Some of us grew up sitting at arms length from the tv knobs to change the channels back and forth between the three existing stations. Others spent time adjusting bunny ears to be able to watch a show. There were hours a day when the screen was just a static blizzards. There were Saturday morning cartoons. All of this is familiar to many and yet completely unimaginable to our children.
What do bandes dessinées have to do with it? Or better yet what are bandes dessinées? As I think I’ve mentioned before, I grew up without tv at home but I have always loved a good story. I think my first peek at cartoons was viewing animated shorts at school from the Canadian National Film Board (NFB) and I was sucked in.
Before that though, what really created the foundation for my love of this kind of story telling were my B.D.s. Bande Dessinées might be the Shakespearean novels of the Belgians. Tintin has recently become popular in the US, but for generations the French, Belgians, and other Europeans have been reading Astérix et Obélix (one of my favourites), Tintin of course, and my all time most treasured Lucky Luke. This was in the 80’s when Disney was making movies like The Fox and the Hound which were not my cup of tea and Pixar was just “learning to walk”.
The Cambridge Public Library has copies of Tintin, Lucky Luke, The Smurfs, Asterix and Obelix and more. Find your favourite, cozy up on the couch with the kids and read together.