If there was one plus to learning French, it's that tons of cool graphic novels come from France or Belgium and they're all french. I've been a fan of Heavy Metal Magazine since I was a kid and saw some great Mobius Sci Fi (and cartoon boobs were cool when I was 12!) in my first issue. I was pretty much hooked. Many years later I found out that many of the sci fi graphic novels featured in HM were actually french in origin and had been simply traslated for use in the enlish market.
Well, the Orleans public library has about 4 or 5 floor to ceiling book-cases of the stuff, it's almost always there (because it's french I think) and a few weeks ago I stumbled across this series called Aldebaran by Léo(Luiz Eduardo de Oliveira), a Paris re-located Brazilian. It's one of the best things I've read in ages! I have to use an electronic dictionary from time to time and there are some weird written tenses ("Fut", passé simple, who knew?) but the story is top notch. They gotta start making films out of these. Oh and the cartoon boobs, forever a staple of french BD (Band Desiner), are 'partout'.
The story is about a planet long colonized by earth but forgotten and left to fend for itself as economic crises or some such thing halts space travel to the colony from Earth. The people on the new planet have no idea what's happened (no communication) and simply spend the next 100 years trying to survive and grow the initial colony population. To do this a totalitarian regime installs itself and the state decrees that all women should have between 8 and 9 babies to grow the population. Women in prison are artificially inseminated against their will. The story starts in a small fishing village where locals start to notice strange behavoir amongst the aquatic population and huge strange structures manifesting themselves out of water and then turning back to liquid. Two strangers appear on the scene and speak of a huge 'creature' that is said to inhabit the ocean and is responsible for the strange happenings.
Tons of strange quirky facts all arrange themselves to uncover the story. Like, why are the two strangers found in photos that are over 100 years old, why are they wanted by the state? Why is it that when one of them gets their hand amputated in one scene that it grows back in a few weeks (actually that scene is pretty dicey, one of the strangers gets shot in the hand, gangreen sets in and the person insists that it be removed. Since they are in the woods with no tools, on the run from the police, the other person gnaws it off with his teeth at the insistance of the other - WOOHOO!
The alien animal life is fabulously drawn and there'S an ongoing theme in the books where the stuff that looks dangerous isn't really but the Ewok-looking thing that looks like a child's toy can rip your head off.
Check it out if you get the chance!
I'm reading Betelgeuze by the same guy now..