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Tag: bandes dessinee

French anthro comic: Solo, T. 2, by Oscar Martin – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Solo. T.2, Le Coeur et le Sang, by Oscar Martin.
Paris, Delcourt, January 2016, hardcover €16,95 (109 [+ 1] pages).

Oops. This volume 2, The Heart and the Blood, almost got away from Lex Nakashima & me. Volume 3 is out already. Expect a review of it soon.

I said of volume 1, “The setting: a bleak, war-destroyed future Earth. Think MGM’s/Hugh Harman’s 1939 animated Peace on Earth, where the last humans on Earth kill each other and leave the world to the peaceful funny animals; or the similar sequence in Alexander Korda’s 1936 live-action feature Things to Come, where England (and presumably the whole human race) has been bombed and shot up back to the Stone Age. It’s Mad Max with furries.”

That’s still true of vol. 2. Quoting from my review of volume 1 again, I said, “Solo is a brawny teenaged rat-equivalent of the young Conan the Barbarian, but a lot smarter. In the first few pages, he and his warrior father are shown fighting giant, mutated monsters in a freezing winter landscape for food for their family, and killing rival mustelid warriors ready to eat them. Solo and his father win, but it is obvious to all that Solo’s family is slowly starving. Solo, a huge teenager, decides to leave so his parents and siblings won’t have to share their food with him.”

Solo spends most of volume 1 as an almost brain-dead gladiatorial warrior in a human-run arena. It’s clear that he could escape whenever he wants, but is there anyplace else in the world worth escaping to? He finally finds such a place; a new home and a wife. He finds that life is worth living again.

Of course, this now gives him responsibilities – to his wife and to his community.

The Heart and the Blood is divided into two sections; the story of 73 pages, and a mixture of “technical notes” (some of the other intelligent species of Solo’s “cannibal world”) and short independent stories.

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Les Ailes du Singe. T.2, Hollywoodland, by Étienne Willem – review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer

Les Ailes du Singe. T.2, Hollywoodland, by Étienne Willem.
Geneva, Switzerland, Éditions Paquet, June 2017, hardbound €14,00 (48 pages).

The Lex Nakashima-Fred Patten plot to make American furry fans read the best of new French-language animalière bandes dessinées strikes again. This is the second album of Étienne Willem’s over-the-top thriller Les Ailes du Singe (The Wings of the Monkey), set in a funny-animal America during 1933, the depths of the Depression. Things got so desperate at the time that there were serious worries about a Communist revolution. That’s one theme of this album.

The stars of Les Ailes du Singe are Harry Faulkner (macaque monkey), a top pilot in the Lafayette Escadrille during World War I, and the owner of his own barnstorming and movie stunt-flying Jenny biplane; his mechanic-friend Lumpy (pig), apparently Italian since he regularly swears in Italian; and his girlfriend Betty Laverne (deer), a newspaper reporter for the New York Herald-Tribune. In t.1, Wakanda, Harry gets involved in and prevents the skyjacking of the U.S. Army’s zeppelin Wakanda by unknown enemy agents led by a sultry night club singer, Lydia Lessing (jaguar). However, Harry could only prevent the enemy from unleashing poison gas over NYC by crashing the Wakanda into the Hudson River. He is blamed for wrecking the zeppelin and, to escape warrants for his arrest in New York and New Jersey, Harry and Lumpy flee to Hollywood where Harry becomes a stunt pilot for Paramount. (In real life I think he could be extradited – isn’t it illegal to cross state lines to avoid arrest?)

