Last month I wrapped up my first New York Comic Con experience with a panel called Euro Comics: Spotlight on the French Invasion. As a fan of bande dessinée I was hoping to gain a few new comic recommendations and maybe come up with some ideas for my upcoming Bande Diary pieces. And both of those things did happen (the stack of Ghost Money beside my bed is proof). But as an added bonus I also found out about Europe Comics.
Europe Comics is a new website featuring all-digital, all-European comics. Publishers from across the continent have banded together in effort to share English editions of their favourite comics on a global scale—with readers and prospective foreign publishers alike. Partners include Dargaud (France), Akan Ajans (Turkey), BAO Publishing (Italy), Darkwood (Serbia), Timof Comics (Poland), and Dibbuks (Spain). Together they hope to gain exposure for European creators and build a detailed and thorough directory of comics, events, the history of the medium in Europe, and more.
This website was the brain child of Franco-Belgian comics agent Mediatoon Licensing and has been three years in the making. Now, I am pleased to report that as of November 10, 2015, the site has officially launched.
On October 8th, Europe Comics released their first nine titles on their website, and now, to celebrate their debut, they have released ten more from the catalogues of French and Belgian publishers Dargaud, Dupuis, and Le Lombard. These new titles include Pico Bogue, an all ages comedy, Raptors, a dark vampire filled urban fantasy, the semi-fiction Death to the Tsar, which takes places ten years before the Russian Revolution, and Alter Ego, an action-adventure tale for all the YA lovers out there.
And they’re not stopping there! A second wave of comics will be made available later this month on November 25th, and will include the futuristic Serbian saga Keepers of Lost Time (Marić, Radovanović), the Spanish cyberspace thriller Bitcoin (Preukschat, Busquet, Ares), and the Flemish children’s classic Jeremy (Nys). The catalog will continue to grow an additional 15 to 20 titles a month from there.
Europe Comics is just the website I’ve been waiting for. American comics and Japanese comics are plentiful in North America, but it can be difficult to find, or even find out about, European comics, and while I may live in Quebec, and have more access to French comics than others in North America, it can still be difficult to find the comics I’m looking for, or to find English translations for my comic reading friends who can’t speak the language. Europe Comics gives readers the opportunity to discover new comics and new creators and be exposed stories across a variety of cultures and experiences.