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The Nikopol Trilogy Hardcover – April 12, 2016
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
The Nikopol Trilogy brings together three previously published volumes Carnival of Mortals, Woman Trap and Cold Equator all impressive works of imagination meticulously written, drawn and colored by European comics artist Bilal. It's the year 2023 and Alcide Nikopol has been revived from a state of suspended animation after 30 years orbiting Earth. In the meantime, the planet has suffered two nuclear wars, and France is ruled by the ruthless dictator J.F. Choublanc. The immortal gods of Egyptian antiquity have also reawakened to revive their rule over humanity, and they now hover above the crumbling technopolis of Paris in a massive stone pyramid/airship. Horus, the renegade falcon god, takes possession of Nikopol's body, rendering him immortal, and concocts a conspiracy to overthrow the Choublanc regime. When Nikopol cracks under the pressure of Horus's possession, he is reduced to muttering the poetry of Baudelaire while he wanders the halls of a mental hospital. "Woman Trap" picks up two years later in a war-torn London. Blue-haired news correspondent Jill Bioskop dispatches stories 30 years into the past using a device called a scriptwriter, while she takes pills to eradicate the bloody memories of men she has murdered. In "Cold Equator" the story is further complicated as Nikopol's son boards a train bound for Equator City, an African metropolis afflicted with a freezing micro-climate of minus-six degrees, but surrounded by desert and surrealistically populated by sub-Saharan wildlife. Intricate plot twists and stunning color artwork mark this work as both an extraordinary comics literary achievement and a crackling good story.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
It's 2023 in France and the Egyptian deities rule from their home in the sky. Alcide Nikopol, hero of this graphic novel trilogy, awakens after a 30-year sleep and forms a strange pact with renegade god Horus. This pact allows Horus to seek revenge on his fellow deities in the Egyptian pantheon while punishing humanity and merging with Nikopol. A parallel plot line is formed by Nikopol's search for his son, who was not yet born at the time that his long sleep began. Unable to believe that this man in his thirties is his father, Nikopol's son thinks he has found a long lost twin. The graphics contain the requisite dose of violence, nudity, and sex, some of it central to the story. While there is an attempt to create a sense of urgency in the narrative, the gods remain undeveloped figures. The characters of Nikopol, the woman with blue hair, and Nikopol's son essentially remain unchanged by the story's resolution. Stephen Weiner, Maynard P.L., MA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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The compilation is a classic. You witness how Bilal evolved as an artist and as a story teller within a 12yr period. This is perfect for Blade Runner fans. Outstanding story line with a very haunting artwork presented in a large hardbound format.
5 stars is an understatement
The translation of the book is a bit clunky at times, but the story is great. And the art is detailed, but not to the point of your eyes wandering everywhere. Bilal puts in just enough detail for you to take a closer look at his panels. The colors reflect a grimy, claustrophobic, old city feel.
If you have the money and are tired of the same old same old, get this book. You wil find yourself rereading it to make sure you got everything the first time, which you probably did not.
First up, the artwork. Bilal has a unique, scratchy sort of style that evokes a grungy sense of hopeless dystopia while incorporating the fantastical; alien races, Egyptian gods, robots and grotesque and beautiful human beings alike populate his world. The colouring is unbelievable and really immerses you in the mood of his work, but its his line work that underpins the believability. It's dirty and manages a kind of cartoony realism that is hard to explain in words. This printing of The Nikopol Trilogy is grade A, the panels are well sized, the colours vibrant. In short the artwork will blow you away and is worth the price of the book alone. I think few would deny Bilal on this front.
Now to the story, which is perhaps less likely to be universally appreciated. Firstly a little context, and this is important. The kind of story telling Bilal employs, like many European artsists, is stylistically very different to what most North American audiences are used to. Where Hollywood and mainstream literature have emphasised Aristotle's famous outline for the 'proper pleasure', conventions such as beginning middle end, conflict/resolution, likable characters, etc, other styles are less formulaic and rigid in their framework, allowing for greater ambiguity, more focus on character than plot, even sometimes contradiction and paradox as a story telling device. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. At its worst the former ends up 'going through motions' that are too familiar, old and boring, telling the same stories in different iterations, over and over again, with only a superficial treatment. It's a passive experience that doesn't require much in the way of audience involvement. Think Michael Bay. On the other hand, at its worst the other style can lead to incoherence, pretentious and impenetrable works that alienate the viewer. Think Southland Tales perhaps.
But at their best both styles bring something interesting to the experience of the audience. The latter requires more engagement, is more challenging, but also more visceral and often a deeper more engaging experience because of it. I think a lot of the complaints about the story in the reviews here are from people who don't appreciate or understand another style of story telling to what they're familiar with. They've perhaps been raised expecting certain boxes to be ticked and are uncomfortable when they're not. If you think that's you, then you probably won't enjoy this. If, however, you like to be challenged, you don't mind when things aren't spoon feed in logical sequential order, and you don't have a problem with ambiguity and loose ends left flapping in the breeze for you to engage with and piece together yourself, then you will have no trouble here.
Bilal's work is most certainly not incoherent, is far from pretentious, and is accessible as long as you aren't looking for a Hollywood screenplay in the classical Western framework. The Nikopol Trilogy remains a seminal work in graphic novels, a mature and original story told with a unique and inspiring artistic talent. Bilal, along with Moebius, was the inspiration behind Ridley Scott's Bladerunner, and no doubt countless other 'mainstream' artists working in both film and graphic novels today. These guys helped lay the foundation for sci fi, steampunk and cyberpunk as we know and love it today.
Most recent customer reviews
Sci-fi presented perfectly by Enkil Bilal of former Yugoslavia leaves none indifferent.