Comic relief

7th March 1997 at 00:00
BD 1,2 3 French comics for 11 to 18-year-olds By Rod Hares and Steve Threlfall France-Galles Publications, 4144 Sheridan Street, Outwood, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 3TP Tel: 01924 822815 Pounds 6.25 (inc. pp) for 5 issues of BD1, BD2 or BD3. (Cassette tapes for each magazine, Pounds 3)

There are few modern language teachers who have not been tempted to go it alone and produce their own resource material. Consequently, there have been many cottage industry successes. BD is the latest in this breed, adding, literally, a comic element to classroom materials.

Set at three levels (11-13), (13-16) and (16-18), the BD comics introduce pupils to a motley crew of cartoon characters, who, the authors hope, will be adopted as regular classroom visitors: Bouledogue Bill, Mme Hardie, la famille Grotte, to name a few.

Story-lines are narrated under cartoon pictures with speech bubbles. Fierce critics in the class might suggest that the cartoons would be enhanced if a variety of artists were to contribute. There is a sameness about the graphics which lets down the inventive story lines. The layout and different colours of pages are also confusing. Stories on consecutive pages would maintain a higher level of concentration and interest.

The photo-strip format of the whodunnit detective stories in BD1 and BD3 lends a teen-magazine look and would appeal to older pupils. The humour of some of the story-lines is great - slightly anarchic and off-beat - but there does seem to be a lot of violence, with even Bouldogue Bill being involved in a street scuffle. The photo story, Dossier Dilemme in BD3 also takes in violence, albeit as a good stimulus for discussion of racist attacks.

The first two editions of the BD series feel like prototypes. With development of the artwork and design, and response to teacher and pupil feedback, the comics could become a popular resource. However, pupils will only part with Pounds 1 if they really want to find out if DD l'androide humaine is a murderer.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now