[identity profile] houbanaut.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily

This classic French BD, which inspired Star Wars and The Fifth Element, has never become very popular in the US, though quite a lot of it has been published here at one time or another. This one, though, is my own scanlation of a story that was never released in English (15 pp., ~8 MB; dial-uppers beware!).

Valerian & LaurelineMetro ChateletFirst, a few words of introduction. Valérian was created in 1967 by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres, and has been one of the most popular comics in Europe ever since. In the story, Earth is destroyed by a nuclear catastrophe in 1986, and it takes hundreds of years for civilization to rebuild itself. However, by the 28th Century, Earth has become the center of an interplanetary empire, Galaxity. Valerian and his younger partner Laureline are agents of the Galaxity Space-Time Service. Valerian is the veteran of the two, an expert pilot and handy with a ray gun. He picked up Laureline in medieval France on an early mission. She's the brains of the outfit, and grows from an occasional sidekick in the first stories to become arguably the primary character later on. Their personal relationship is ambiguous at this point in the series. They have a space ship, called the astronef (rendered here as "space dish"), which allows them to travel in time as well as space. And no, it's not an imitation of the Millennium Falcon; Lucas ripped them off.

By the time of Metro Châtelet - Direction Cassiopée (1980, 46 pp. - part 1 of 2), which in English might go something like "Next Stop Châtelet: Bound for Cassiopeia," 1986 was no longer that far into the future, and the creators were forced to start thinking about how to reconcile the series' timeline with the actual course of history. That led to some of the best stories of the series, beginning with this one.

I particularly like this story for its dreamlike atmosphere, with Valerian increasingly spaced out, walking around a city he doesn't know, dealing with a plot he doesn't understand, haunted by visions from other worlds, and facing creatures straight out of fantasy.

Scans are not mine (though I've cleaned them up a bit). Translation assisted by Babelfish and a Scandinavian copy.

Albert informs Valerian that something has been observed in the Metro. They head down there to check it out.

Valerian is brought to a hospital, while the mysterious Americans leave in frustration.

Albert and Valerian go out to dinner, and they discuss the case so far. We learn that this was not the first creature to manifest: a while ago some kind of giant ogre emerged from an old mine, and the Galaxity military unit sent to take care of it (because mythical beasts appearing in the twentieth century is a major temporal anomaly!) was itself caught on camera. Valerian has been dispatched to deal with the matter in a more low-profile way.

Albert has discovered that Valerian is under surveillance by Bellson & Gambler, a multinational corporation that has been observed on the scene of both incidents. He shakes them, and they head out to the French countryside, where there have been reports of a sea monster in the marshes.

Meanwhile, Laureline is following the trail from the other end, and slowly putting together the pieces on what it is he is facing. But frustrated by the situation, his constant headaches and by being so far apart from Laureline, Valerian heads out into the city by himself, where he soon gets picked up by a mysterious woman who seems to know him...

Date: 2009-11-06 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaron_bourque.insanejournal.com
That is an awesome trenchcoat.

Date: 2009-11-06 01:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taggerung301.insanejournal.com
this is hard to wrap my little head around, but it looks like a fun read
could you post some of the first issue perchance? I would be very grateful

Date: 2009-11-06 01:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icon_uk.insanejournal.com
Ye gods, but this is beautiful stuff! Thank you for posting!

Date: 2009-11-06 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nezchan.insanejournal.com
I adore the art here, but that's not a big shock coming from me. I remember my brother had a couple of the books back in the 80's that I read and enjoyed greatly, but honestly can't recall what stories they were. It was about the time that Ki>Heavy Metal was still mostly translating the Metal Hurlant stuff, so the quality was high and there was a lot of good European stuff coming into the North American anglo market.

When I've got a bit of money again, I'm going to have to seek some of this stuff out.

Date: 2009-11-06 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lonewolf23k.insanejournal.com
I used to be a big fan of the series, but the stories increasingly became a vehicule for the (male) author's intensely pro-feminist views and his criticism of masculine society which is apparently nothing but pure evil or something..

Date: 2009-11-06 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ar_feiniel_.insanejournal.com
I really like the art!

Date: 2009-11-06 03:55 am (UTC)
ext_395926: (Default)
From: [identity profile] snosten.insanejournal.com
when the french do it good, they do it gooood

Date: 2009-11-06 04:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
Oooh - preeeeetty. I wonder if it's a coincidence that Laureline is from medieval France, and her spacesuit looks something like Joan of Arc's armor...? Any chance of posting more of this?

Date: 2009-11-06 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
Well, anything further is better than what I've seen so far, which has been nothing. Whatever works; any of it would be appreciated.

Date: 2009-11-06 07:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arilou_skiff.insanejournal.com
I love, love, LOVE Valerian (or "Linda & Valentin" as it was called here) It has some very awesome stories (I posted a few bits of "Heroes of the Equinox" on old Scans_Daily, and I think it's still some of the funniest stuff I've seen)

The art is wonderful, and well, I still kind of have a crush on Laureline. She's awesome in all sorts of ways. And yes, the art is fantastic.

Date: 2009-11-06 12:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tahngarth.insanejournal.com
I regret not being able to read this in the original French. Like Arilou I read this series in the Swedish translations (they had some of them at my school library) and rather liked the weird sci-fi fantasy style of it.

The TV series adaption is just... ugh, though.

Date: 2009-11-07 12:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arilou_skiff.insanejournal.com
God that looks awful. Those voices? Ugh.

Date: 2009-11-06 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lakrids404.insanejournal.com
"Linda & Valentin" It was my favorite comic when I was young. And yes I thought some time it was a little preachy in its morals. As I have become older I find that often like stories with a little core of morale, than violent amorale stories.

Date: 2009-11-06 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] idreading.insanejournal.com
This is really intriguing and so pretty! Thanks for the post.

Date: 2009-11-07 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ficticons.insanejournal.com
I ♥ BD so much!

I like this art. And, as a current resident of Paris, noting the details (particularly the area that leads down into the metro tunnel, the " Passage Interdit au Public - Danger" sign, OMG the metro! Chatelet is a crazy station....) was brilliant and some of them made me squee inside. :D Albert's way of getting Valerian out of the tricky situation at the hospital, and his way of explaining the "really big gun" (:D), were great too.

I hope you don't mind my asking, by the way, but how exactly did you do the scanlation? Was it in a graphics editing program? I have some French-language comics that might be worth sharing too, and I was wondering if I should/could translate and post it myself.

And lastly, despite my self-proclaimed love of BD, I don't think I'd heard of this one before. Thanks for posting the scans!

Date: 2009-11-07 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blake_reitz.insanejournal.com
Thanks for posting this! I bought the New Future Trilogy when it came out (mostly due to my high levels of love for The Fifth Element) and have been looking for more ever since.


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