Comic Baton™

baton, n, tubular object carried by and passed between members of a relay team

On weblogs, the concept of a baton is used to pass around small text/information games. More often than not it’s an excuse not to provide better content. That said, I simply had to pick up this latest one. Damn you Jonas.

Number of Comics on the Shelf

At home, meaning my current apartment of residence, I have 61 “real” comics. Except for a few Calvin and Hobbes, they’re all in their danish translation. It’s simply impossible to collect foreign language comics in Denmark. Still, I’ve kept their original titles, so as to confuse as little as possible.

Last Comic Purchased

Valerian – Bienvenue sur Alflolol. Not too great condition, but it’s not easy picking up Valerian in Copenhagen, especially when it’s a rarity (which this is).

Comic Reading Right Now

Right now I’m stuck in a book (see Book Baton™), but the last comic was of course “Bienvenue sur Alflolol” since it was also my last purchase.

Last 5 Comics Read

  • Mezieres / Christin – Bienvenue sur Alflolol
    One of the better Valerian albums. Drawn back when Valerian was more comic and less serious. It’s a nice combination of a simplistic story, fantastic illustrations and a subtle political message.
  • Jodorowsky/Moebius’ John Difool, La Cinquieme Essence 2
    My colleague Peter was kind enough to lend me the entire series.
  • Mezieres / Christin – La Cite des Eaux Mouvantes
    This is the comic that got me started on collecting Valerian. Ironically it took me a while to pick this specific comic up, and it was one of the last Valerian albums I purchased. Then again, it is a rarity. This is probably my favourite album. Heck the cover-art alone should is reason enough for this.
  • Franqin – Le voyageur du mezozoique
    A fun no-brainer. Franqin is always worth reading.
  • Franqin – Some Gaston album

Gaston is my idol. Surely a character that knows how to relax.

Comics That Mean a Lot to Me

I grew up with Tintin, so obviously that’s meant a lot to me in terms of picking up comic book reading myself. My brother quickly got into Franqin, so I picked up that as well. Carl Barks’ Donald Duck comics have always been present on shelves in our house in Sweden, so I’ve read them thin. The Far Side and Calvin & Hobbes comics are also close to my heart.

Passing This Along To?

You, the reader interested in comics. Feel free to take some real estate right below this by sending me a trackback if you pick this up.

17 thoughts on “Comic Baton™”

  1. Jonas Rabbe says:

    It’s almost uncanny how similar our comic upbringing and tastes are. I guess all I have to do is extend my comic collection at home (my measly 20 some comics really doesn’t do my interest in comics any justice).

    I’m very glad, although not surprised, that you picked up the puce baton (I’m sure if comics were a baton, they’d be puce, and since I’ve created this one I get to pick). From your earlier comment I did have an idea your tastes were similar to mine, but reading this I almost felt like I could have written it. Now I just have to pick up some John Difool albums since you seem to be enjoying them.

  2. Joen says:

    From your earlier comment I did have an idea your tastes were similar to mine, but reading this I almost felt like I could have written it.

    Indeed, that is strange. Then again, the bulk of the comics we’ve talked about is all quality material. In fact, I’ve been wanting to look into Blake & Mortimer again, but those albums are even more difficult to pick up than Valerian.

    Now I just have to pick up some John Difool albums since you seem to be enjoying them.

    See if you can borrow them at your local library. They’re excellently drawn and they’re a good read. But they’re not totally must have parts of your collection. That, and they’re hard to find.

  3. Jonas Rabbe says:

    It seems I often have success finding interesting albums at Faraos Cigarer, it’s remarkably well stocked. I must admit it’s been too long since I’ve been in Fantask to say anything about them.

    Unfortunately, it seems the only Blake & Mortimer they have at Faraos Cigarer and Fantask are the new ones. Too bad the only Blake & Mortimer we have are in Sweden, I suddenly feel like reading them again.

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  5. Chris says:

    I didn’t mention this in my Baton post but what of the state of comic shops that you regularly attend?

    Here, every comic shop you go to is perhaps 10% comics and 90% table-top games. I was never able to get into such games as a kid and now they strike me as this giant irritant. The last time I want comic hunting three of the four shops I entered were in the midst of one tournament or another. Now, mind you, the word comic is in the name of the shop.

    When you enter, all the back issues are in boxes, under long tables, surrounded by table-toppers playing WarHammer or Yu-Gi-Oh or whatever the latest craze is. So, its impossible to even look at the comics. One tiny shop I entered was so full of gamers that I entered, walked the periphery then left.

