Addictive Franco-Belgian Comics You Should Read

Our world is filled with images that have specific meaning tied to them, and reading comics makes a child more familiar and comfortable with understanding these visual clues. Plus, reading comics help readers increasing literacy skills, boosting the love of reading, and having fun at the same time.

Franco-Belgian comics are one of the most popular in the world, right after US and Japanese comics. Bande Dessinée – as the French call them, are not only seen as just comic strips, but also as an art form known as the “Ninth Art.” Here’s a list of top addictive Franco-Belgian comics you should read.

Lucky Luke

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Lucky Luke series was created by Morris (Maurice De Bevere) in 1949.  In 1957 a young French comic artist and writer René Goscinny joined Morris as assistant writer.

Lucky Luke is the world’s greatest cowboy. He can shoot faster than his own shadow. He travels around delivering justice wherever he goes, accompanied by his faithful companion, Jolly Jumper, the smartest horse on the West. Some of the stories have a historical basis, like the settlement of Oklahoma, the first oil drills, and includes historical figures like Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane.

This entire series (79 albums) has been translated into 23 languages, including many European languages.

Asterix

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Asterix series is the creation by French cartoonists René Goscinny (1926-1977) and Alert Uderzo (b.1927). It began in 1961 and contains 35 primary works. The Asterix series is one of the most popular Franco-Belgian comics in the world, with the series being translated into over 100 languages, and it is popular in most European countries. Asterix is less well known in the United States and Japan.

The series follows the exploits of a village of ancient Gauls as they resist Roman occupation. They do so by means of a magic potion, brewed by their druid, which gives the recipient superhuman strength. The protagonist, the titular character, Asterix, along with his friend Obelix have various adventures.

The success of the series has led to the adaptation of several books into 11 films. There have also been a number of games based on the characters, and a theme park near Paris.

Marsupilami

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Marsupilami is a fictional comic book species created by André Franquin, first published on 31 January 1952.

The comic is set in the Palombia jungle and follows the lives of marsupilamis – which are yellow creatures with black spots and enormously long tails- in their natural habitat.  Male marsupilamis have an incredibly long, strong, flexible, prehensile tail, used for almost any task. Males say “houba” most of the time, while females say “houbii.”

The Smurfs

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The Smurfs created by cartoonist Peyo (Pierre Culliford) in 1958.

Named for their personalities, the Smurfs are little, blue elf-like creatures that live in mushroom houses in an enchanted forest. According to the original magazine that published The Smurfs comics, there are 105 Smurfs. The two most famous are Papa Smurf, the leader of the Smurfs who always wear red clothes and has a bushy white beard, and Smurfette.

The Adventures of Tintin

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The Adventures of Tintin is a series of comic albums created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi (1907–1983), who wrote under the pen name Hergé.

The series is set during 20th century. Its hero is Tintin, a young Belgian reporter. He is aided by his faithful fox terrier dog Snowy. Later, popular additions to the cast included the brash and cynical Captain Haddock, the highly intelligent but hearing-impaired Professor Calculus, and other supporting characters such as the incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson and the opera diva Bianca Castafiore.

Tintin had been published in more than 70 languages with more than 200 million copies