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The Professor's Daughter Paperback – March 29, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: First Second; 1st edition (March 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159643130X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596431300
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 6.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Two of France's best graphic novel talents, the ever-prolific Sfar and the subtle illustrator Guibert, collaborate. The result is a fun—if slight—effort, as much a love letter to Victorian London as a story unto itself. Very simply, a mummy, somehow alive and walking around London, has a charming romance with a professor's daughter. The logistical complications involved are comically dismissed, and the pair have a grand old time together. That is, until the mummy's father appears to complicate matters. Sfar has written an utterly engaging romp comparable to a fine 1930s romantic comedy. His dialogue is snappy, and he moves from thrills to chills to humor without missing a beat. The whole book is silly, and it seems to know it. But Guibert's work is the real treat. His deft brushwork and spectacular sense of color bring the places and dramas to life. In his hands, otherwise stock characters gain a real presence and liveliness, and he has a filmic sense of drama, describing the characters with detail and wit. A section of Guibert's sketches stashed at the end of the book is extraneous, but otherwise this is an excellent little volume. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–This novel follows the tumultuous courtship of a pair of Victorian lovers, one of whom happens to be an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Lillian, daughter of an eminent Egyptologist, and the mummified Imhotep IV turn more than a few heads when they venture out in public, and their affair is complicated when she accidentally poisons two police officers. After turning herself in, she is thrown in jail and tried for murder. When Imhotep is caught trying to rescue her, he, too, must face a judge and jury. Both Lillian's and Imhotep's fathers attempt to save their children and set things right. Imhotep's father takes an extreme approach, abducting Queen Victoria and tossing her into the Thames. The narrative plunges into action with the story already in progress, leaving readers to piece together a backstory as events quickly continue to unfold. The story tumbles forward in surprising directions, and narrative ambiguities are handled deftly so as to spur curiosity and draw readers in. Lush watercolors lend fullness and detail to the characters, and the colorful palette evokes a sense of drama that is tongue-in-cheek. The translucent texture of Guibert's art lightens the narrative, adding to the undercurrent of whimsy that is apparent throughout this enjoyable melodrama.–Heidi Dolamore, San Mateo County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Emmanuel Guibert has written a great many graphic novels for readers young and old, among them the Sardine in Outer Space series and The Professor's Daughter with Joann Sfar.

In 1994, a chance encounter with an American World War II veteran named Alan Cope marked the beginning of a deep friendship and the birth of a great biographical epic.

Another of Guibert's recent works is The Photographer. Showered with awards, translated around the world, it relates a Doctors Without Borders mission in 1980's Afghanistan through the eyes of a great reporter, the late Didier Lefevre.

Customer Reviews

Do I have the graphic novel for you!
Michelle Thatcher
The actions that the characters take at pretty much any point do not seem particularly likely.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
The artwork is wonderful, and the characters are a lot of fun.
Andre R. Frattino

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Angela Thompson VINE VOICE on November 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
This charming, madcap Victorian romp was originally published in 1997 and has just recently been translated into English and reissued by First Second. The French pairing, Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert, have infused their girl-meets-mummy love story with equal amounts whimsy and longing. Lillian Bowell is the daughter of renowned Egyptologist Professor Bowell. During one of her father's many absences, Lillian befriends one of her father's many mummies, Imhotep IV. Lillian soon feels safe with the debonair mummy and Imhotep finds the lovely lady reminds him of his long-dead wife who was not mummified and therefore will not be around to enjoy eternity with her spouse. Together these two unlikely confidantes spend a day out on the town, strolling through the streets and parks of 19th century London.

Mayhem ensues when Imhotep gets into a drunken pub brawl and Lillian is forced to drug the police who come to investigate the matter. Unfortunately, the sedative turns out to be poison and Lillian is put on trial for murder. Both fathers attempt to come to the rescue of their besotted children, but the British justice system will not be perverted and the two lovers must find a way out on their own. Always zany, at times hilarious, this original tale rushes headlong toward a satisfying, if slightly cringe-worthy conclusion. The text is enchantingly abrupt and fast-paced, and the accompanying artwork is utterly beguiling. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
First Second is a wonderful imprint that's been publishing some of the most interesting graphic storytelling of the last several years in beautifully produced editions. This slender story, a translation of a book that appeared ten years ago in France, is no exception. At 64 pages, with generally six panels a page, it's a quick read, albeit a pretty strange one. Sort of Monty Python meets Preston Sturges meets Tales From the Crypt -- or something like that.

There's no way to summarize the story and do it justice, all you need to know is that it involves a romance (of sorts) between the beautiful daughter of an Egyptologist and the decidedly animated mummy of Imhotep IV. A day out together turns into a madcap farce involving drunken disorder, poisoning, element, multiple kidnappings, a pirate mummy, a court scene, a soggy Queen Victoria, surreal dream sequences, and various other outlandish elements.

It all moves along at a cracking pace with abrupt shifts in the story, so much so that I had to stop a few times and make sure I hadn't missed some transitional page along the way. For the most part, the translation manages to hit the right sassy, snappy, silly tone, with only a few misfires here and there. The artwork is really excellent and unusual, lovely pencilwork and watercolors with a great sense of palette. Guibert captures the Victorian era and brings it to life while also creating engaging characters with relatively simple features. The lettering is slightly disappointing, a lame faux-handprinted font called "Felt Tip" that is resized throughout depending on space. This a minor quibble though, and the book is perfect for the reader looking for an absurd and witty diversion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Thatcher on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
Tired of reading stories about a strong willed yet delicate young girl who is the only person who could possibly understand the loneliness and immortality angst of a genteel vampire who just wants to be loved?

Do I have the graphic novel for you!

You should read: The Professor's Daughter. It is a funny, attractive, and smart tale of a strong willed yet delicate young girl who is the only person who could possibly understand the loneliness and immortality angst of a genteel mummy who just wants to be loved.

Plenty of moments of very French surrealism thrown in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on May 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
"The Professor's Daughter" is a most unusual love story, a tale of the mummy of Imhotep IV and the daughter of the man who dug him up. And it has such a great premise! But...the story falls apart in a few places for me. In places it feels far too rushed. I mean yes this is an unusual romance, but I have no sense of time or pacing, everything feels like it's happening right then! All crammed up on top of each other. It also feels like it reached a somewhat stunted ending. I just wish they had told a bit more of the story to avoid some of the awkwardness in transitions.

The illustrations however, are quite fantastic. I love the watercolors with the slightly out of focus feel. It makes it feel like you're looking into the past in some places. The color palettes go well with the scenes of the story ranging from a full color palette in some places with a more muted green/blue palette when the characters are by the sea.

Even with the gaps in the story I would still recommend this book for at least the artwork...and also for the interesting premise of the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Warfield on January 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This was one peculiar read, and if I had to sum it up in a one word feeling, that word would be "quaint."

The depecitions of London seemed nicely done, and it was interesting to see the flashbacks that Imoteph IV would have involving his children.
That people regularly accepted moving and speaking mummies as part of life (not once are there screams of alarm or expressions of disbelief as the two mummies go about their respective business) was a little hard to swallow, and parts of the plot took crazy turns that didn't seem all that necessary (the bit involving the Queen seemed particularly forced).

For being a translation the language was surprisingly intact and I didn't once feel as though someone was grasping for a word that wasn't quite in their reach.
The art was very well executed and the hues matched the tone of the story pretty much at any given time.
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