Incredible Indie Tuesday: If You Like French Time-Traveling Space Secret Agents, This Column’s For You

Valerian et Laureline French volume 1, creators Pierre Cristin and Jean-Claude Mézières, originally published in 1967Are you ready for the GREATEST comic movie news of 2015 that doesn’t feature Sebastian Stan’s mournful eyes???  The dude who made The Fifth Element is making a movie out of the French comic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which is exactly the kind of ’60s sci-fi zany adventure it sounds like.   The two titular leads are basically space secret agents going on various adventures, made all the better by the fact that Laureline is a peasant girl from the 11th century whose transported to 2700 and kicking all sorts of awesome alien ass.  How am I just learning about a comic all about a time-traveling space spy lady????  This is the first I’m hearing of Valérian and Laureline, a comic series created by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Méziézes, which further confirms my American phillistine status since it’s well-known in France where it ran from 1967 all the way until 2010.

valerian and laureline chatelet station excerpt, creators pierre cristin and Jean-Claude Mézières, first published in 1967
I already 100% have a crush of Laureline just from this panel alone

Add the fact that Laureline is being played by Cara Delevigne (a.k.a. number #2 on my celebrity lesbian crush list), and it’s as if they are making this movie solely to pander to my interests.  Anyway, the movie has apparently been announced for a while but is in the news because Ethan Hawke has been cast in an unannounced role.  Literally every other part of the movie is more interesting than Ethan Hawke, but at least his presence is bringing more attention to this gem of a film being created.  So thanks, Ethan, but if you wouldn’t mind, please have a scheduling conflict so they can cast Ellen Page in your role instead.

Through the Woods, Emily Carroll, A Lady's Hands, July 2014If you have any interest in digital comics as a medium or how form can be used to create suspense, check out this amazing breakdown of Emily Carroll’s digital work.  It walks the reader through the distinct formatting choices Carroll makes to create storytelling details through the use of digital comics, such as the scroll-down to create a sense of distance or depth to stories like His Face All Red, or the way the click-through of a digital comic page is similar yet distinct from the print page-turn reveal.  What’s great is that these choices are so effective that they feel completely natural while reading the comics for the first time, so I loved the chance to revisit these stories and appreciate again just how much smart thought and design work went into their creation.  My suggestion: check out this article then pick up your copy of her book Through the Woods and see just how Carroll’s storytelling techniques changes with her medium.  By the end you’ll love Emily Carroll EVEN MORE.

Alone webcomic excerpt, creator Olivia StephensSpeaking of cool digital comics, I really enjoyed this profile of webcomic artist Olivia Stephens, especially her discussion of being self-taught and making a name for yourself as a WoC in the online comics sphere.  I haven’t checked out her webcomic Alone in its entirety yet, but I really like the pages I’ve seen, ESPECIALLY the muted color choices in a romance-oriented comic.

The Violent Cover 1, writer Ed Brisson, artist Adam Gorham, cover art Adam Gorham, colorist Michael Garland, Image Comics 2016Let me tell you what, I was not expecting to be interested in a crime comic called The Violent but this interview with writer Ed Brisson and penciller Adam Gorham has me tentatively excited.  The story is centered on a couple who are doing their best to “keep their life, family, sobriety and selves from falling apart” according to Brisson.  Now I would LOVE it if this is actually going to be an honest look at what it’s like to re-enter society after prison and all the dysfunction that can come with having a loved one struggling with addiction.   But…considering it’s been described as a crime comic and is called The Violent of all things, somehow I feel like it might be a lot more action and melodrama than anything close to the ugly, honest truth of what that reality would actually look like. Guess I’ll have to pick issue #1 up this Wednesday and see?


Catie Coleman

Catie Coleman

Catie is a lawyer by day, comics fan by night (and during the lunch hour). Unsurprisingly, her idol is She-Hulk and can only wish that she could work a purple suit in the courtroom like Shulkie can. She's also into Stephanie Brown, because she has apparently an affinity for characters in purple.