Comic Review: Pachyderme

Written by Frederik Peeters
Illustrated by Frederik Peeters
Translated by Edward Gauvin
Self Made Hero
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Cover Price: $19.95

Pachyderme opens with Carice, a 1950s bourgeois housewife stuck in traffic while on her way to visit her hospitalized husband. When she realizes there was an accident ahead caused by an injured elephant in the middle of the road, she decides to cut across the woods to reach the hospital on foot. and with that, Carice begins a lucid dream, a waking journey filled with alien babies, hogs, Swiss spies, and buried passions.

Pachyderme is a piece of comic literature. Frederik Peeters, who both wrote and illustrated the book, has created a multi-layered narrative. Our protagonist Carice begins this very surreal journey unaware of who she really is. She thinks she knows who she is. She thinks she knows what she wants. But she has buried her true passions, her true callings, amidst the passions of others. She has become what others want her to be.

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Comic Review: The Grand Duke

The Grand Duke
Written by Yann
Illustrations by Romain Hugault
Edited by Paul Morrissey
Translation by Edward Gauvin
Letters by Thomas Mauer
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: November 14, 2012
Cover Price $24.99

The solicit for Archaias’ new European import The Grand Duke describes the book as “A Romeo-and-Juliet story set against WWII aerial dogfights.”

If that does not immediately grab your attention, then we’re looking for entirely different stories in our comics, you and I. Well, it got my attention and while that’s maybe not a 100 percent honest way of pitching the story, it got it’s foot in the door for what turned out to be an astonishingly great read.

Set along the Eastern front beginning in 1943, Luftwaffe Oberleutnant (Read: German [Read: NAZI!]) Adolph Wulf and Comrade Lilya (Read: Commie!) of the dreaded 588th known as the “Night Witches” – an all women battalion that, apparently, was a thing – have grown rather disillusioned with their situations in the war. Wulf, rather palatably, despises the Third Reich and fights solely for love of his homeland and motherless daughter. Lilya is realizing that even in Stalin’s socialist paradise there are still glass ceilings for women even after they’ve held bloody and terrible front lines down.

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Comic Review: Genetiks

Story and Layouts by Richard Marazano
Pencils and Inks by Jean-Michael Ponzio
Lettering by Fawn Lau
Script translation by Edward Gauvin
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: May 2, 2012
Cover Price: $19.95

Genetiks is the story of Thomas Hale, an engineer at a powerful company that deals in the research and development of scientific innovation, primarily in the field of genetics. Hale submits his DNA code to Genetiks, his employer, as a way of accepting his life as an engineer for a large firm, and when it’s his DNA code that finally gets cracked, he’s more than happy to give his life to the company. Things starting shaking up, though, when Hale starts having violent and disturbing flashes of hallucinations or memories which leads him to question his company’s motivations. Rightly so, as what they are up to is not for the faint of heart. While the concept and story of Genetiks are highly intriguing, I was not in love with the final product.

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Book Review: Marjane Satrapi’s ‘The Sigh’

The Sigh
Written and Illustrated by Marjane Satrapi
Translated by Edward Gauvin
Archaia Entertainment
Release date: November 8, 2011

The English translation of Marjane Satrapi‘s The Sigh was released back in November and I had the good fortune of getting a review copy of this amazing fairy tale.

The Sigh tells the story of Rose, whose merchant father promises to bring back gifts for her and her two sisters from an extensive trip overseas. After much anticipation, the girls are delighted when he finally returns home bearing the requested gifts –– all except for Rose. Her father had not been able to find the seed of a blue bean that Rose had asked for. In her disappointment, Rose lets out a deep sigh, which unwittingly summons the mysterious eponymous creature to their door.

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