Jour J - French AH Comics collection

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by LSCatilina, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. freivolk Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    I bought the first german edition and I must say I liked it. Good plot, good world-building. Okay, the whole AH isn´t very plausible, but I think you can say this for the most AH-fiction. I just have problems with two things: The author simply doesn´t seem to know how changing the US-constitution works and the cliche of "evil drunkard Nixon".
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  2. Thande A special man who knows these things Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    Evil Nixon is certainly a cliché, but I've not heard drunkard Nixon this a French (or German) thing?
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  3. freivolk Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Isn´t there a american movie, which is practicly a drunken monolog of Nixon in the night before his resignation? And in Oliver Stones Nixon-movie I mean to remember there are also several scenes were Nixon is drunken..
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  4. Nick Griffalco Banned

    Jul 9, 2012
    First issue is out in English from Comixology. Well, like all the French comics each issue is being released in two halves. So we'll have to wait till next month for the other half. Anyway, I'm really liking what I'm seeing and can't wait for future releases
  5. freivolk Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Which story is it?
  6. Nick Griffalco Banned

    Jul 9, 2012
    Russians on the Moon
  7. Greg Grant Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2007
  8. Nick Griffalco Banned

    Jul 9, 2012
  9. Richter von Manthofen Gnome Fighter Ace

    Mar 30, 2012
    I bought both German translations
    Nixon + Kennedy gang (well French A-H , German Translation and they take two about the US :rolleyes:)

    Nice read, but heavy use of Butterfly Toxine - Probably a must and this might introduce a wider crowd to our "Hobby" ;)

    ON a sidenote - not A-H - but they republish Trigan in German too - was one of my favourite childhood Comic (term graphic novel did not exist then)
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  10. freivolk Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Read the Kennedy-gang. Great Story, great art, but a complete butterfly-genocid.
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  11. LSCatilina Vassican Labosiotos Vergagnatos

    Dec 5, 2008
    Polanian Occupation Zone in Transylvania
    While as commonly taken, it's another "ghost domination organisation", it may cover an unformal or unformal networks of persons, ideologies, ambitions, etc. that may have taken out the name at some point and for various reasons, critically when it was used by actually structurated organisation either for fearmongering at their benefit or believing it was really a structurated movement.

    While Annie-Lacroix-Riz's work doesn't proove the existence of an organized Synarchy, it points that it was far enough of a rumour to be believable.

    Who knows? Maybe the constitution of an actual Synarchic ghost group is the PoD of "Omega France" arc?

    Definitely. Good story, not too bleak, not too much references...

    Some contradictions tough : Pétain is supposed to have died with honours in the 40's, but he's executed by communists as President of the Senate in the last book.

    And Pécau still doesn't know how to draw a map.


    As for the discussion on AH and Uchronie.

    I'll disagree with Imladrik and MrGreyOwl telling that Turtledove and Pécau are doing the same thing : Turtledove try to accounts more for historical-looking plausibility (even when it fails) would it be only to serve the story, while most of French AH is about making a meta-story point.

    Things that would look particularly ridiculous if only the AH background was given (as Seule la Lune le sait, with Jules Verne being sent on the Moon by Victor Hugo to save Communards emprionsed by a cyborg Napoleon III that made an alliance with hive-mind aliens; or L'Apopis Républicain with Napoleon turning all pharaoh) works because the historicity of the timeline isn't one of the focus point.

    Not that it's the only focus point in Anglophone AH, but I'm under the impression it's often one of the main ones.

    Pécau's work is interesting on this regard, because it doesn't stop making clins d'oeil : people that should be as relevant IATL, IOTL movies, etc. That's more rare elsewhere.

    So yes FFO is a bit different. I agree. But FFO is part of an internet AH community which owes a lot to a non-francophone "tradition" on AH. It's an UFO for what matter publiched AH in France, and Pécau's adaptation of FFO (which just came out last month) is really more akin to his other works.

    Outside comics? Heliot and Bellagamba, the main authors are definitely NOT about historicity as a main focus. (See above, as they wrote these two books). Bellagamba's Tancrède is more historical because it's an intimate AH, centered on one person and very close to the PoD.

    So while not wholly distinct, francophone and anglophone (and from what was said on this thread, russophone) AH does have different tendencies and focuses. To say they're the same is simply denying them their own particularities, and diversity.
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  12. LSCatilina Vassican Labosiotos Vergagnatos

    Dec 5, 2008
    Polanian Occupation Zone in Transylvania
    1. Russians on the Moon!
    September 19th 1969 : USSR is winning the race against USA that began 10 years ago.

