Images © Bryan Talbot.
Bryan Talbot has built and long and successful career as a writer/artist in comics based on heaps of talent and the smart policy of continually trying new things. His latest effort is, on many levels, completely different than anything else he’s done, but on the other hand, every page shows the attention to detail, style, energy and fine craftsmanship apparent in all his work.
Grandville pulls together influences from many directions: anthropomorphic animal stories along the lines of “The Wind in the Willows,” 19th century detective stories like Sherlock Holmes (though Bulldog Drummond might be closer), Paris in the Art Nouveau era, steampunk science fiction, and violent action films are some of them. While some of these things might not seem to go together well, give this fine album a try, and you’ll see how well they do in Bryan’s hands. In addition to the themes above, there’s room for romance and humor, too, and a plot that never stops. Not to mention dozens of wonderful characters, each shaped by the animal species they represent, but also by Bryan’s fine writing.
Bryan is planning a series of these, and is hard at work on the next one, I believe. Personally, I can’t wait. Very highly recommended! Gets my vote for best new graphic album of the year.