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2009.04.21

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The Nikopol Trilogy is really impressive. I read the fist book in portuguese when I couldn't be older than 12 or so and it LITERALLY changed my mind about comics. That stuff was incredibly layered for someone whose most sophisticated reads at the time were probably Tintin or Carl Barks. Which means I probably can't objectively about the series. To me it is the Holy Writ, absolutely perfect.

Interestingly enough, I do think the series reads much better in separate installments. I followed it at a sedate pace similar to the french releases (the second book in the series took a few years to get translated, as did the third one) and reading it like that the series does NOT feels as a series. The first book is perfectly self-contained, as does the second (albeit continuing some of the first one subplots). Only the third requires some knowledge of the previous.

But when you read it on the original publication like me, you don't expect a sequel. I got pleasantly surprised both times I saw the new books (remember, that was before Internet became widespread), not annoyed by the lateness. When you aren't expecting anything you aren't bothered by the delays...

That's one of the comics bonafide classics. It shouldn't be out of print on the US! Maybe some new publisher could step in and put it out for the new US comics "bookstore readership", it doesn't require dealing with Humanoids anymore...

Oh, and do note that the colors on those eamples are far more faithful to the original edition. The books on "Chaos Effect" are colored the same way on the european editions!

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

I have the DC/Humanoids edition, the repro is Ok but the idiotic choice of trim size, about 7"x10", sabotages much of Bilal's vision.

What I love most about this trilogy (and Francophone BDs in general) are two things:
1. The sheer pleasure he takes in his draftsmanship, which is very top-drawer and also very genuine. He never draws "down" to his reader, he never assumes that you have infantile visual tastes and he assumes that the reader can discriminate between schlock & the real thing.

2. His determination to experiment & improve. The books change visually quite a bit and the progression is organic and thoughtful. Although I prefer the 1st volume's style, a truly bravura pen style, each volume works brilliantly.

And hey, the stories aren't too bad either!

My only complaint with the DC/Humanoids books is I could never find them. I never saw them in any comic shop I had visited at the time. Back then, I wasn't interested in being a proactive agent for my entertainment, so I wasn't looking in the Diamond catalog. Lesson learned there....

Aw, man, NOW I'm ready to read The Nikopol Trilogy. Thanks, Tucker. Guess I'll be giving up catching up on Outsiders.

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