Hollywoodland contains so much hugger-mugger that, frankly, it destroys the suspension of disbelief for me. The Depression has gotten so bad that the South is threatening to re-secede, setting off a second Civil War – or, as Harry finds out, that’s what Communist agents are trying to make the public believe. There’s a plot to assassinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt that only Harry, Betty, and Lumpy can foil, in stolen Paramount stunt planes. There are lots of real famous people as funny animals: FDR is a goose (Willem seems to show him as unparalyzed, as he was popularly believed to be at the beginning of his administration; but take a close look at the bottom panel on page 46), Howard Hughes is a Doberman, Cecil B. De Mille is a Boston terrier, Douglas Fairbanks is a – cougar? (A Big Feline of some kind.) Marilyn Monroe wasn’t a star yet, so Hollywoodland substitutes a fictional Clara Palmer – that’s her on the cover. (There’s a nude shot of her in the story.) Willem takes advantage of the urban legend that Howard Hughes may have been a spy for someone, or at least working against America’s best interests, to put him into suspicious situations. There are car chases all over Los Angeles, gunfights, a major character is killed, and Harry’s & Friends’ pursuit in old World War I warplanes through the New Mexico desert of the presidential streamlined train to prevent the president’s murder

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French Anthro Comic: Intégrale Chlorophylle – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Chlorophylle Integrale tome 1Intégrale Chlorophylle 1, by Raymond Macherot.
Brussels, Belgium, Le Lombard, October 2012, hardcover 25,50 (208 pages).

Intégrale Chlorophylle 2, by Raymond Macherot.
Brussels, Belgium, Le Lombard, November 2012, hardcover 25,50 (208 pages).

Intégrale Chlorophylle 3, by Raymond Macherot.
Brussels, Belgium, Le Lombard, April 2013, hardcover 25,50 (206 pages).

Raymond Macherot (1924-2008) didn’t invent the French-language animalière cartoon strip. Hergé, the creator of Tintin, dabbled with it in his 1931 Tim L’Ésureuil, Héros du Far-West (Tim the Squirrel, Hero of the Far West), and again in his 1934 album featuring the bears Paul and Virginia, Popol et Virginie chez les Lapinos. (The Lapinos were a tribe of rabbit Indians, renamed the Bunnokees in an English translation. Hergé was a fan of early Western movies.) Edmond-François Calvo (1892-1957) created the first memorable animalière with his classic two-volume history of World War II with funny animals, La Bête est Morte (The Beast is Dead, 1944), which resulted in Calvo in France getting an invitation from Walt Disney to come work for his studio in Hollywood. (Calvo declined.) Calvo drew several other comics featuring adorably cute animals during his career, but they were mostly innocent pets. It was Macherot who established talking funny animals as a viable category of French-language comic strips from the 1950s to the 1990s when he retired. Macherot created several other popular series, not all featuring funny animals – his light adventures of human British secret agent Colonel Clifton are still reprinted – but his Chlorophylle the dormouse, serialized in the weekly Tintin magazine from 1954 to 1966, Sibylline the field mouse, Inspector Chaminou (pretty kitty) of Zooland’s Royal Secret Police, Mirliton the housecat (written by Raoul Cauvin), and other funny animals are what Macherot is most remembered for. Read the rest of this entry »

French Anthro Comic: L’Epée d’Ardenois T. 4/4, – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.


L’
Épée d’Ardenois. T. 4/4, Nuhy, by Étienne Willem.L'Epee d'Ardenois cover
Geneva, Switzerland, Éditions Paquet, June 2015, hardbound €16,00 (64 pages).

This is part of Lex Nakashima’s & my project to bring American furry fans the best of new French-language animalière bandes dessinées. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of this 4-volume series, which were 48 pages each, were previously reviewed. Here is volume 4, the 64-page conclusion.

All that I said about volume 3 is intensified here. Nuhy begins with Oddenburg, the capital of King Tancred the Younger’s realm of Bohan, under fiery siege by the vulture armies of Hellequin of the Cursed Wood (goat), the unseen Nuhy’s general. “The city can’t hold out for more than two days,” a lion knight reports. “Not to mention the starvation and sickness, our walls are crumbling; there are already skirmishes in several districts; and if the vultures take the St. Georges gate… it’ll be the end of the castle…”