    Appollo mission is a disaster and Soviets are walking on the Moon.
    Soon, two spatial bases are built there : one american, the other sovietic and tension rises on Earth, while the two expeditions tries to live peacefully.
    It wouldn't prevent the Cold War to became hot right there.

    18 September 1969. Soviets are first to land on the Moon. In Washington, president Nixon give free rein to NASA for that USA became the first nation to establish a permenent lunar base.
    Ten years passes, and tension is rising between USA and USSR while the Moon is becoming the new theater of another episode of Cold War

    This first one isn't half-bad, but the art is a bit hesitating and while the rushing rythm of the book is fitting the story, it sometimes prevent fully appreciating it.

    2. Paris, Soviet sector.
    December 1951 : In Paris' heart a serial killer threaten Cold War balance

    6 June 1944. Normandy's landings failed. Offensive against Germany is launched in Provence, but Allies get bogged down near Lyon, leaving Red Army the opportunity to cross Rhine and to free Paris.
    After Reich's capitulation, France is cut in half from the Seine and Paris is divided in two blocks. Spy wars will happen soon.

    While not utterly bad, it have the reverse problems of the first one, without the reverse benefits. Rythm is irregular, and even when it's supposed to rush it's all very settled.
    The overdramatisation (Paris looking more post-apocalyptic than occupied) doesn't help to forget a jury-rigged timeline.

    It simple lacks what that worked perfectly with Omega arc.

    3. Red September

    September 1917. After french capitulation, Clémenceau is preparing revenge on German occupier.

    12 September 1914. Germany wins the decisive battle of the Marne by applying the Schlieffen plan untouched. The 9 January 1915, French president Poincaré signs the armistice. Refusing capitulation, le Tigre Clémencau, supported by his old police forces, leave France.
    With the support of french fleet, he reaches Alger from where he organise resistance.

    4. [Black October

    October 1917 : French Anarchist at the heart of Russian Revolution

    1917. Bonnot and Blondin, sent in Russia by Clémenceau to kill the tsar, arrive when Lenin gather his troops. But doubts arise : what if Bolsheviks, once in power, replaced the autocrat by another one? Helped by anarchist sailors of Kronstadt, the couple makes a wild bet whom the result wouldn't be expected by Clémencau.

    [3,5/5] This first arc is quite good, story-wise, with some quircks (Bolsheviks and Germans are caricaturally evil, all Anarchists are saints), but it holds well eventually. The problems? The art, that looks a bit off, too often to be ignored.
    Eventually two really good books.

    5. Who killed the President?

    November 22 1973 : America under shock after Dallas Assassination

    Washington, 1965. The re-elected president begins his second mandate by a decisive land offensive on communist North-Vietmand. While that in America, contestationg grows and that the country slowly falls in dictatorship, French, volunteer in Vietnam, kills an officer. The 22 November 1973, he's in Dallas, in a bar's toilets. There, he takes a sniper rifle.

    It's kind of bad, with some redeeming points. But the story is unconvincing, the timeline is unconcinving, and the whole point is unconvincing. The art is really what holds up there.

    6. Power to imagination?

    1973 : 5 years after Mai 68 and the civil war, Paris lives anew

    May 1968. Criminals stole 200 Millions of Francs from Banque de France. Five years later, after having disappeared before recieved his share, one of them comes back for it. But things changed : after the events, the civil war that followed and Paris' reconstruction, yesterdays accomplies are walking among the circles of power.

    The first great book of the series.
    It may ask to know some references on French politics and French movies but it works smoothly. Art is great, story makes the somewhat weird TL largely compensated, and critically, both serves each other perfectly.

    7. Vive l'Empereur!
    December 2nd 1925 : Rumors of assassination during the sacre of Napoléon V
    Nerval, ex-officer of the imperial army, is contacted by his godson, a brillant savant. He finished an inveition, desired by many, particularily secret societies whom goal is to prepare an attack against the Emperor. They'd have to fight back all the trips led, by the fearsome Mata Hari among others, to retrive the infernal machine in time.

    Not exactly the best one. The TL is weird but could work if the characters did. The art covers a bit the problem but it eventually leave an impression of both cliched and rushed, and constant references are desserving the book.

    8. Paris is still burning

    1976 : After 5 years of civil war, UN reinforce his presence in France.

