Tentacle Tuesday: dans la galère tentaculaire…

… in which we continue our exploration of tentacles slithering their way into Franco-Belgian comics!

In an orderly fashion, please.

The other day, a friend heartily recommended a certain movie to me, pointing out that it was ‘ancient’ and therefore probably available online for free. When I checked the year, it turned out to have been from 1995 which, excuse me, hardly qualifies as prehistoric. What can be considered ‘old’, then, people in their early thirties will ask? Why, this magazine cover, for instance.

Le Petit journal illustré (May 21st, 1922). The bottom says “a drama at the bottom of the sea”, with details of how a diver was attacked by an octopus and cannot get out his knife to fight against his repellent aggressor.

Skipping some thirty years ahead, I believe we’re still in “old” territory.

A page from « Zette reporter : Aventure en Pacifique », published in Lisette n° 38 (September 16th, 1956). Script by François Drall, illustration by Yvan Marié. The girls, after witnessing a fight between a giant shark and octopus, now seek to escape the clutches of the victor’s eight appendages.

Lisette was a comics magazine specifically aimed at female readership (to be more precise, it was marketed to girls between 7 and 15 years old). The interesting part is that it often featured articles about traditionally men-dominated careers, some of which had only been very recently accessible to women… for instance, an interview with Anne Chopinet (one of first women accepted in l’École polytechnique) and a reportage on women air pilots back when this was an almost exclusively man-only club.

Moving on to further, more energetic octopus-evading tactics… we have Bob Morane, originally a hero harking from adventure books written by prodigiously prolific Belgian novelist Henri Vernes, and published by Belgian éditeur Marabout. The number of adventures Morane has lived through is rather staggering: around 200 novels + about 80 comics albums. Now there’s a challenge for the serious collector!

Original art from Bob Morane et l’oiseau du feu (1960). Illustrated by Dino Attanasio.

Co-admin RG has already spoken about Toute la gomme, but he kindly held back this terrific tentacular page for my TT feature!

Scripted by Antoine Raymond (a.k.a. Vicq), illustrated by Will, 1962.

Co-admin RG called André Franquin‘s œuvre “an embarrassment of riches” in his Faites gaffe, monsieur Franquin! post. I thoroughly agree, and am very pleased to report (though this is in no way surprising) that tentacles are part of his vast répertoire.

Pages from what’s collectively known as Idées noires (Franquin’s Last Laugh in English). These dark strips and cartoons were Franquin’s « l’humour du désespoir », the humour of despair, and appeared in Le trombone illustré (Spirou’s magazine supplement) in 1977 and, with the discontinuation of the latter, moved to Fluide Glacial until 1983.

I’d better stop here. After all, I wouldn’t want to go as far as ‘modern’ times… say, from the 90s and onward, although it’s scary to think that was still 30 years ago!

~ ds

Lovely colours (by co-admin RG), aren’t they?

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