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Book Title: Adele y la Bestia|
The author of the book: Jacques Tardi
Edition: Riego Ediciones
Date of issue: 1980
ISBN 13: 9788485759231
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 17.18 MB
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Reader ratings: 3.7
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Another classic Franco-Belgian series in ligne clair style familiar to fans of Tintin, Pilote, and Spirou (or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which takes obvious cues from Adèle). We have the beautifully rendered backgrounds, with especial care and attention paid to architecture and vehicles, and in the foreground, the people, who are evocative, cartoonish caricatures. As Scott McCloud points out, this is a very effective technique, as it combines the immersive realism of the world with relatable, symbolic characters.
Unfortunately, some of the characters are not quite idiomatic enough, and we sometimes get lost in a sea of mustachio'd men in bowlers and spectacles who are not immediately easy to differentiate. This book is also reminiscent of Tintin in a less appealing way than the art: like early Tintin, it takes itself rather lightly, and the plot, structure, and characterization leave much to be desired. The constant disguises, twists, betrayals, flashbacks, and exposition make a simple adventure needlessly complex. One of the characters even jokes that the plot is 'too convoluted to make a good novel', suggesting that Tardi is doing it deliberately, but I'm not sure why an author would choose to purposefully weak such havoc on their own structure.
I think it could have worked if it had been more madcap, like De Crecy, placing action and wit above all. Sure, it could work to put a straight, driving story into the middle of such convolutions, but there needs to be a central thread to be followed, and the twists should be there as jokes or absurdities set around the main plot, not as the central focus. By the third time some character pops in to explain through flashback what really happened earlier, we've lost all focus.
Adèle herself is particularly lost in the muddle here, neither villain nor hero, motivations and relationships undefined. However, even by the next volume, we can see Tardi beginning to settle in to a more serious, dark tone, and beginning to find a voice that works.
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Read information about the authorJacques Tardi is a French comics artist, born 30 August 1946 in Valence, Drôme. He is often credited solely as Tardi.
After graduating from the École nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris, he started writing comics in 1969, at the age of 23, in the comics magazine Pilote, initially illustrating short stories written by Jean Giraud and Serge de Beketch, before creating the political fiction story Rumeur sur le Rouergue from a scenario by Pierre Christin in 1972.
A highly versatile artist, Tardi successfully adapted novels by controversial writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline or crime novelist Léo Malet. In Malet's case, Tardi adapted his detective hero Nestor Burma into a series of critically acclaimed graphic novels, though he also wrote and drew original stories of his own.
Tardi also created one of French comics' most famous heroines, Adèle Blanc-Sec. This series recreates the Paris of early 20th century where the moody heroine encounters supernatural events, state plots, occult societies and experiments in cryogenics.
Another graphic novel was Ici Même which was written by Jean-Claude Forest, best known as the creator of Barbarella. A satire, it describes the adventures of Arthur Même who lives on the walls of his family's former property.
Tardi has produced many antiwar graphic novels and comics, mainly focusing on the collective European trauma of the First World War, and the pitfalls of patriotism spawned several albums (Adieu Brindavoine, C'était la guerre des tranchées, Le trou d'obus, Putain de Guerre...). His grandfather's involvement in the day-to-day horrors of trench warfare, seems to have had a deep influence to his artistic expression. He also completed a four-volume series on the Paris Commune, Le cri du peuple.
Fantagraphics Books translate and publish in English a wide range of Tardi's books, done by editor and translator Kim Thompson. The books released so far are West Coast Blues (Le Petit bleu de la côte ouest), You Are There (Ici Même), and It Was the War of the Trenches (C'était la guerre des tranchées); a single album collecting the first two Adele Blanc-Sec volumes has also been published.
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