanist (from Monocle 24) – usually hosted by Andrew Tuck – “the show all about the cities we live in”
  7. BBC History Extra – now has Acast ads inserted at roll-in and part-way through the show regardless of whether you listen on the website or by podcast.  If your podcast app has the ability to skip intros, skip the first 30 seconds, which is now ads.
  8. Emperors of Rome – by Matt Smith – You can find it on Apple podcasts or the direct URL from La Trobe University is https://www.latrobe.edu.au/marketing/assets/podcasts/rssfeeds/caesar.xml
  9. Gresham College Lectures – this is what it says on the tin, lectures by university professors for a general audience, usually a series of lectures on a particular theme – you can find the audio podcast in Apple podcasts or the full videos of the lectures in the video section below
  10. When in Rome – by Matt Smith – this is a subscription podcast, it is starting its fifth series, you can subscribe through the Kickstarter (44 hours left as of this writing) – you can also find it on Apple podcasts or Google podcasts – “place and space in the Roman Empire”
  11. Carbone 14, le magazine de l’archéologie – France Culture

Video

Be mindful about when you’re watching video, as it can use a lot of bandwidth.

  • The Gardener – TVO – Frank Cabot’s extraordinary garden Les Quatre Vents, in La Malbaie, Quebec.
  • L’espace concerts de France Musique
  • New York Metropolitan Opera – “Each day, a different encore presentation from the Met Opera Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. Eastern until 6:30 p.m. the following day.” – I am not actually an opera fan, but you may be.
  • The UK Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (started by Michael Faraday in 1825).  The lectures present scientific subjects to a general audience.  They have lectures as far back as 1968 (not every year is available).
    The 2019 lectures were by Hannah Fry and called Secrets and Lies.  “An unseen layer of mathematics governs every aspect of our world.”
  • Story Time from Space – astronauts on the International Space Station read stories.
  • Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980) on Twitch.  Start at 03:03:51 for Episode 1 “The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean” – this link will take you directly there: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/403579080?t=03h03m51s
    (Yes, it’s an official site supported by Ann Druyan.  She co-wrote the Cosmos series and married in Carl Sagan in 1981.)
  • Salma The Syrian Chef read by the author Danny Ramadan on Twitter (Periscope).
    More information and link to buy the book at https://dannyramadan.com/salma/
  • L’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal – with a new concert available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • London Symphony Orchestra“Each Sunday and Thursday from 22 March 2020 we will be streaming a concert from our archive on our YouTube channel.”
  • Gresham College Lectures – this is what it says on the tin, lectures by university professors for a general audience, usually a series of lectures on a particular theme – you can also download PDFs of their presentations as well as PDF transcripts
  • British Museum – I don’t know how long they will keep the exhibition tours online
    May 20, 2020 – Pompeii Live – NOTE: contains sexual references and swear words that may be unsuitable for some audiences
    May 27, 2020 – Vikings Live
  • UK National Theatre – National Theatre at Home – theatre productions available on YouTube for a week starting Thursdays at 7pm UK time (2pm Eastern)
    May 21 – A Streetcar Named Desire, with Gillian Anderson
    May 28 – This House
    June 4 – Coriolanus
  • Ontario Stratford Festival – theatre productions released on YouTube each Thursday at 7pm Eastern, available for three weeks.  Follow their Twitter @stratfest for more info.
    May 21, 2020 – Timon of Athens
    May 28, 2020 – Love’s Labours Lost
    June 4, 2020 – Hamlet
    June 11, 2020 – King John
    June 18, 2020 – The Adventures of Pericles
    June 25, 2020 – Cleopatra
    July 2, 2020 – Romeo and Juliet
    July 9, 2020 – The Taming of the Shrew
  • France + Canada TV5 Unis – many excellent shows in French, e.g.
    Des racines et des ailes has episodes typically available for a week from Thursdays to Thursdays

I literally never watch CBC TV (I can’t stand ads).  But anyway…

  • CBC Gem (online TV)
  • Curio.ca is a paid service that is temporarily free in the current situation – “Curio.ca is a subscription-based educational streaming platform … thousands of programs, documentaries, audio content and archival material from CBC/Radio-Canada”

Public Broadcaster Guides

Pleasantville and Ready Player One

The 1998 Pleasantville movie is basically the antithesis of Ready Player One, the 2011 book.  (For various reasons, the Ready Player One 2018 movie is not as direct a comparison.)

