Bandes Dessinees (BDs) is the French term for comics and is mainly used for those comics produced in France, Belgium and the rest of Europe. BDs are typically published in hardback books and cover a much wider variety of subjects than are generally available in comics in the US/UK.
A typical French bookstore will have a large section devoted to BD.
The main BD strips that have crossed over successfully to the UK and US have been the humorous Asterix and TinTin although a larger number have been translated.
These include albums by Enki Bilal, Philippe Druillet, Moebius AKA Jean Giraud, Tardi, Milo Manara, Joost Swarte and Hugo Pratt.
The number translated is a very small percentage of those published however.
Famous BDs (in France) that have not been translated (as far as I know) include Gaston Lagaffe by Franquin,Spirou and Blake et Mortimer.
There is an annual festival for bandes dessinees in Angoulême in the south west of France each year which typically attracts hundreds of thousands of people.

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