mmmmm the Émile Bravo blog is moving blogging services and so they’re reuploading stuff from when he was very actively publishing.
Les Épatantes Aventures de Jules is literally everything I was seeking in a comic when I was younger and what a pleasant surprise it was that many of his comics are extremely sensitive and very much written for adult enjoyment too. The 5th album was really brilliant because it’s about Jules, a middle schooler, questioning if he really is the biological son of his father (his dad is cantekerous, dense, and verbally abusive). He gets sent to a sailing camp run by a trying-too-hard-to-be-hip priest when he and his best friend are caught skipping class (to watch Moby Dick in an independent film house of all places). It’s a sci-fi, philosophy series in terms of focus and they’re easy reads with just lots of really funny, charming, sensitive stuff. Atheist preteens debating faith with a priest, Jules feeling self-conscious his girlfriend is going through puberty before him, his brother getting shot in the butt during a forced hunting trip with his dad (to which Jules is a moral objector), etc, etc. There’s a lot of little very accessible mini lessons inside each album, from explaining instantaneous travel using Einstein’s theory of relativity, mammalian cloning, classic Mendelian genetics. They’re still ostensibly young adult comics and I would definitely want to raise a child on these.
Anyways, what was really a treat for me were these header comics when the 5th album was in serialization in Spirou. Émile Bravo did a stupendous job in his Spirou one-shot playing with the puritanical roots of Spirou and it’s fun to see a puritanical character (Spirou) and a humanist character (Jules) discuss Émile Bravo’s own work in meta as if they were watching the comic. There’s like 20 strips but these are the first 10.