    I think the actual hardest part about buying comics now, in the states at least, is that if you’re not a regular reader, you’ll enter to a room full of staring comic-geek and whispers of, “he does not belong.” It can put one off a purchase quite quickly.

  6. Jonas Rabbe says:

    See if you can borrow them at your local library. They?re excellently drawn and they?re a good read.

    Thanks for the encouragement, it was all I needed to drag my ass down to the local library. I actually found the first issue of John Difool, but at lot of other stuff too. I went for a wide variety to satisfy my taste buds. Everything from The Punisher to Valerian. I found both La Cit? des Euax Mouvantes and Per des Temps Incertains which is kinda interesting since the characters Schroeder and Sun Rae appear in both. And then I found a Mickey Mouse 70 year celebration book. I’m not much into Mickey, but in the spirit of diversity I borrowed that one too.

    I didn?t mention this in my Baton post but what of the state of comic shops that you regularly attend?

    The shop Fararos Cigarer (named after the Tintin album Les Cigares du Pharaon) is actually two seperate shops, one which deals in games and one dealing only in comics and anime. As I said above I haven’t visited Fantask for a long time and can’t really say how it is. When I was a kid I always looked at comics in the local bookstore, but now they don’t seem to have very many (if any).

    When I was in Paris two years ago I went with a couple of friends to a few comic store, and they had an awesome selection. I would have hoped for something similar in the US, but it seems from your comments, Chris, that there isn’t.

  7. Joen says:

    Chris,

    I didn’t mention this in my Baton post but what of the state of comic shops that you regularly attend?

    If I am to have the slightest chance of finding any Valerian comics, I have to to go second-hand bookstores since they are out of printing. As are all the other belgian comics except for Franqin. Fortunately they are all visited mainly by comic book buffs like myself, although one specific (which is GREAT for getting Valieran by the way), “Pegasus”, is sometimes visited by Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons.

    Faraos Cigarer is a good shop (Jonas also mentions this), and I think it used to be exactly like the shops you describe: part infested with card game players / dungen masters, part for comic buffs. But they took the consequence and separated the two. Now there are two shops, and I need only visit the one 🙂

    Jonas,

    I actually found the first issue of John Difool, but at lot of other stuff too. I went for a wide variety to satisfy my taste buds. Everything from The Punisher to Valerian. I found both La Cit? des Euax Mouvantes and Per des Temps Incertains which is kinda interesting since the characters Schroeder and Sun Rae appear in both. And then I found a Mickey Mouse 70 year celebration book. I?m not much into Mickey, but in the spirit of diversity I borrowed that one too.

    See, libraries rock.

    Unfortunately, John Difool is a two-edged sword. It’s one huge 6 part story, and while each album is good, it does suffer from the “to-be-continued” disease.

    As for Valerian, just to reiterate: La Cit? des Euax Mouvantes is really the best Valerian album ever. It’s interesting you also got that much later one Per des Temps Incertains, I think there might be 20 years between the two! And they both play out on earth, as far as I remember.

    is actually two seperate shops, one which deals in games and one dealing only in comics and anime.

    It seems I just repeated you 🙂

    That said, in my experience Faraos Cigarer is not so good when it comes to second-hand albums. Try instead Antikvariatet – Elmegade Antikvariat (Elmegade 8-10), or Pegasus – they are all well stocked.

  8. Chris says:

    Point of clarification. when the two of you say, “album” what are you describing. Understanding that in American English we only use album for collections of photos or music recording.

  9. Jonas Rabbe says:

    I use album to refer to a comic, as opposed to an issue of a comic magazine. To me a comic album is a something like Valerian or Spirou Fantasio, a comic book is something like a Far Side book or Calvin & Hobbes book, while a graphic novel is something like the Punisher (the one I borrowed is called Welcome Back Frank ).

    I guess it’s cuz it’s always been a comic album to us danes.

  10. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Well, just found out, the Punisher is a bad example since it also comes as magazines (or whatever you’d call them). Extended version, a graphic novel is to me a comic with a continuing story which takes more than 5 minutes to read (which is quite long in comic terms when I get going).

  11. Chris says:

    Ah, OK, well that’s just even more confusing. 🙂

  12. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Ah, OK, well that?s just even more confusing. 🙂

    Argh, I give up 😛 Runs away and hides in corner.

  13. Joen says:

    I’d have answered somewhat the same thing 🙂

    A Comic album: Slightly larger than A4 sized with a flat back, and better paper for the cover.

  14. Chris says:

    See, we just call that an issue, or ish. When you were saying album I was thinking perhaps you were referring to the entire comic series.

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