Pleasantville is about smashing nostalgia, while Ready Player One is about celebrating it.

If Wade Watts had been transported to Pleasantville, it seems fairly likely that he would have quite happily stayed in black and white, reciting memorized lines episode by episode until he reached the end of a rerun cycle and looped back to the beginning again, looping endlessly without change, much like Pleasantville’s Main Street goes nowhere, its end just taking you back to its beginning.

One has to wonder whether he would have lived out this existence happily, a kind of static safe immortality in an unchanging world, or if at some point he would have wanted to break out.  Would pleasant safety have outweighed all other considerations?

It may be hard to imagine that someone could crave that endless sameness, but to some extent it depends on your learned experiences and mental processing about uncertainty.  The past stays in place, it stays at a safe distance.  The present can be overwhelming.  Pleasantville celebrates the reality of our colourful, noisy, chaotic, uncertain world, but not all of us are equipped by nature or nurture to embrace that experience.

Margaret Henderson: “What’s outside of Pleasantville?”
[long pause]
David / Bud: “There are some places that the road doesn’t go in a circle. There are some places where the road keeps going.”

Margaret: “So what’s it like?”
David: “What?”
Margaret: “Out there.”
David: “Well, it’s a … it’s louder, and… scarier, I guess, and it’s a… lot more dangerous.”
Margaret: “Sounds fantastic.”

And it is fantastic but also, it can be overwhelming, and painful.  Beautiful

David and Margaret in Pleasantville.

David and Margaret in Pleasantville.

but also painful.

David’s Mom: “I’m 40 years old, I mean it’s not supposed to be like this.”
David: “It’s not supposed to be anything.”

The past is predictable.  The Romans will always invade Britain in 43 AD, Harry Potter will always be sorted into Gryffindor, Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy will always save the world from nuclear war.  Wade Watts will watch Family Ties over and over again and Michael J. Fox will always be Alex P. Keaton, no more and no less.  You can loop around and around in reruns or rewatching or rereading and the characters never get to rebel, the events never change.

I’ve written about this kind of toxic nostalgia in the context of Ready Player One, but I didn’t talk a lot about why.  James Halliday has toxic nostalgia because he’s damaged.  He can have everything that money can buy, but he can’t have a different past, all his coding and control can’t change the fact that Kira Underwood married Og, not him.

There are only two ways through that.

Eternal Safety

In My-So Called Life, Brian will never ask out Angela, he will always be standing in episode 19, the last episode, watching her drive away with Jordan.  Because it’s the safe choice, the controlled choice.  In Star Trek: Generations, Tolian Soran will destroy an entire world just to escape back to the safe and controlled immortality of The Nexus.  Both destroying the future to stay safe alone.

In BBC Radio 4 – Archive on 4 – Commuterville, Matthew Sweet reaches his conclusion about the endlessly repeated routine of our lives in very English school essay fashion, calling on Nietzsche’s concept of eternal recurrence.  There is a definite comfort in routine, but also a kind of madness.

Endless Change

George Parker: “So what’s going to. happen now?”
Betty Parker: “I don’t know.  Do you know what’s going to happen now?
George Parker: “No, I don’t.”

It’s easy to say we should embrace this uncertainty, that we should learn the lesson of 1993’s Groundhog Day and work on making ourselves better as we go through our routine days.  But have empathy for those who are struggling to escape their life experiences and expectations.

It’s not supposed to be anything

There is supposed to be a kind of arc, a youthful embrace of change followed by an adult settling into a safe routine.  But Pleasantville challenges this arc.  While it certainly does celebrate youthful change, it makes it clear there is no winning, there is no right ending.  There’s just uncertainty.  Ready Player One is about what happens if you reject that uncertainty.  This is playing out at a large scale across our society.  People miss the factories… but you know, the factories were kind of terrible too.  We can’t go back.  It’s not coming back.  All you really get to choose is whether you’re going to be James Halliday and Wade Watts, endlessly jumping through a portal into an unchanging past, or if you’re going to be David, finding that there is beauty in change after all.

