Sunday, January 20, 2019

World´s Greatest Comic Series : Natascha

We have another completely unscheduled spin - off post Today because as it happens so often I haven´t had the time to talk about one of the best written ( and best drawn, ay, oma que rica ) comic book series of all times.

 
And I mean how can it not be if it involves a sexy air hostess with more boeing ! than a 747, killer robots and time travel ? I am naturally talking about NATASCHA by belgian comic artist François Walthéry who celebrates his 73rd birthday on this very day - which is how the schlamassel began.


Now before we go any further I want to point out that while the series was originally called NATACHA I first read it in the german editions where it was changed to the german version NATASCHA so that is how I will address it. There may be some instances where I will be using the original version but for the most part I will use her german name. So there is no need to point out to me that her " real " name is Natacha. I know it is but I am using the version I am familiar with otherwise it gets too confusing.


Walthéry started with the series PIP ET COMPAGNIE in the weekly Junior at the age of 16. One year later his submisson at the famous comic magazine Spirou was unsuccessfully but he landed a gig assisting Peyo on THE SMURFS so his work DID end up in Spirou in a very roundabout way.


Speaking about THE SMURFS, the cover above may not look familiar to my american readers since the first story in which a smurf is infected by an insect and turns into a hostile black smurf who infects others was skipped in the US. The story was slated to be published in America in the 1980s but because of political correctness they skipped in out of fear the story could be seen as a metaphor for racial wars even if no other country in which it had been published had the idea. When the story was adapted for the cartoon the black smurf was colored purple and when the comic was finally published by Papercutz they stayed with the new purple color.


JOHAN AND PEEWIT ( first translated into german as Edelhardt und Kuckuruzz and then as Johann und Pfiffikus ) which is a comic about a knight and his varlet in which the smurfs first appeared as supporting characters,


JOHANN AND PEEWIT went on for quite a while so that you could see Peyo´s style evolve as you can see by the covers below


STEVEN STRONG or BENNI BREAKIRON a comic about a super strong boy who loses his powers every time he catches a cold


and SOPHIE


I remember reading all these comics as a kid and you can read more about how the comics by Peyo influenced me in this post .

and click here for the Lambiek entry on François Walthéry which is more extensive than the wikipedia entry which is basically a bare bones version


then he created Natascha basing her face on Celine alias Linette, a neighbourhood girl he knew while the body was modeled - of course - after french actress Brigitte Bardot


although I think that a certain famous american actress also was a big inspiration


Other inspirations for Natascha came from Dany Carrel, singer France Gall and Mireille Darc whom the older ones among my readers may remember from her revealing role in The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe which she reprised in The Return Of The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe .


Natascha first appeared in Germany in the 1970 at the Kauka Verlag in SUPER SPASS and PRIMO under the name of Katja.


Then the Bastei Verlag published the series from 1984 to 1986 although not in the right order. The albums were not lettered by hand and were only sold at newsstands. They published albums 1 to 4 and 6 to 10.


The Reiner - Feest - Verlag published albums 11 to 13 from 1988 to 1989.


In 1991 the Carlsen Verlag continued the series with album 14 and started reprinting Natascha from the first album forward. But because the sales numbers didn´t meet their expectations they stopped after publishing albums 5 and 15 in 1993.


German readers had to wait for new material until 2004 when the Eckart Schott Verlag published the albums 17 to 19 under their Salleck Publications imprint.


In 2007 they closed the gap in publication of Natascha with the 16th album. There was another long wait for german comic readers until 2013 when album number 20 was released in a regular and a special edition. In 2011 they started reprinting the albums in the right order in complete hardcover editions.


Natascha was the first heroine in Spirou - to be followed by Roger Leloup´s YOKO TSUNO the same year - and the first emancipated one at that


like in the Valerian comics she took on the male part and was the adventurous one while her male companion / on - off again platonic boyfriend Walter always failed when he tried to macho it up he often played the damsel in distress and Natascha had to rescue him


aside from being a bit bumbling on occassion he is still very relable and always there when Natascha is in a cinch he is also a big jazz fan and a comic book fan since he is the alter ego of Walthery his name is the shortened version

while Natascha was very emancipated this was before feminists began brainwashing women into hating their body and thinking being beautiful was something to be ashamed of and the voluptuous and short - skirted air hostess was quite a break in tradition within the conservative Catholic Spirou magazine. This was not just because she was the first female protagonist since 'Sophie', but also because she was a young, attractive woman rather than a schoolgirl.


because François Walthéry always enjoyed drawing beautiful women she very often did not wear a lot of clothing and often appeared in bikinis


Censorship sometimes creeped in to make her less erotic and often panels had to be redrawn or altered

in fact, due to the explicit female forms of Natascha her first story was kept on hold for five years until it was finally published in 1970


also on some of her album covers, Natascha's breasts had to be redrawn to make their roundings underneath her shirt less prominent

on the other side there was a special edition of the cover for L´ Epervier Bleu and


the first two Natascha albums were written by the same writer but after that François Walthéry collaborated with a different writer on each album which gave the series a varied tone and theme there also have been artists who are friends of François Walthéry who have helped him out in the backgrounds or pitched in with some additional artwork


there also were some Natascha short stories by François Walthéry in which Natascha and Walter had erotic adventures much to the joy of the fans even if they turned out to be dreams


a lot of these extra stories are part of the bonus content of the complete editions Salleck is currently publishing in Germany so far I have only volumes three to five


because I already have some of the stories in volume one and volume two but I will probably buy them somewhere along the way because the bonus content is totally worth it


another reason why I only have three complete editions of Natascha is that I am also buying the complete editions of Yoko Tsuno


