Grandville: Mon Amour by Bryan Talbot

By on 14 January 2011

Can I say from the outset that I consider Bryan Talbot to be one of the finest comic writers.  Not only is Bryan a fantastic artist with a keen eye for detail, but he is also an amazing storyteller who weaves a tale filled with mystery and intrigue.  When he combines these two facets into his comic writing, the results are truly sublime.

‘Grandville: Mon Armour’ is the second in Bryan Talbot’s proposed Grandville series and begins shortly after the tragic conclusion of the debut Grandville.  Readers new to the adventures of Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard need not fear, as Mon Amour can be easily read as a standalone comic without reading the first.  Nonetheless, reading the first Grandville will provide added nuances to the expanded background in which Grandville is set.

Grandville is an alternate art-nouveau world populated by intelligent animals, a human underclass (“dough-faces”), robot automatons, and steam-punk technology that power everything from hansom cabs to iron flying machines.

Much like the first Grandville, Mon Armour is a Scientific-Romance thriller, or more accurately a detective thriller in a steampunk setting.  Imagine Arthur Conan Doyle writing a mystery set in a world created by Jules Verne, peopled by characters from a Beatrix Potter tale, and the action sequences by Quentin Tarantino, and you will have an idea of what to expect.  Yet, this does not include the subtle humour and allusions to contemporary society that proliferate the pages of the comic.

Speaking of the pages, Bryan Talbot’s artwork is exquisitely beautiful.  I often found myself absorbed in the panels by Bryan’s intricate attention to detail on every page.  Bryan’s artwork has always been phenomenal (just read his debut classic The Adventures of Luther Arkright of the defininitive Alice in Sunderland), but here it is stupendous.

Like the artwork the story is also fantastic; and Bryan’s ability to weave a tale of murder, conspiracy, and cover-ups ensures a gripping read that remains immediately contemporary.  Despite these dark themes (authority and corruption are signature themes for Bryan), there remains a strong vein of humour that runs through the comic, and a series of classic insults.

My first reading of Grandville finished the story in one sitting, following this I sat down again an hour later to take my time with the comic, and have since began reading the story for a third time . It really is that good.

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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