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Posted: 24 Sep 2012, 14:21
Neither American nor Japanese, Fantômette is the star of a French comic series. And not just comics but books and TV (live action and animated). And yet as far as I know, none of it has ever been translated into English. Does anyone have any more information?
Recently Americans Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover have started a new digital comic series called Bandette. Although they say it was only influenced by Fantômette (among several others they list), since neither of them speak French, it's noticeable that Bandette's costume is basically a colour-swapped version of Fantômette's. Having said that, it's a lovely little comic with much humour and gorgeous art. Each monthly issue is quite short (13 pages, I think) but only 69p on Comixology.
Posted: 24 Sep 2012, 20:16
I must admit that I'd never even heard of Fantômette - thanks for bringing her to our attention Mari. I was, of course, aware of of the legendary French arch-criminal Fantômas, though it's hard to see any obvious connection between the two characters beyond the similarity in names.
It's interesting that, during the 1960s, British publishers tended to think of stories about superheroes and superheroines as a genre that only American writers could write properly - as a result of which Superman creator Jerry Siegel was employed to script the Spider and Gadgetman & Gimmick Kid for Lion as the nation fell under the temporary sway of Batmania. Towards the end of that decade, however, a new generation of British scripters came of age having grown up reading the imported Silver-Age comic-books which had once more become available on this side of the Atlantic from 1959. The end result of this was the so-called 'British Invasion' of writers and artists who found fame and fortune in the US during the 1980s, largely on the strength of their work for 2000AD.
But to my mind, the earliest evidence of this new sensibility can be found in the unlikely pages of Sally which contained no fewer than six strips about junior superheroines in its first issue, including The Cat Girl, Legion of Super Slaves, The Girl from Tomorrow, Tiny Tania, Maisie's Magic Eye, and The Justice of Justine (not to mention the comic misadventures of Twangy Pearl the Elastic Girl, who joined the lineup a few months later).
As I've always had a soft spot for non-American superheroes I'd also like to know more about the history of Fantômette - and any other French characters of similar vintage. Maybe Paw Broon can enlighten us further on this subject?
Incidentally, Mari, what is Comixology?
- Phil Rushton
Posted: 24 Sep 2012, 23:44
Comixology is a digital comics website. Prices start as low as Free.
Posted: 27 Sep 2012, 20:49
All you need to know on the great Fantomette here:-