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Tandra Page 1518, French Comics

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I’m sitting on my back porch looking out over the yard as the rising sun brightens the Eastern sky.

“Valerian”, from which the excellent movie was produced and recently on theatre screens, has apparently been released in English Edition Books within the last few years. I’m certain the publishers had in mind to cash in on the movie’s popularity and sell tons of books. It did not work out like that. The movie did not find an audience and there will not be a “Valerian II” at your local cinema any time soon. Sadly, European comics do not find an audience in America. You could say “Valerian, the Movie” was poorly produced and marketed, but I don’t think that tells the whole story.

Steven Speilberg teamed with Peter Jackson, of “Lord Of The Rings” fame a few years back to bring “Tintin”, the most popular comics character in the world, to an American audience in 2012. “Tintin” was an excellent movie using CGI animation and lifted directly from the original books, but it also failed to click with American audiences.

“Lt. Blueberry”, unquestionably the finest Western comic ever created, was released by Marvel not so long ago. The books did not sell in numbers to justify continuing to release the complete series.

One of the problems with European Comics is that European heroes tend not to resolve their problems with brute force. Whereas Captain America goes after his opponents with fists and the ensuing fight tends to demolish half a block and Superman’s fight with Bad Boy Zod levels half of Metropolis with a corresponding loss of life in the millions, if you take the leveled skyscrapers as evidence, European characters tend toward out thinking the bad guys. I do not remember a single fist fight in the “Valerian” Movie. As a matter of interest, according to “Valerian” Writer Pierre Christin, most of the “Valerian” comics novels do not have a villain. Valerian and Laureline are more concerned with solving situations.

Milt Caniff, an American Comics creator famous for “Terry and The Pirates” and for “Steve Canyon” explained that a good comics story must have a really bad villain for the audience to hate. Pierre Christin apparently never heard Caniff’s advice.

In any case, while “Valerian, The Movie” did not find an audience in the States, the books are on the Amazon Best Seller Lists. So it’s not a complete loss. Americans may have turned up their noses at the movie, but they appear to have warmed to the books, and that’s a good thing!

“Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.” -Thomas Jefferson


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