It’s one of the more notable aspects of the Franco-Belgian comics scene that there’s no stigma either way for comics experimentalists to create genre work. Thus the trailblazing cartoonists of L’Association have variously worked on children’s comics and most light-hearted fare with great success. Such a work is Lewis Trondheim’s DONJON, which NBM has been publishing in the US. DONJON is a sprawling satirical fantasy about anthropomorphic warriors in a magical, ludicrous kingdom. It’s a darkly whimsical epic that’s a mash-up of D&D, CEREBUS, GROO, and any number of works by headliners Trondheim and Joann Sfar.
The best thing about it is that over the course of 30 volumes, Trondheim has employed pals like Sfar, Christophe Blain, Manu Larcenet, Blutch, and Killoffer to aid him in the stories. The latest volume, Dungeon: Monstres Vol. 3 Heartbreaker, includes self-contained stories about supporting characters set in the Dungeon universe. Kinda like TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS if you want to get populist. Half the book is by the great Carlos Nine half by Killoffer, a fierce talent best known in the English for the radical 676 Apparitions of Killoffer. Here are some of his DUNGEON pages, a little more light-hearted but no less startling.
If all this seems too complicated….never mind, just look at the pretty, pretty pictures!
Damn, I love comics.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.