Comics, of course, aren't just an American thing (or just a Japanese thing, for that matter) -- there's tons and tons of really amazing work coming out of Europe.
Virtually none of it makes it to America, however, at least not at a price that most Americans are willing to pay. And probably 2/3rds of what DOES arrive in the states in Erotica.
This is a dire shame, really, because there's so much good material out there that could find an audience if only someone would publish it here.
DC tried and failed with the Humanoids deal (I think it was mostly overproduction of fairly mediocre material, at the same time they overproduced the CMX manga stuff), and Marvel is about to try a deal with Soliel (which I have a really hard time believing is going to work, as it SO far away from their "core values")
When I first opened the store, there was a reasonable amount of stuff that had been translated, but in today's climate most of the interesting material has fallen out of print, or isn't stocked by distribution (be it Diamond OR the "book" distribs like B&T)
I mean, it drives me fuckin' bonkers that there's exactly NO Moebius comics in print in the US at this point -- I had heard that the problems there were something about the rights to the work and who owned what and who represented what to whom and all that, and I don't know the real details, just that I could be selling a shitload of Mssr. Giraud's work, and I'm not because it isn't in print.
Anyway, here's a look at another Euro artist whose book IS for sale on my shelves, and I think is terrific, after the jump...
Lorenzo Mattotti's DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE is a astonishing piece of comics work.
Mattotti's art is like a fever dream, full of swirling, maddened colors and tone, which absolutely fits a story like DR/MR.
Oh, since i was searching for links, here's one from Two sample pages from the book itself, yay.
I first saw Mattotti's work in FIRES, and was blown away by the style and verve that it displayed -- being expressionistic, but still firmly rooted on a comics page. He also uses his color palate in remarkable ways for comics.
It doesn't look like Diamond or B&T have it in stock, but NBM says they have copies in stock, so I think it is still in print.
Plus, I hadn't remembered until I started searching that this actually won an Eisner in '04 for best Foreign work.
DR/MR is an oft told tale, but this is a really revelatory presentation of it, and one that absolutely belongs on your bookshelf.