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The City of Shifting Waters: Valerian Vol. 1 Paperback – October 16, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

The City of Shifting Waters: Valerian Vol. 1 + The Empire of a Thousand Planets: Valerian Vol. 2 (Valerian and Laureline) (Volume 2) + The Land Without Stars: Valerian Vol. 3
Price for all three: $29.80

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Michael Vey 4
Featured New Release in Teen Science Fiction & Fantasy

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Valerian
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Cinebook, Ltd (October 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849180385
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849180382
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jean-Claude Mezieres and Pierre Christin created ValerianA" in 1967 after working in the USA together, one as a cowboy, the other a teacher. While A"ValerianA" is Mezieres' only comic series, he's worked as an illustrator in many other areas, including designs and sets for The Fifth Element,A" and he was awarded the Grand Prix du festival d'Angouleme in 1984. Christin also works in collaboration with other artists such as Tardi and Bilal and writes novels and film scenarios.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. Brown on October 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
This volume is the first of the "Valerian" series (here called "Valerian and Laureline"), a classic and long running franco-belgium science fiction series. This series is credits with influencing several prominent science fiction movies.

Valerian and Laureline are spatio-temporal agents for the future earth empire Galaxity. They can travel in space and time from the 28th century. Valerian is an agent from that time, whereas Laureline is actually a peasant girl from the 14th century who joined him. In this story, they must travel back in time to 1986 New York in pursuit of a criminal from their time. Earth at that time was devastated by a nuclear war (the album was originally published in 1970, so this was the "future" for them). V&L know that Earth will rebuild, so they avoid messing with the past, but are successful with their mission.

Cinebooks plans on reprinted the whole series, many for the first time in English, like this album, at a rate of about 2 per year. I look forward to them, as I've only gotten the prior 8 of the albums that have been reprinted in the US. I wish they would also reprint the actual first album, "Bad Dreams" that comes before this one, that shows how Laureline joins Valerian.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JT Lindroos on December 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
THE CITY OF SHIFTING WATERS by Jean-Claude Mézières and Pierre Christin is not the greatest science-fiction comic book ever. But it is the beginning of what is one of the most influential, entertaining and long-lasting sci-fi comic books. Ever.

The cartoonish illustration style of Mézières, in the European tradition, has been a problem for those attempting to break into the superhero-saturated U.S. market. But given the recent interest and popularity in the more fluid and expressive illustration styles of the likes of Darwyn Cooke or Jordi Bernet, it might finally be the right time for appreciating the mastery of the nonrealistic line.

Writer Christin, whose later collaborations with Enki Bilal and Jacques Tardi are equally noteworthy, is still learning his craft here. There are a couple of long expository sequences, the characters whose Hawksian banter would soon move to a much higher level of sophistication are now there more to just set off the scenery, and it’s all a bit messy.

Yet some of the concepts are already potent, like a scene where we have flood victims cursing our heroes for not helping them while they stand on the roofs of their devastated homes. He would in future books sharply comment on issues like colonialism or imperialism, but always in a manner that distinguishes an artist from a pompous fool — it enhances the story, gives it weight, but never preaches or takes over.

In the end, any minor issues I have with this book are at most inconveniences. THE CITY OF SHIFTING WATERS is overboiling with iconic images — many of them original, some of which are riffs on older ideas — all crammed into a superb adventure that is still only a modest beginning to one of the finest science-fiction comic books ever created.

Condensed from my Euro Comics Roundup review.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
The story really pulls this one along. A time-travel premise gives the author plenty of room to get started, and this starts in a post-apolcalyptic New York. From there, it's escapes from roving bands of looters, evil robots, scuba approaches to secret lairs, ... well plenty to keep the story moving.

More than the story itself, this reprint is like a time capsule sent to us from the mid-1970s, real-life time travel of a different sort. It brings with it the tropes of the time, including climatic collapse forecast to happen in the 1980s. The drawing style brings Asterix to mind - not a bad thing in itself, but not the first visual idiom a comic writer would reach for today. And, as a series opener, this leaves the possibilities wide open.

Readable and entertaining, but I can't call it essential to any collection.

-- wiredweird
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kiraze on January 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many European kids I grew up with French and Belgian cartoons and adventures or boneheaded but loveable Valerian and his fiery and smart partner Laureline were always my favorite. Even i never managed to find all translated versions i still loved to watch wonderfully detailed but same time sketchy images by Jean-Claude Mézières which built totally new space empires in my imagination and continued to feed love of fantasy and sci-fi throughout years.

As a story The City of Shifting Waters is still quite plain and does not include so much wildly imaginative ideas as later stories - it is however a good beginning even though it would be nice to get also Bad Dreams translated/published again to understand how Laureline appeared to the story first time. In these first stories Laureline is still not very visible character, which also partially makes stories less interesting but I am happy to see this fantastic series published again and I hope wider English-speaking audiences could also discover its' magic.
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