Where to buy bandes dessinées online?
December 6, 2010 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy French-language European comics online?

I am interested in buying bandes dessinées in the original language -- partly because I want to improve my French, but mainly because I'm interested in exploring that tradition. The foreign-language bookstore here in Vancouver closed down a few months ago, and the comic shop guys I've talked to said they don't have good distributors for foreign-language stuff. (If there's a great source in Vancouver or Victoria, I want to hear about it!)

I'd strongly prefer an independent store, even if it means paying a little more than if I went with Archambault, Renaud-Bray, or Chapters-Indigo. Amazon is not an option for personal reasons. I realize this may severely limit my options; if so, please let me know. For the time being, I am interested in the classics (Moebius, Adèle Blanc-Sec, Valérian & Laureline, Les Cités Obscures), which are presumably easier to find.
posted by twirlip to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
First of all, check the public library. They will very probably have some Tintin and Astérix en français for the French Immersion kids.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:40 PM on December 6, 2010

I too mourn the loss of Sophia.

have you looked into used book stores?
pulp fiction?
Did you call RX Comix to see if they have French BD?

You want Pilote, Metal Hurlant, Le Fond de l'Air est Fred, anything by Claire Bretecher... ah, the lovely bandes dessinées from my lost youth... Let me see what I can bring back from my travels in Montreal in January. I'll rummage in my mom's basement, I miss these BD too.

Why are you against Renaud-Bray and Archambault? These are independents too, just in another city.
posted by seawallrunner at 9:56 PM on December 6, 2010

Response by poster: Archambault is owned by Quebecor, and Renaud-Bray is the second-largest bookstore chain in Canada, so neither is independent in my book. I'd be willing to go with either of them, but would rather support the online equivalent of my local comic shop, if such a thing exists.

RX are great, but they're the folks who told me North American distributors were bad for this sort of thing. They said they would have recommended Sophia to me a year ago. The used bookstores are also a good suggestion, but no luck with them so far (although Pulp Fiction is building up a fairly large selection of North American comics).

Sys Rq, it turns out Vancouver Public Library has at least a bit of everything I listed except Adèle Blanc-Sec. It is an excellent alternative and I'll definitely make use of it, but I can't propitiate my book-buying demon that way. :)
posted by twirlip at 10:32 PM on December 6, 2010

This one, here in Montreal, has an online store: Librairie Marché du Livre.

There are probably others in Quebec that will ship within Canada; maybe try a Google search in French with the titles you're looking for?
posted by Laura in Canada at 4:31 AM on December 7, 2010

Fnac. It's in France though.
posted by fire&wings at 5:18 AM on December 7, 2010

Yeah, I agree with Laura in Canada, your best bet is probably to call up bookstores in Montreal. Most bookstores happily ship products. Here's a few more:

Librairie Monet, Débédé and Millenium Comics (that last one has an online store). I recommend calling because the staff might let you know about something that would fit your interests but you wouldn't otherwise hear of and most often bookstore staff are happy to chat about books in general (it beats realphabetizing).
posted by Kattullus at 6:34 AM on December 7, 2010

Buying them from France (i.e. from FNAC as Fire&Wing said or actually from any French-based online store) will be more expensive but I guess that the choice will be much larger. There are approximately 2500-3000 new "bande dessinée" books published per year in France (I mean actual books, not magazines).
posted by elgilito at 4:20 AM on December 8, 2010

Response by poster: These are all very helpful replies. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!
posted by twirlip at 1:26 AM on December 9, 2010

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