I also got the first collection of Andreas Capricorn but I was a bit disappointed with that

and as longtime readers might remember I have also started to buy the complete editions of Valerian after I realized that the series is officially finished and I haven´t read the last four to five albums


I had a little setback when I ordered the first Valerian collection because the information on the website was not correct so I ordered the wrong volume I wanted to start at a certain point - with the albums I remember reading last - but now I have started one volume too early and it was too much trouble to sent the book back


I think the best place to start is this post where I wrote a bit about the book and how difficult it can be to bring such a classic to the big screen that was groundbreaking in it times - before I had actually seen the movie.



Which I already had when I wrote this post so I could give my impressions of it. And I have to say I really liked the movie. Maybe that disqualifies me as a real comic book fan but somehow I can differentiate here. If you see the movie just as a comic book adaption of Valerian and Laureline then it does fail in great parts, namely in everything that has to do with the two protagonists. The actors don´t look anything like the characters in the comic book, they are way too young ( an unfortunate trend in nowadays is the believe that only young main protagonists are interesting to a wide audience as if experience disqualifies you from being interesting ), they don´t behave like them and they don´t make sense in any way. They even changed Laureline´s background story, if they knew it in the first place.


Apart from that the stories were taken right out of the comic and are told in the way they unfold in the comic book ( which is something american audiences are not familiar with ). So seen solely as a comic book adaption it fails because while it tells the story how it is supposed to tell it the movie fails with the main characters which is the most important thing.


On the other hand if you know next to nothing about the comic book - and I guess 99 percent of the audience did - it´s a very entertaining, fast paced movie with a good story, a few unexpected twists, outstanding special effects that create a fascinating universe ( people like to talk about world building and here it is achieved wonderfully ) that actually looks like the universe of Valerian and Veronique even down to the aliens with actors who clearly had a blast. So I have no idea why the film failed.


Of course I could be a bit biased because not knowing that Rihanna was in the movie I didn´t know about her sexy dance performance beforehand and let me say she is outstanding ( and you can find the first part of her GIFs from this in the post I linked to above plus links to more GIFs and a video of the scene ). Her part alone is reason enough to see the movie.


And last but not least you can find more high quality GIFs from that scene ( like the ones above ) in this post which has another video of Rihanna´s sexy performance as well as one about the original comic and a recount of all my troubles ordering my first volume of the german collected edition.


Coming back to NATASCHA, I had the pleasure of meeting Walthéry at one of the many conventions we went to last year trying to peddle my new comic books ( they were so many that I am not entirely sure during which one ) and I even got an original drawing of Natascha in a bikini no less.


For me François Walthéry is one of the big comic masters and his Natascha is one of the comics I am trying to emulate with my new comic. I always try to bring the sexiness into the stories but where he pulls it off without getting smutty - even if he shows a lot of nudity - I always end up with porn. To top it all off his art is so detailed and elaborate and it is crazy how many panels he can put into one page. I know that his comics are four times the size of mine but I still wish I was only half as good as him.


natascha



more art from natascha



el tebeonauta



Besides NATASCHA Walthéry also developed the series RUBINE together with writer Mythic and drawn by Dragan De Lazare and later Boyan under the supervision of Walthéry.


The comic book series follows the adventures of a sexy female cop in Chicago which was heavily influenced by the american tv series lady blue



links

videos

while there is no natascha movie in the twilight zone movie there is a story that takes place on a plane in the original tv series william shatner played the part while in the new version john lithgow is the passenger on the plane who sees a monster sabotaging one of the plane´s wings but nobody believes him



goldilocks and the three bears



ariel winter provides the two breast reasons to see smurfs the lost village and I´m not talking about smurflilly



a 32F with 15 I missed the whole outrage because I could not get through the first season of modern family because of the non linear story telling I tried to get into it because I always saw those clips of Sofia Vergara on the internet and Ed O´Neil is in it who was just brilliant on married with children so what could go wrong well here´s where the poop hit the ventilator because I can´t follow the episodes first of all in the old comedy shows you had something like a clear linear story something happens that sets the story off the people try to deal with it and in the end there is the resolution on modern family several things happen but they are not related and just random stuff in the end the episode is just over without any kind of resolution or having dealt with anything you only know that the episode is over because the next show starts and on DVD you just see it end also they are constantly talking into a camera but it never is explained who they are talking to or what the tape is for so you have the creepy feeling you are a voyeur going through somebody elses home videos

so I could not continue watching and wouldn´t you know the show becomes a babe party

first you have latin ultimate 32F mega MILF Sofia Vergara which is the reason why I cast her as buxom brazilian boob queen Beatriz da Costa a. k. a. Fire in my first post about Casting the Justice League of America movie and


then there is the sexy Sarah Hyland who had some hot scenes and who could ever forget her übererotic performance at Lip Sync Battle that put the Pussycat Dolls to shame ?


and then there was Ariel Winter with a name like that you either have to become a porn star, a wrestler or an character in the Frozen sequel. And while Ariel didn´t do porn her boobs started growing at an exponential rate each year until she had the same breast size - 32F ( !!! ) - like Sofia Vergara


ariel winter before the breast reduction



after the breast reduction



charles aznavour



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I´ve seen that before.