28 December 2009

Grandville was well worth the wait

I bought myself a signed copy of Grandville back in November but as nobody had any idea what to get me for Christmas, myself included, it got squirrelled away and I had to wait for Christmas Day to get it.

I also had to wait for the Christmas Morning visit to relatives and for Christmas Dinner to get out of the way before I could start reading it. And read it I did just as soon as I could.

I had quite a good idea of what to expect from the Comica talk that Bryan Talbot did and from the atmospheric video he created to promote the book and it certainly lived up to those expectations.

Grandville is several things; it's a steampunk thriller, a homage to the English anthropomorphic tradition (Rupert et al) and, most of all, a cracking story with strong characters.

Detective Inspector LeBrock has some familiar traits. He's a maverick who works with a trusty side-kick and he's a detective in the Sherlock Holmes mould. But he's also a badger and that makes him a vicious killer.

It was a touch of genius setting the story in a world where the French won the Napoleonic Wars and Britain has become a semi-autonomous principality of France. This plays well to the natural England v France tensions and gives scope for some amusing anti-English comments from the French characters.

I loved Grandville to bits. There are further adventures of LeBrock on the way, at least two more, and I'm sure I'll love those too. It's nice to have something good to look forward to.

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