Saturday, August 1, 2009


Here's how this works. I read a book or two and tell you about them and try not to get too long-winded. This time, a review of Iriacynthe (Riperman-Drukwerk / Blue Circle, 1982)

Well, this looked interesting. My wife's half-Dutch and I like cute naked girls, and I have a woefully small collection of European comics, so I figured this story by J.C. Servais was worth a go when I found an inexpensive copy of it. Like many of these sorts of books, it's a 48-page hardcover telling a single story. Set around 1900, the Baron Alexander du Boisier has a large estate and the respect of the workers and servants, much to the dislike of his aristo mother and stepfather, who disapprove of consorting with the help. Apparently, the baron's late father, who died two years ago under mysterious circumstances, also had disagreeably 20th-Century notions about being nice to everybody as well.

The baron is out in the thick woods of his property hunting a boar when he hears the siren song of a gorgeous fairy called Iriacynthe. He's immediately driven mad with desire and becomes obsessed with finding her again. The poor baron, he might need to be committed to state care and his estate handed over to his stepfather...

I really like the way that Servais creates a complete world and tells an involved, engaging story with it in so few pages. There's not a lot of room for character development, so the plot is really the only focus. Servais's artwork is really lush. There are very few solid blacks on the page, as he chose instead to use tightly-woven linework to suggest blackness. Copious fairy nudity makes this inappropriate for younger readers, but I would recommend it if you can find a copy for $6 or so, and I am curious to see more of Servais's work in the future.

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