Movie Better Than Book

It’s not common, but sometimes a movie can be better than a book. Clearer, more focused, or just reimagined.

Neverending Story by Michael Ende – The book drags on, including a war. The 1984 movie is a much more focused, clearer story. Incidentally the Neverending Story II (1990) and Neverending Story III (1994) are terrible. In my usual approach to my personal canon, I have decided they don’t exist.

(Sequels with rollerblades are terrible. 1985’s Return to Oz… rollerblades. Terrible.)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick / Blade Runner – The book is typical Philip K. Dick, which is to say weird, dense, hard to follow. The 1982 Blade Runner movie is much better.

Movie Different Than Book

It’s pretty hard to compare Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg to the the 1995 movie, as Jumanji is a short kid’s picture book. The core ideas are in the book, but basically the entire storyline of the movie with the town and the kids is added. It made a pretty good movie.

Movies Adapted Into Books

This is a whole other universe that I will mention but not explore. Pretty much every major science fiction and fantasy movie that didn’t originate as a book has a book adaptation. Sometimes they illuminate or give a different view of the story. For example E.T. (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in his adventure on earth) by William Kotzwinkle in 1982 has rather more Dungeons and Dragons than you might expect. And continues into its own (not very good) 1985 sequel E.T. The Book of the Green Planet.

Also see previous post: Book Better Than Movie.

Book Better Than Movie

These are books that are better than the movies made from them.
It is a big challenge to take the complex, lengthy and often internal dialogue of a book and transform it into a short visual representation.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – It’s unfortunate that, having done a masterful job on The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson messed up The Hobbit (2012, 2013, 2014) by trying to turn this simple tale into an epic. Tolkien himself had revisited The Hobbit after The Lord of the Rings but abandoned the rewrite, finding that trying to make Hobbit more like the Rings took away from the integrity of the story. I look forward to a remake that gets it right.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – This is great as an audiobook. It could have made a good movie, but instead The Golden Compass (2007) went very heavy into the church side of things, and basically didn’t do justice to the book.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman – This is a good audiobook, read by the author. I don’t remember the 2007 movie that well, but it didn’t capture the book.

Ender’s War by Orson Scott Card – This is probably unfilmable as written, but nevertheless the core of the story is the practice battles that they fight, which the 2013 movie failed to capture.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones – I don’t really remember much about the movie, but I recall the 2004 movie failed to capture the book.

Contact by Carl Sagan – Turned into a very USA religion versus science 1997 movie, which is not at all the nature of the book.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – I find the book better than both the original radio drama and the movie, because of Adams’ gift with written language. The humour of a line like “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.” is hard to replicate in audio or film.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I had a lot to say about the many ways in which the Ready Player One (2018) movie totally failed as an adaptation of the book.

Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – I like this as the Stephen Fry audiobook. The first two movies directed by Chris Columbus had a good visual sense of Hogwarts and the students, in particular the importance of the house colours and a special school with a uniform. The third movie by Alfonso Cuarón in 2004 tried to do some grand theme about time and lost all of the visual sense and the understanding of being away at a special school, trying to make it just ordinary kids.

But Still a Good Movie

The Princess Bride by William Goldman – This is an example of a book that takes full advantage of literary techniques, including a lot of author asides. It is a very funny book. It made a good movie, but the movie couldn’t capture all the complexity and technique of the book.

The Martian by Andy Weir – The book is funnier than the movie, and the book has the luxury of being very highly technical, which wouldn’t have been feasible in the movie. Still a good movie though.

Also see next post: Movie Better Than Book.

Plain Kate by Erin Bow

Plain Kate is a well-constructed, harrowing journey by American-Canadian Erin Bow, “author of young adult novels that will make you cry on the bus”.

I gave it 5/5 on LibraryThing.

To some extent the determination of the character and the difficulty of her journey reminded me vaguely of Lyra in The Golden Compass, although they are very different books.

