Friday, January 21, 2011

OuBaPo--The French bleeding edge comic book group

Comics, especially in France and Belgium, are sometimes considered the Ninth Art behind painting, sculpture, music, architecture, literature, dance, theatre, and the cinema. OuBaPo (Ouvroir de la Bande Dessinée Potentielle, or Workshop for Potential Comics) refers to a group, originating in France as part of the Oulipo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle, or Workshop for Potential Literature), pursuing the frontiers of comics, as art.  They approach their craft with predetermined constraints following the Oulipo movement.  For a very current overview of the OuBaPo group complete with internal disputes now public, see this fine overview from the WSJ.  I think of the OuBaPo movement as testing the theoretical limits of the comic as the Ninth Art.

Since this movement is still quite young and they have sponsored a series of books arising from their constraint based creative approach, it may well be the time to acquire these early publications as they are certainly not mainstream, published in huge numbers, easily available and will certainly become rare within a few years!  Titles are sequential, Oupus T1, Oupus T2, Oupus T3, and Oupus T4 with authorship of OuBaPo.  Each publication focuses on a single aspect of the OuBaPos movement with T1 oferring a range of styles that arise from the various experimental constraints.  These titles are scarce but worth the effort to discover.  If you are interested in actually finding copies for sale, fee free to write to me directly for help.

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