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Both a rip-roaring adventure series set in pre-World War I Paris and a parody of same, Adèle Blanc-Sec has been enchanting, thrilling, and puzzling readers worldwide through four decades.
With various American attempts to publish Adèle having dribbled into nothing decades ago, Fantagraphics Books, fresh from its triumphs with Tardi’s West Coast Blues, You Are There, and It Was the War of the Trenches, launches a spectacular, newly retranslated, hardcover series that intends to collect every one of its nine (soon ten) volumes.
In this premiere installment, Adèle becomes involved in an interlocking series of mysteries that involve a revived pterodactyl, a frightful on-stage murder, a looming execution by guillotine, and a demon from the depths of hell — plus of course moronic gendarmes, loyal (or perhaps traitorous?) henchmen, and a climax atop the Eiffel Tower.
In 2010, Adèle Blanc-Sec was adapted into a feature film by the renowned action director Luc Besson (The Professional, The Fifth Element), bringing this quirky, very French series to a new worldwide audience.
"...Plot twists aplenty, including a murder or two, as well as a parade of mysterious characters and double-crosses... In crisp drawings with just the right combination of caricature and architectural precision, Tardi wonderfully captures turn-of-the-century Paris."
– Publishers Weekly
Download an EXCLUSIVE 12-page PDF excerpt (2.7 MB) with the beginning pages of each story.
"The mysteries are compelling enough, but the best is
what’s found around the edges: elements that spice up the proceedings by parodying disloyal henchmen,
inept gendarmes, and talky exposition; the meticulously rendered belle epoque settings (the confrontation
with the cult leader takes place, naturally, atop the Eiffel Tower); and Adèle herself, who, at least at this
early stage, is an intriguing cipher. But the main attraction is Tardi’s gorgeous visuals, with their supple
line work and elegant compositions."
– Gordon Flagg, Booklist
"This is a delightful and vibrant parody on the genre and certainly meant for adults. Plenty of delicious satire is embedded within each ripping yarn set in 1910s Paris, and Tardi's intrepid line work is as thorough as his well-researched and multi-layered plots. [Rating] 8/10" – Kyle Lemmon, Under the Radar
"In this popular storyline, Tardi
explores fin-de-siècle Paris with a mixture of gothic imagery and ludicrous
plot twists, propelled by a droll heroine with a penchant for entangling her
elaborate schemes with the ineptitude
of buffoons. First published in the 1970s,
Tardi’s work here is truly timeless,
rendering his characters in Herge’s
ligne claire style but embedding
the background with a virtuoso’s
attention to detail.... Readers interested in some
of the best of what French BD has to
offer should seize this opportunity
to make this and other Tardi books
now available in English part of
their library." – Rob Vollmarr, World Literature Today