    After the suspect death of De Gaulle during Mai 68 Revolution, civil war settle durably in France. 8 years later, Paris is a martyr city, a lawless zone where rival factions fight each others. This chaos is where new troops of UN land, accompanied by a war photograph whom presence isn't only due to journalism.

    Same PoD than the sixth, but with a more dark outcome. It doesn't works as well : the McGuffin chase isn't bad but not great either, and while the punk ambient is well rended by the art, it's a bit too weak to support the comparison on the long run or to support the TL.

    9. Apocalypse on Texas

    1967 : 4 years after the collapse of USSR, a new nuclear menace upon USA

    October 1962. Cuban missile crisis ends with a nuclear war that utterly destroy USSR and divide the States. Four year later, the two last nuclear power still in existence, United Kingdom and France, decide to intervent in order to preserve the former USA territorial integrity, threatened by Mexico that wants to avenge Fort Alamo.

    The wild goose chase there works without issues, the timeline holds well...The characters (Charlton Heston's rendition is...) and the art are a bit under what would make it really work, eventually.

    10. The Kennedy Gang

    1947 : Welcome in New Orleans, French capital of Americas, and rear base of Prohibition

    1947. On the eve to present himself to presidential candidacy, Joe Kennedy send his sons load an alchool delievry from New Orleans, francophone capital since american independence and haven for all bootleegers. But when magia, a sherif and a great actrees get involved, the two brothers' trip could be the last one...

    [4/5] The TL is nearly idiotic...And yet it works just fine as the cover holds its promises : the art is more than good (which makes poor details only highlighted), and if the story isn't that original, characters makes this paper road-movie running without major problem.

    11. Tuileries' Night
    1795 : 4 years after king's death, armies of Marie-Antoinette are coming to Paris.

    Since the spectacular evasion of the royal family, France is ravaged, prey to civil war. Marie-Antoinette, kingdom's regent since the death of Louis XVI, manages to form a fearsome army, led by a mysterious general. Royal army is now at Paris' gates.
    In order to prevent a final bloodbath, Danton thinks of a desesperate plan...

    This is simply not working. The story as the TL are weak, the carachterisation is cliched and the art not really great.
    Eventually, this book doesn't have much to get supported on.

    12. The Lion of Egypt

    1503 : War machines invented by Leonardo Da Vinci are revolutionarizing art of war in Mediterranea.

    1503. Fifty years after the fall of Constantinople, the ottoman stronghold of Smyrn, believed to be unexpugnable, falls into Mameluk hands. Strangely, these would have used spectacular war machines, and very unusual ones. And what if Da Vinci sold his inventions? Pope Borgia intends to unveil this. In the shadows, a certain Machiavel some strings...

    [3/5] Characters are a bit weak, but the story is sounds and the TL interesting. The art is...well not bad at all but sometimes weird. There's a real sense of closure with this one, a welcome change.

    13. Colomb Pacha

    1492 : Abd al Colomb discovers Americas in the name of Allah the Merciful

    Without support from christian rulers, Cristofo Colombo convert himself to Islam and is sent by Muslims, Jewish and Christian merchants to explore western Seas. There he found a most dangerous paradise.

    In order to mount his expedition, the geonoese Colomb converts himself to islam and get associed to a group of Jewish, Muslims and Christian merchants.
    After one month of sea, and tensed conflicts, flotilla lands in an unknow land. Everyone agrees that they found the terrestrial paradise, as said in the Scriptures. But demons seems to haunt this New World.

    Cliché-fest, characters as believable as a 3$ banknote, bad art.
    I'm half suspecting rip-off from Roma Aeterna, and they didn't even managed to get as half-good it is.
    To be avoided, except if you have a strange fascination with nothingness.

    13. Omega ("Omega France" 1/3)

    1942 : The suspicious death of an Aérospatiale hero makes the ashes of Hundered Years War burning anew.

    Since eight years, after the coup of far-right leagues the 6 Febuary 1934, France ceased to be a republic and have but one opponent, the only subsisting european democracy : the United Kingdom. Europe is on the edge. Death of the captain Antoine de Saint-Exupéry above the Channel may be the spark that would spread fire.

    Have an hard time to begin, but when it does it's particularily good. It takes all its taste when read with the others part of the arc, a bit less interesting on its own. Tough, it shouldn't be missed as both the plot and charaters are interesting, and if a bit weird sometimes the TL gets back enough times on its own feet to spice it all.

