Izneo App Now Carries English Language BD!

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I got the Izneo app back when I first got my iPad last year, curious about what European BD were available. As it turned out, Izneo had a pretty impressive selection – including most of Jacques Tardi’s Adele Blanc Sec – and the price was relatively reasonable, considering this was BD you weren’t at all likely to find at your local comic shop.

I bought several BD, including the erotic thriller Djinn, the science fantasy Le Cycle d’Ostruce, the observational humor strip Les Parisiens, and even an issue of Pilote devoted to the intersection of film and comics. However, I have to admit that – with the exception of Les Parisiens, of all things – reading French was more burdensome than I’d have liked. I stuck with the pretty pitchers and read what smatterings of French I could, but the Izneo app had considerably less screen time with me than the Comixology or Archie apps or Comic Zeal.

That said, I’d check in every once in a while, and I was thrilled when Enki Bilal’s Nikopol Trilogy was added, giving me hope that more Bilal would be on the way eventually. (As of this writing, it’s still just that trilogy.) And there was a while when the app crashed whenever I tried to start it, but I found out then how little of a loss I felt. Then the app was working fine again, so I resumed poking around every few weeks or so…

And this morning, I discovered that Izneo is now carrying English-language comics from Cinebook, the UK translator of French BD. I don’t know when this happened, though Bleeding Cool made recent note of goings-on at Izneo so it may have been recently. At any rate, I hope this is the only the start and that more English translations – by Cinebook as well as others – are on the way.

For those not familiar with Izneo, you need to sign up for an account and the app itself is entirely in French – which shouldn’t be a great obstacle, since the site is designed like any other comics app in general. You can read free excerpts from any of the titles available, as well as rent BD in the short term or buy them outright for a larger fee. The purchasing process is a bit clumsy, at least if you’re using Paypal – not the smooth in-app buying that Comixology and others  provide, more like the app-jumping to Safari that the Kindle requires.

To find the English language Cinebook titles, just go to the search bar and enter Cinebook. Below are screencaps for the three pages worth of titles I found; click on them for a larger view. Several will be familiar to American fans of translated BD – Thorgal, Blake and Mortimer, XIII, Lucky Luke. The first volume of the legendary Valerian and Laureline is included, which I hope means the rest will follow ASAP. And there’s intriguing titles like The Insider and IR$ (both of which I picked up), the science fiction trilogy The Chimpanzee Complex, teen comedy The Bellybuttons, and swashbuckling thriller The Scorpion. I think most all the titles are 4.99 Euro, which translates to seven US dollars roughly. The cheap bastard in me looked for titles that had two volumes of story (96 pages) instead of the usual 48 to 56. (I’ll confess, that’s mainly why The Chimpanzee Complex and The Bellybuttons went on temporary hold in favor of the two titles I did get. More bang for your buck is never a bad  thing.)

Now that I know English language BD is a part of Izneo’s offerings, I will definitely be checking the app much more often – and reading from it as well, of course. And if you’re going to try out Izneo and feel adventurous enough to sample something in French, I definitely recommend trying out Les Parisiens even if your French is rudimentary at best. It’s hilarious, and worthy of its own post later on.

Below are screencaps of the three pages of offerings currently on sale: