The Economist's Apprentice

In which a little girl confronts the world and battles the anti-humans.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Da Vinci Code; French Comics

Today's NYT describes how the movie version of The Da Vinci Code will temper the book's anti-Catholicism. The Da Vinci Code with its story of a sinister, centuries-long, religious conspiracy seemed fresh to American readers. In French popular fiction, religious conspiracy theories are almost their own genre. They are particularly common in French comic books. Le Scorpion and Le Triangle Secret are just two popular comic book series that mix religious conspiracy with high adventure.

Comic books are a great way to study French. Unlike their American cousins, they are not dominated by any one genre. (American westerns are common; superheroes are not.) While they are serial, they do not come out as frequently as their American counterparts. For devotees of a series, each hardcover release is a major event. Unfortunately, French students are usually introduced to just Asterix and Tintin, comics that are more likely to appeal to kids. Thanks to sites like that ship internationally, using comics as a basis for language study is simple.


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