Meta comics !
The latest book of Ilan Manouach, Compendium of Franco-Belgian comics takes as a starting point the 48cc (48 pages, colour printing, hardcover) comic book format. The name contemptuously christened by the alternative publisher l’Association, points to the product of a normative and just-in-time book industry that dominates the French speaking publishing landscape. During a single afternoon Manouach purchased a selection of forty-eight second hand 48cc books and after careful reading he built a non-exhaustive idiosyncratic index of the elements considered to generally define the tradition of franco-belgian comics.Among a variety of comics proto-memes, metanarrative devices, paratextual elements and other hovering dark clouds, shark wings, identity stereotypes and body-shaped holes, the Compendium presents itself as an orchestral comic book, where instantiations of his typology, freed from the imperatives of specific narratives can be read as the in situ building blocks of the European BD.
35 x 25 cm