King Tancred (lynx), and two remaining Companions of the Dawn (Lord Arthus, bear; and La Fouine, marten) are trapped inside Oddenburg. This final volume begins with Tancred’s royal advisors arguing whether he should lead a final, hopeless defense and die gloriously in the city’s fall, or escape with a handful of knights through the catacombs under the city to continue a guerrilla resistance in Bohan’s countryside. Escape and resistance are chosen, with La Fouine leading the King’s party from Oddenburg while Lord Arthus remains behind to mount a diversionary death-&-glory charge. Meanwhile in the countryside, Garen (young rabbit squire) and Sir Grimbert (fox) of the Companions are with the refugees from the Duchy of Herbeutagne (which has already fallen to Hellequin), who are trying to reach Oddenburg…

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French anthro comic: Solo, by Oscar Martin – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Solo. T.1, Les Survivants du Chaos, by Oscar Martindownload (2)
Paris, Delcourt, September 2014, hardcover €16,95 (107 [+ 13] pages).

Thanks, as always with French bandes dessinées, to Lex Nakashima for loaning this to me to review.

The setting: a bleak, war-destroyed future Earth. Think MGM’s/Hugh Harman’s 1939 animated Peace on Earth, where the last humans on Earth kill each other and leave the world to the peaceful funny animals; or the similar sequence in Alexander Korda’s 1936 live-action feature Things to Come, where England (and presumably the whole human race) has been bombed and shot up back to the Stone Age. It’s Mad Max with furries.

Solo’s blurb, translated by the publisher, is:

“Ravaged by nuclear and chemical weapons, the Earth has mutated and many animal species have developed a size and intelligence similar to that of humans. To make life easier for his family, Solo, a young rat, decides to take the road. In this hostile world of predators, cannibals, monsters or pirates, Solo will have to become the best fighter to survive.”

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French anthro comic: L’Epée d’Ardenois – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

L’Épée d’Ardenois. T. 3/4, Nymelle, by Étienne Willem.
Geneva, Switzerland, Éditions Paquet, February 2014, hardbound €13,50 (48 pages).

downloadThis is part of Lex Nakashima’s & my project to bring American furry fans the best of new French-language animalière bandes dessinées. Volumes 1 and 2 of this 4-volume series were reviewed on Flayrah on April 29, 2013. Here is volume 3, Nymelle.

The warfare in the Medieval funny-animal realm of the three kingdoms has devolved into bloody chaos. Garen (rabbit), the young peasant boy who hero-worships the legendary Companions of the Dawn — four unstoppable knights who led the three kingdoms of Bohan, Herbeutagne, and Valdor against the demonic armies of wizard-king Lord Nuhy a generation ago, then retired – is eager to see them reunite when Nuhy’s army reappears under his “eternal captain”, Hellequin of the Cursed Wood (goat). But the Companions are old and out of training today, and Sir Godefroid (hound), who is Garen’s personal hero among the Companions, is carefully killed by Hellequin before he relaunches the war. The other Companions dubiously accept Garen as their squire to honor Godefroid’s memory, but they are all shocked to find that the three kingdoms of today are not what they were a generation ago. Then, they were three monarchies united by strong rulers working together. Now, they are three separate monarchies each under weak rulers who do not even have the support of all their own nobility and knights, and who are jockeying for leadership among themselves – divisions that Hellequin skillfully encourages. Hellequin is supposedly trying to find and collect the Black Armor of Nuhy, which was divided among the victors after Nuhy’s death in battle. Some believe that this is just Hellequin’s pretext to use Nuhy’s name and armies for his own benefit, while others believe that Nuhy had real demonic powers, and that he will be resurrected if Hellequin does find all of his Black Armor. There are more complications, and volume 2, The Prophecy, ends with Garen, the other three Companions of the Dawn (Sir Grimbert, fox; Lord Arthus, bear; and La Fouine, marten), and the peasant refugees left behind the Wall of Ambrosius where they are supposed to be safe, suddenly attacked by Skernovite pirate raiders led by their King Rothgard the Bald (hawk) and Hellequin’s lieutenant Sigwald the Rash (bull terrier).

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