Bruce Cockburn May Change Your Mind: Jacques Tardi

Small Source Of Comfort (True North) is the latest LP from legendary Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn. It’s also his 31st studio album in a career that dates back all the way to the mid-’60s. Over the years, Cockburn has become one of his country’s most successful and honored musicians, winning more than his share of awards and accolades, not only for his music but also for his longtime humanitarian work. This week, Cockburn adds MAGNET guest editor to his already impressive resume. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Cockburn: Back in the ’70s, I became interested in comics again. As a kid, I loved Tarzan and bought every issue for several years running. I lost interest in my teens, but it was reawakened when I discovered the French and Belgian bandes dessinées. These were comics with far better production values and a more adult orientation: sci-fi or fantasy stories, gritty noir detective tales, perverted humor. There was a whole world waiting to be savored in the union of story and dialogue with really good graphic art of many styles. Moebius, Hugo Pratt, Bilal & Christin and Jacques Tardi in particular lit up my imagination.

Over the years, some of the work of these artists has appeared in English, usually as a cheaper production and often with really bad translations. One of my favorites was Tardi’s series about a female private detective in fin-de-siecle Paris named Adèle Blanc-Sec. Fantagraphics has now released some of the Adèle stories in a form worthy of the original editions. They’ve put out other Tardi titles as well. This is exciting, even if I have them at home in French. It’s fun to think of a whole new audience discovering the work of such a great graphic novelist!

Video after the jump.