    15. Sect of Nazareth

    Year 33 : Gracied by Poncius Pilatus, Jesus radicalize his adepts in the name of a sole God

    Second year of Titus' reign. The praefectus Claudius came back to Rome after ten years. Ten years to hunt the Fishes, the fanatic Jewish sect responsible of Jerusalem's destruction. While all Rome thinks the sect have disappeared and that his mysterious leader, Christos, is dead, Claudius seems to be conviced otherwise, convinced that the Fishes are preparing what they call the apokalupsis.

    Okay, this one is controversial : be prepared to have strong opinions on it, one way or another...
    For what matters to me, in spite of a really weak ending, and with a non always appreciated art (as with 12), it holds well as a mix of peplum and modern fears, less thanks to the characters or even the story, than thanks to the plot and really scenic imagery.

    16. The White Star
    17th April 1912 : the Titanic arrive in New York from Southampton without any trouble at the end of its first trip.

    1912, inaugural trip of Titanic. On board, Maxim Waterson, a young gentleman from England going to the United States. Twenty years later, the liner is shipwreck.
    With the boat disappear managers of the Nazi Parti, including the already famous Adolf Hitler. In the same time, in America, the Waterson media empire's ascencion continue and influence more and more global politics.

    And that's essentially thanks to the art. That just doesn't make sense from start to the end, and the "The world shall know of our paceful ways...BY FORCE" is definitely over-the-top.

    17. Napoleon Washington
    1799 : The adoptive son of the Founding Father of the American nation, go on quest to Eldorado

    Carlo Maria Bounaparte, victim of corsican vendettas, decide to leave for Americas. In the New World, he engages himself on the side of american rebels et befriends the most famous of them, Washington. Before dying on battlefield, he makes the father of american nation to became as well one for his son...

    Quite good, even if beggining really weirdly. If you expected some book on grandiose conquest and Napoleon pulling a Napoleon...You'd be surprised, in good.
    The story is actually quite interesting, and (thanksfully) keeps it relatively intimate : Napoleon as a modern conquistador is an interesting takes and the book makes most of the characterisation. Eventually the lack of sense of closure it holds and the somehow divided story are its main problems.

    18. Operation Charlemagne
    (Omega France 2/3)
    1943 : French Forces strikes at the hearth of Perfidious Albion.

    1943, France and Britain are now at war. A small legion of french volunteers decided to join London to fight Laval's fascist regime. They doesn't know yet that a deadly menace is on the city...The french government is working on rocket launching. Would the french resistant networks be able to stop Operation Charlemagne in time?

    [4/5] The second opus of Omega arc is a good one, and if all the good points of "Omega" being polished, all of the negative (somehow artificial discussion popping up, too much reference for the sake of reference) are too.
    Now, let's be clear, it's still one of the best of the series, and the plot is really good in this one. If you liked the first, you can go safely on this one : charachters are believable, backround as well.

    19. Jaurès' Vengence
    11 April 1930 : SFIO have Raoul Villain, the murderer of Jaurès, assassinated

    31 July 1914. Raoul Villain murders Jean Jaurès, socialist french leader. 1919, ends of the Great War, he's acquited. Freed, he decides to lives in Balearic Islands...until his assassination eleven years later. The murder is quickly followed by a crime spree in Paris. Police quickly finds links between victims.

    The story isn't bad, the art isn't bad...But the mix between political thriller and good old film noir doesn't works a lot for me. It ends without having put or resolved many questions. Doesn't shove a TL in your face, but doesn't do much else, with relatively poor, uni-dimensional characters.

    20. Red Dragon
    1954 : A nuclear strikes save France at Diên-Bên-Phù

    1955. With the tensions between USA and China, due to american intervention in Diên-Bên-Phù, anti-chinese pogroms plague the Asian-American community. It's when a young and rich Chinese woman enter in Lawrence S. Ivory's office to ask him find his disappeared father. Ivory, lost cause's aficionado, accept the contract.

    Okay, this one have NOTHING to do with Indochina War past the first 4 pages, in spite of the cover. But while it borders false advertising, which made it lost half a point : it's one of the best books of the series to me.
    The story is good, the progression is great with good twists, and the TL isn't burdening the whole thing.
    Contains some Tricky Dickie.

    21. Dawn of the damned (Omega 3/3)
    1943 : Fascist French aviation fights its last as Allies are landing

    1943. As last prototypes of jet planes built by France can't oppose anglo-american flying armada, Léo uses the general disorder to hunt commissaire Lafont. Simone de Beauvoir and Louis-Ferdinand Céline takes the exile road, hoping to cross the border and find a shelted on Franco's Spain...