Timeless by Armand Baltazar

I really like Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic by Armand Baltazar. It is a kind of hybrid book: mostly text, but with some beautiful images. Unusually, the images are integral to the story – they advance the story, rather than just illustrating something in the text.

Here’s what I said in my review on LibraryThing:

In a story of a shattered world, beautiful art and wonderful ideas are seamlessly melded together.

An unusual book design in that the images themselves are narrative – they don’t illustrate events in the text, they tell new parts of the story.

I rated it 5/5.

four urbanist books

Jan Gehl spoke in Ottawa in 2010.

His book Cities for People is an excellent guide to understanding how humans experience the city and how to make good environments for people.

You can also watch Jan Gehl’s ideas in the documentary film The Human Scale.

Jeff Tumlin spoke in Ottawa in 2012, at the Planning Summit (which is now gone from the city’s website).

His book Sustainable Transportation Planning provides the context for understanding the current built environment and how to change it (it’s not just a planning manual, it’s a set of tools to help people work better with planners).

IMG_0640 - Version 2

Ken Greenberg spoke in Ottawa in 2011 as part of the Downtown Moves Public Lecture Program (which is now gone from the city’s website, but is available in the Internet Archive).

His book Walking Home frames the discussion as a journey from the suburbs we built back to the dense urban environments people are rediscovering, and that are best for humans.

W.H. Whyte has never spoken in Ottawa, because, well, he’s dead.

His book City, from 1988, is a fantastic exploration of how public space is actually used, and of how people actually experience the urban landscape.

IMG_7358

W.H. Whyte, Jane Jacobs and Jan Gehl are all intensely scientific in their approach to the city: they observe, they measure.  This is quite different from the modernist and brutalist approach, which asserted and imposed.

Note: Rescued this blog post from 2013, seemed about time to post it.

bandes dessinées and graphic novels

While Japanese manga and anime are known in North America, it seems to me that French bandes dessinées are not. Which is unfortunate, because these large-format graphic novels are often extraordinarily beautiful, in addition to having interesting stories. That being said, this is not some ideal literature – it often suffers from problems of racism and sexism.

As starting points, I recommend:

Ninn par Jean-Michel DARLOT et Johan PILET – 1. La Ligne Noire, 2. Les Grands Lointains

Le voyage Extraordinaire par Denis-Pierre FILIPPI et Silvio CAMBONI – Tome 1, 2, 4, 5. Tome 6 à paraître le 13 juin 2018.
sauf Tome 3

Unfortunately, Tome 3 has some remarkably sexist scenes and I can’t recommend it.

Les mondes cachés par Denis-Pierre FILIPPI et Silvio CAMBONI – 1. L’Arbre-Forêt, 2. La Confrérie secrète

You can find out more about bandes dessinées at www.bedetheque.com

In Canada, if you can’t find them from your regular retailer, you can often find them from Quebec retailers, e.g.:

Note that in France bandes dessinées are not just one particular genre or for one particular age group, so make sure you check the book before you give it to someone to read. For example Les aigles de Rome par Enrico MARINI is a very visceral story set in ancient Rome, and includes shall we say graphic intimacy.

There is a Canadian graphic novel series that I like a lot:

Three Thieves by Scott Chantler – 1. Tower of Treasure, 2. The Sign of the Black Rock, 3. The Captive Prince, 4. The King’s Dragon, 5. Pirates of the Silver Coast, 6. The Dark Island, 7. The Iron Hand (series is complete)

And from the rest of the world, there are a few others:

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi – books 1 through 7 – book 8 is scheduled to be released September 25, 2018
It’s a wild mix of genres, and quite a complicated story. It is very popular. The closest equivalent I can think of in text is Stephen Hunt’s Jackelian series, although those are for an older audience and much darker with elements of horror mixed in with the rest of the jumble of genres.

Mighty Jack & Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke are good.

Dream Jumper by Greg Grunberg and Lucas Turnbloom – 1. Nightmare Escape is good, unfortunately 2. Curse of the Harvester is not.

5 Worlds by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller and Boya Sun – Book 1 The Sand Warrior is good. Book 2 The Cobalt Prince is scheduled to be released May 8, 2018.

I quite like Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, it’s funny and sad.