SFF Author: Bryan Talbot


Grandville: Astonishing artwork brings a steampunk world to life

Grandville by Bryan Talbot

Exquisite, fantastical artwork lifts Grandville out of the ordinary. Bryan Talbot’s graphic novel, set in an alternate fantasy world where homo sapiens sapiens is not the dominant species, and Napoleon won the Peninsular Wars, is a true luxury to read, due mostly to the stunning, vividly executed pictures.

But Napoleon? Napoleon, probably the third of that name, is a lion. Archie LeBrock, the Scotland Yard Detective-Inspector who is our hero, is a badger and his sergeant is a rat.

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Grandville, Mon Amour by Bryan Talbot

Grandville, Mon Amour by Bryan Talbot

Grandville, Mon Amour is the second in Bryan Talbot’s steampunk graphic novel series with highly evolved animals, in a world where Napoleon conquered all of Europe and Britain has only been an independent country for twenty-three years. British badger Detective-Inspector Archie LeBrock and his partner Ratzi, a rat, are back on a case that will take them back to Paris, also called Grandville. As Ratzi puts it, “We’re like a pair of bloomin’ boomerangs.”

In the opening,

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Grandville, Bete Noire: Luscious art creates good escapist fun

Grandville, Bete Noire by Bryan Talbot

Grandville, Bete Noire, Bryan Talbot’s third steam-punk themed graphic novel, has the same lavish detail and striking use of color as the first two. English Badger D.I. Archie LeBrock is back, as rough-and-tumble as ever, and in this book we spend a bit more time with Quayle or “Q,” a brilliant inventor adept at stealth weapons, like a smoking pipe that is really a bomb. It’s a nice wink in the direction of Ian Fleming.

The plot is slimmer and more predictable than the first two,

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June 2023