    [5/5] I'm probably going against general feel on this one, but I think it's one of the best of the series. All the book is about giving a sense of closure to the arc, and it works perfectly. The plot, the characters, the TL all are building a great ambience.

    22.Steppe Empire
    1242 : after Mongol sack of Rome, Christian armies unite themselves to save the West

    1241 : Gengis Khan's armies are entering in Europe. Two brothers, a knight and a monk, answer the call of western armies to fight back the mongol threat.

    [?]Oh boy. They promised this one since AGES, and it's just out. I can't wait to see how it looks, but I hope they didn't butchered this first medieval TL book.

    23.Republic of Slaves

    58 BC, the Freedmen's Republic founded by Spartacus still defies the roman army and Rome since thrteen years. But Sicily becomes stratefic anew with the threat of a new war against Carthago and Julius Caesar

    [?]I would lie if I'd say the premise isn't weird-looking
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  13. Thande A special man who knows these things Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    Just out of interest, for those of you who read this series, how are you buying it - electronic copy online, in shops, ordering it?

    I know a French person who might be interested and I want to know how you're getting hold of it.
  14. SGallay Must have been built in the sixties

    Jun 18, 2013
    Geneva, Switzerland
    Since I live in French-speaking Switzerland, the books are easy to find in comic book stores and big-name book retail chains (Fnac, Payot, etc.).
  15. Thande A special man who knows these things Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    Thanks. The person in question does go back to France in the holidays so that's a possibility.
  16. LSCatilina Vassican Labosiotos Vergagnatos

    Dec 5, 2008
    Polanian Occupation Zone in Transylvania
    I don't buy them all : they're often avaible on public librairies and I first read them there for most of them, later buying the ones I liked.
    It may be a cheaper alternative if you don't want to buy something blindly.
  17. Thande A special man who knows these things Donor

    Jan 22, 2005
    God's Own County
    Right, thanks - hadn't thought libraries would stock this sort of thing.
  18. LSCatilina Vassican Labosiotos Vergagnatos

    Dec 5, 2008
    Polanian Occupation Zone in Transylvania
    You're friend may be interested on similar series?

    1940 La France Continue
    Adaptation of FFO, or rather filling up spaces by telling stories of characters rather than depicting the TL.
    It just went out, so I didn't read it yet.

    Block 109
    A very dystopian TL with a victorious SS Germany fighting Soviet Union on a pretty much destroyed world. Divided in three different arcs.

    Napoleonic steampunk. It does have the problem of such background, and fantastic element isn't that relevant, but it's a correct one.

    Le Grand Jeu
    The first four are great : basically Morning of the Magicians (Bergier does have a role), Lovecraft and three-way Cold War.
    The two lasts ones are terrible, tough, and ends with the mother of all bad cliffhangers and have all the issue of Pécau's bads works : reference of the sake of it, 2 dimensional characters, no plot.

    Aztec/Inca invades medieval Europe thanks to their magical power. Robin Hood is fighting them.
    It's kinda weak : too much things getting mixed without much good result and a lot of dead-ends and poor psychologisation.
    Unless you're a fan of the genre, may not be advisable.

    A small gem. France and Germany somehow unite after 1870, creating a large Central European entity, where Belle Epoque/Wilhelmine Germany isn't crushed by the Great War.
    A decent thriller, with really good art.

    SGalley knows more about it than I, but that's a really good series for the art and illustration of technoid Nazi Germany.
    Story isn't that original, tough, so one may wants to pass if it's either the TL or the tale that they're serching for.

    Some good (1 and 5, particularily), the rest terrible.
    The TL is really idiotic, the charachters without much coherence (the peace-loving sergent of the 1st somehow becomes a bloodthirsty commando eventually because...plots needs it)

    (Personally, I'd think it would be a waste to not take a look at Bellagamba's works as well, but that's me)
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  19. Yorel Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2010
    It's actually out? To be frank, I was starting to think it would be cancelled given the delay. Looking back at the first page of the thread, it was supposed to be the fourteenth tome, and yet I'm wondering if it's publication hadn't already been delayed earlier.

    Let's just hope the long delays means they were trying to perfect the story, not the result of "development hell".
    Weird is an understatement if you ask me...
    Wait, there is a comic adaptation? I had found a book detailing the year 1940 of the timeline but I didn't know it was getting adapted into a comic.
    Historyman 14 likes this.
  20. freivolk Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2006

    Do you have some link for that. I tried to find something, but if you search for something with the Name Metropolis Fritz Lang and Clark Kent will block your way.
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