Balloons on the Moon: Visions of Space Travel in Francophone Comic Strips
This chapter surveys the place of space travel in the Francophone comic tradition as a means of charting what role the ‘bubble’ (the space in comic strips reserved for text) played in spreading the idea of spaceflight. With a few exceptions, actual space travel was less about reaching out to new frontiers as an end, than to suggest this was but one aspect of a technologically-advanced future. In that respect, Belgian artist Hergé’s Tintin series offers an important starting point. The two-part episode about hero Tintin’s successful journey to the moon remains a paramount classic and serves as the comparison basis with other series such as the aerospace strips Buck Danny and Dan Cooper to explain why rather few authors crossed over to focus on space alone.