You may not have heard Jean-Claude Forest's name. He's not exactly a legend in American comics circles. But you know his most famous creation. Love her or hate her, you've heard of her. Maybe you haven't read the comic. Maybe you haven't even seen the movie. But you've seen colorful posters of Jane Fonda looking flawless in a variety of impeccably styled costumes that put a sci-fi spin on burlesque. Or is it a burlesque spin on sci-fi? Either way, that's Barbarella.
Though hugely influential on characters including Vampirella, Jean-Claude Forest's Barbarella graphic novels haven't really made a huge dent in American comics culture. Many fans are likely familiar with the 1968 movie starring Jane Fonda, but Forest's French comics haven't been printed in English since appearing in Heavy Metal back in 1978.
That's about to change thanks to Humanoids Publishing and writer Kelly Sue DeConnick. A new translation of Forest's Barbarella, scripted by DeConnick, is set for release September 24, with the first-ever English reprint of the second book, The Wrath of the Minute-Eater, coming in January.
Like any great medium, comics has a give-and-take relationship with the zeitgeist. Comics can shape fashion, culture, and even politics -- but the industry is always changed by those things as well...