French equivalent to American comics. Usually hard-covered, bandes-dessinées also tend to be more sophisticated (and, quite logically, more expensive). Often called "the 9th art" (I have no idea what are the first 8), bande-dessinée was mainly developped in Belgium, by great illustrator like Jacob, Hergé, Peyo, Morris, Franquin, etc.

The way of making bande-dessinée seems to have been stagnant for couple of years (basically, authors would put a regular story in a bande-dessiné form, without any innovation or explotation of the particularities of the art), but some new ideas seems to be develop by young writers like Schuiten, Peeters, Tronchet and the old master, Fred.