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Grandville Mon Amour

Review

Grandville Mon Amour

Opening up six weeks after the events of GRANDVILLE, GRANDVILLE MON AMOUR revisits Detective Inspector LeBrock and Detective Ratzi as they are tasked with hunting down an escaped killer and uncovering yet another government-shattering conspiracy. Since the events in Paris, LeBrock is in something of a hole, deeply upset following the death of an intimate friend in GRANDVILLE. Of course, his level of upset seemed a bit much given his short acquantance with her, but it fits with the overly dramatic style of the story, with the noirish protagonist that LeBrock is painted as.

The new story is just as large in scope as the last, once again blending genres and visual motifs. The style is distinct and consistent, and the art matches it beautifully, growing even more detailed at times in this volume. It cements the world that the first volume established, a world of lurid alleyways and opulent hotels and palaces. The characters become even more garish and larger than life, with a mad dog serial killer, a hippopotamus madame, a bulldog prime minister, and enough other denizens to give the setting depth and diversity.

Perhaps the largest problem with GRANDVILLE MON AMOUR is that it doesn't seem to do much differently than the previous volume. The story is still sharp and moves logically and dramatically from point to point. Once again there is an abundance of violence and conspiracy and a good amount of detecting going on. LeBrock still comes across as part Sherlock Holmes, part Hollywood action movie star, though if one counted up the number of clues uncovered against faces punched, the tally might come out rather skewed toward the punch. But the actual plot is a bit similar to the one of GRANDVILLE, and for anyone paying attention the first time around, it might come off as no big surprise.

Still, there is an essence of fun that cannot be denied in this series, and GRANDVILLE MON AMOUR does not disappoint in that regard. While it might be argued that the book brushes against themes such as the nature of revolutions and war corruption, they seem much more just trappings for the story to take place around rather than actual ideas the book explores. It is less about quesioning what is right and wrong and more about telling a fast-paced and entertaining story.

And really, that is part of what makes GRANDVILLE MON AMOUR fun to read, that it manages to balance action, setting, character, and plot in such a way that is both dark and fun, gritty and cathartic. There might be no real questioning of what is right or wrong, but neither does the book pretend to be more than a smashing good time. The plot is crisp and moving, the dialogue smart and funny, the characters exaggerated and almost ridiculous, but it all works together. Wtih GRANDVILLE MON AMOUR, the series continues to expertly blend genres and ideas and present something novel and worhty of note.

Reviewed by Charles Payseur on January 31, 2014

Grandville Mon Amour
by Bryan Talbot

  • Publication Date: November 23, 2010
  • Hardcover: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse
  • ISBN-10: 1595825746
  • ISBN-13: 9781595825742