Monday, November 09, 2009

Bande Dessinée

The French and the Belgians have a long tradition in comics and comic books, where they are known as BDs, an abbreviation of bande dessinée in French. La bande dessinée is derived from the original description of the artform as "drawn strips". It is not insignificant that the French term contains no indication of subject matter, unlike the American terms "comics" and "funnies", which imply an art form not to be taken seriously. Indeed, the distinction of comics as the "ninth art" is prevalent in Francophone scholarship on the form (le neuvième art), as is the concept of comics criticism and scholarship itself.

The "ninth art" designation stems from Claude Baylie's extension of Ricciotto Canudo's seven arts manifesto (television was viewed as the eighth art) from 1964. Relative to the respective size of their countries, the innumerable authors in the region publish huge numbers of comic books. In North America, the more serious Franco-Belgian comics are often seen as equivalent to graphic novels. But whether they are long or short, bound or in magazine format, in Francophone Europe there is no need for a more sophisticated term, as the art's name does not itself imply something frivolous.

While this all might seem so serious, BD's are actually a lot of fun. And if you'd like to get a sample of this art, while staying true to your motorcycle passion, check out the Librarie Moto du Motard at Accessoires Moto Online. They have a huge selection of BD's, plus traditional books, techinical manuals, dvd's and video games. French reading skills are required of course, to fully appreciate the story lines.

Source: Wikipedia