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The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec: Pterror over Paris and The Eiffel Tower Demon (The Extraordinary Adventures of Adéle Blanc-Sec) Hardcover – December 6, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I hope there will be at least several more episodes of this series to read over the coming years.
I can't wait to see the film, subtitles and all.
I think that background has to be considered in the 1976 publication of the first of Jacques Tardi's comics of the Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. Murky, confusing, and frustrating, these illustrated adventures are a lovingly detailed tribute to the Paris that used to be.
From the first panoramic view of the dramatically night-lit Jardin des Plantes (and then its marvelous museum interior), "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec" is a beautifully-drawn evocation of 1911 Paris, a jaw-dropping marvel of visual historical research. Tardi has a good intricate pen technique that demonstrates a real affection for the past.
The colors are dark and murky. All the reds are brownish-reds, all the blues grayish, all the yellows mustardy, the greens olive. The only bright color is the red of blood when someone is wounded.
But ... I hate the story. The main character, Adèle Blanc-Sec, is an enigma. Is she a hero? A villain? She is introduced as kidnapping someone, but we don't know who or why. There is a bizarrely convoluted plot involving a hatched pterodactyl, and ... well, I'm not exactly sure what. I can't make it out.
The men are extremely difficult to tell apart from one another.Read more ›
The plot is hard to follow and I read it in a half-bemused, half-interested state, but I did finish it and I enjoyed it. I loved the art style and the way the period was set and illustrated, and that alone was really enough to carry me though it. But the strangest part was after I read it I kept thinking about it, day dreaming in Jacques Tardi-esque panels. I also picked up volume 2.
I would definitely recommend this if you want to read something different and have a little cash to drop. Don't have high expectations, just let it wash over you and enjoy the art on every page. As for the story, well, it's an excuse for the art. Even so, the unusual style and muddled storytelling definitely charmed me.
There's a lot to like here. Tardi's art reminds me of Kevin O'Neill (of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 fame), there's a strong sense of time & place and the whole thing feels very cinematic, especially at the larger page size. The plot is loaded with pulpy, comic book sci-fi/fantasy elements like the pterodactyl on the cover, and a Babylonian cult plotting to unleash the plague on turn of the 20th century Paris. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff, but the remarkable thing is how well Adele's adventures mix it with an almost gritty real world of double-crossing criminals, ass-covering bureaucrats and police of questionable competency and ethics. This isn't unique, but it is impressively executed.
Not as impressive is the amount of telling instead of showing. Granted, the plots are intricate, and that's part of what Tardi is going for, but there should be another way to structure the story so that all of that info dump doesn't occur at once. I found Tardi's character designs distinct enough to differentiate the characters, but it wasn't clear to me that the title character is meant to be a reporter (heck, I wasn't 100% sure she was a heroine until mid-way through the second story). So, for me, his writing has some catching up to do in terms of effectively conveying major story details.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lovely print job. And Jaques Tardi is himself. :) Thoroughly complex and confusing stories deserving multiple readings. Silly plots that are pretty entertaining. Read morePublished on October 29, 2013 by Angela Boyle
The story is a little bit muddled, the characterizations are not strong, and the dialogue is not smart or funny. Read morePublished on April 13, 2013 by Cesar Barron
I had high hopes for this graphic novel -- a pterodactyl terrorizes early 20th century Paris! -- but sadly, it's dull, needlessly confusing, and poorly plotted. Read morePublished on November 5, 2012 by Raghuveer Parthasarathy
One night a pterodactyl hatches in a museum in Paris and flies off to create chaos. Meanwhile a mysterious woman is en route to Paris with some strange luggage and a different... Read morePublished on August 10, 2011 by Sam Quixote