Townscapes

August 7th, 2008 by

Townscapes was fantastic. Its four stories (although the first is only a few pages, and serves more as an introduction than anything else) share this in common: They all feature a white haired man with mystical powers who does something fantastic. Actually, the man may not even be white haired in all the stories. Regardless, something fantastic happens, and most of the time you think he did it.

I think my favorite of these was the one about the city that just starts to float. One morning everyone wakes up and the town is just floating six feet (or so) off the ground. There is a military base relatively near by, and everyone (at least partly correctly) blames it.

This is another comic translated from the french, and it solidifies my opinion that there should be more of them in general. It almost makes me want to brush up on my french to the point of understanding, so I can import everything else these two have ever created (and the rest of the Sky-Doll series, and the rest of Valerian).

The art, while gritty and sometimes quite drab, is also absolutely beautiful. I think it is the first full length thing that Enki Bilal fully illustrated. (Do you say illustrated when it’s a comic?) Regardless, it doesn’t look like your average comic, it feels more like a horror comic to me somehow. But the subject matter, while sometimes borderline horror, is really more fantastic.

As an aside, I’m also reading Reading Comics, by Douglas Wolk, right now, and suddenly I’m all self-conscious about the language I’m using to describe comics. Am I describing things in the context of comics, or in another context? I think I tend to skew toward literary depictions of the comics, and tack on something about the art as an afterthought. Perhaps this is because I was an English major in college, or perhaps because I’m more of a reader than an art connoisseur. After all, this is ReadComics.org, so maybe that’s ok.

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