Thursday, 6 January 2011

Pulp & Femme Fatales

Looking through the upcoming books from NYRB is always a heartening experience--they resurrect so much good stuff.  In April they're bringing a book by famed French crime novelist J. P. Manchette (1942-1995) into English--Fatale.



The evocative cover image is a photo I recognised, from the series 'Pulp' by Neil Krug, of his now-wife, Joni Harbeck. These photos, collected in a book of the same name, were taken using ancient, expired Polaroid film. That, combined with the crime/Western/hippie theme of the pictures, makes them look like long-lost, damaged stills from low-budget genre films of the 1960s and 1970s. Click for bigger versions.














The current French edition of Fatale looks like this...



..but it used to look like this...



..with an illustration by comics artist Jacques Tardi, with whom Manchette has collaborated on several crime graphic novels.




So there you go: crime novels, comics, B-movies and naked ladies--who says this isn't a cultured blog?

12 comments:

Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein said...

Best. Post. Ever.

JRSM said...

I thank you. And going by your name, might I suggest you have a look at this one? http://causticcovercritic.blogspot.com/2009/07/because-sometimes-you-just-need-to-see.html

(Not that gorillas are monkeys, but you know what I mean!)

Rex Parker said...

What the monkey said. There is nothing not to like here. I want to brush up on my French and read those graphic novels. Hot all around.

rp

Dan said...

Amazing. Very well done NYRB.

Sarah Norman said...

Oh my god, those photographs are wild!

Bob Fingerman said...

Those are great photos. I am a huge fan of Tardi. His art is amazing and his collaborations with Manchette are a delight.

Daniel-Halifax said...

These are amazing!!! I have a feeling your blog has become my overnight favorite!

JRSM said...

Thanks, all! Bob, I know no French, really, but some of those French graphic novels are so good that I haven't been able to resist them. Usually the visual storytelling is strong enough for it all to make some sort of sense, in any case.

Kim Thompson said...

Throw away your French dictionaries and Learn-French-in-20-Days CD sets, noir fans!

Tardi's LE PETIT BLEU DE LA COTE OUEST graphic novel was released in English by Fantagraphics Books under the title WEST COAST BLUES, and is still available. Go to fantagraphics.com/westcoastblues for details.

Tardi's LA POSITION DU TIREUR COUCHE graphic novel which was just released in France is scheduled to be released this summer in English by Fantagraphics Books under the title LIKE A SNIPER LINING UP HIS SHOT.

JRSM said...

Aha! You, sir, have made yourself a sale!

Doug said...

And it seems the two novels by J-P Manchette that City Lights of San Francisco published a few years ago, The Prone Gunman (La Position du tireur couché) and 3 to Kill (Le Petit Bleu de la Côte Ouest), which were out of print, are both set to be reprinted and should be available again soon (it they're not out already). Both are very much worth catching if you like classic Noir.

JRSM said...

That's excellent news--I was looking at them second-hand, but now I can get non-damaged copies.