De Cape et De Crocs is back! French anthro comic announcement, by Fred Patten.
by Patch O'Furr
For those not exposed to Euro media… “Bande Dessinee” is a format of richly illustrated, full color comic stories in large album hardcovers. They make a tradition that’s a cherished national art in France and Belgium. Think – TinTin, Asterix, and The Smurfs. I HIGHLY recommend a visit to the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels. Get lost for hours with original inked pages displayed in a lavish Art Nouveau venue.
Story sent in by Fred Patten:
“Here is my new story for Dogpatch Press, about the surprise continuation of the French De Cape et De Crocs series. I wrote about the publication of Volume 10, (what I thought was the end of the series) for Flayrah two years ago. I’m including links to the series site which has graphics of other albums; and the French site that shows the cover and first dozen pages of the new album.”
De Cape et De Crocs, volume 11: “Twenty Months Before”.
The end of writer Alain Ayrolles’ & artist Jean-Luc Masbou’s De Cape et De Crocs (“With Capes and Fangs”) series was announced two years ago with volume 10, From the Moon to the Earth, published on April 11, 2012. Ayrolles & Masbou began the adventures of the 17th-century gentlemen-adventurers/swordsmen Sieur Armand Raynal de Maupertuis (anthro fox) and Don Lope de Villalobos y Sangrin (anthro wolf) in January 1999 for the French bandes dessinées publisher Delcourt. They managed one hardcover album about every 2½ years, going from Venice to the Moon and back. The series is a straight-faced pastiche of the 17th-century florid novels and melodramas of Cyrano de Bergerac, Corneille, Montesquieu, Molière, La Fontaine, and everyone else who was trying to copy the success of Cervantes’ then-new Don Quixote de la Mancha, and it was full of swordplay, pirates, duels, spies from the Moon, a forest of savage French mimes, and much more. From the blurb of the first volume (my translation):
“Act I. Aboard a Turkish ship, a strongbox. In the strongbox, a jewelry box. In the jewelry box, a bottle. In the bottle, a map, and on that map … the location of the fabulous treasure of the Tangerine Isles! There is no choice for two proud gentlemen, expert swordsmen, and boasters, but to throw themselves into an adventure that, from jails to galleys, will lead them to the ends of the world.”
In that first volume, the fox and wolf swordsmen rescue Eusebius, the cutest bunny-rabbit in the world, who is a Venetian galley-slave. Eusebius becomes their faithful squire for the rest of the series, but it is never revealed how the French bunny had become a Venetian galley-slave. Volume 10, two years ago, wrapped up all the loose threads and appeared to bring the series to a final conclusion. Readers were disappointed but, after thirteen years, nobody could deny that the fantasy-adventure had had a good run, and it was time for a definite ending before anything happened to the authors. Alas, there was no English-language edition.
Now, after two years, they’re unexpectedly back with a flashback-continuation! Volume 11, Twenty Months Before, published on November 5, 2014, is Eusebius’ origin story, before he meets Sieur Armand and Don Lope. It is immediately obvious that Ayrolles & Masbou are pastiching Dumas père’s The Three Musketeers (and his Twenty Years After) this time, with the naïve young bunny traveling to Paris to join the Cardinal’s guard. There are cutthroats, an untrustworthy gypsy and his anthro bear companion, and the deadly politics of the mid-17th-century French court. How can Eusebius survive long enough to meet Sieur Armand & Don Lope? Get it at Amazon.fr for €13,95.
Sorry; there’s still no English-language edition after fifteen years. – Fred Patten
(You can browse the site in English through Google Translate. – Patch)
Or go to the BD GEST’ site (“the French site that shows the cover and the first dozen pages of the new album”) and hit the “translate into English” button. It won’t translate the speech balloons/bubbles, but it’s better than nothing.
I just realized that this is posted as a review. It’s not. It’s an announcement that this book is published. I haven’t read it yet, so it’s not a review