This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
After the heyday of Heavy Metal and Cheval Noir magazines, both of which bro ught a wealth of exotic euro comics to the superhero-saturated US market, the fa ucet was shut off due to general indifference and poor sales. In the past few years, however, several publishers have taken another stab at br inging out at least a few translated nuggets from that vast repository beyond th e Atlantic ocean. The intent of this column is to showcase a wide range of these publications, partly in hope of wedging the door open for good. TORPEDO VOL 4 (http://www.amazon.com/Torpedo-Volume-Enrique-Sanchez-Abuli/dp/161 3770898/) Published by IDW without much fanfare, this hardback collection of the complete Torpedo is a pitch black gangster comic classic you can read in any order. Written by Enrique Sanchez Abuli, this Spanish series was originally drawn by Al ex Toth (see volume 1), who quickly withdrew himself from the project as he foun d Abuli's stories to be far too dark and profane for his taste. Luckily, his rep lacement was Jordi Bernet, whose richly casual style was a sublime fit to Abuli' s storytelling. TORPEDO features Luca Torelli, a heartless hitman, who performs his duties in 19 30s New York. Essentially a collection of short stories featuring the same lead character tackling a wide variety of situations, this series is pure hardboiled gold. TORPEDO VOL.4 plays with the form, cliches and traditions of comics, gangster fi lms, and storytelling ideas. Its humor ranges from black to nihilistic, yet the fluid and energetic cartooning of Bernet makes the book a delight to read. Had t hese stories been illustrated in a realistic manner, it could easily have slippe d into dreariness, but the balance Bernet and Abuli achieve succeeds in remindin g the reader of the joys of cinematic masters like Sergios Leone and Corbucci, o r writers like Jim Thompson and Charles Willeford. The whole series is highly recommended: pick up all five volumes before they dis appear into the overpriced black pit known as amazon marketplace. ANTARES VOLUME 1 http://www.amazon.com/Episode-I-Antares-Vol-1/dp/1849180970 This is the third cycle in a long-running series of interconnected stories about planetary exploration in the late 22nd century. Following earlier books set, respectively, in ALDEBARAN and BETELGEUSE, ANTARES proves to be a smart human-driven science-fiction drama which works surprisingly well on its own, but clearly points to a rich canvas of backstory that you migh t prefer to try out first. Written and illustrated by Brazilian Leo, yet published originally in France, th is is a beautifully precise and deliberately paced story full of visual and stor ytelling riches. The alien planet is craftily imagined, being mostly ordinary wi th a creeping sense of the unknown that sets the story in motion. I'm eager to r ead both the forthcoming and preceding volumes, but the slow buildup may be too much for some readers. SALVATORE VOL 2: AN EVENTFUL CROSSING (http://www.amazon.com/Salvatore-Vol-An-Ev entful-Crossing/dp/1561636134) Something of a disappointment following the first oddball book (TRANSPORTS OF LO VE http://www.amazon.com/Salvatore-Transports-Nicolas-De-Crecy/dp/1561635936/) i n this French series, AN EVENTFUL CROSSING features further exploits of Salvator
com/Corto-Maltese-T he-Ballad-Salt/dp/0789324989/) Hugo Pratt's comic series about the vagabond adventurer Corto Maltese is one of the greatest comics ever created. this is a long-overdue book. illustrated by a man whose own life experiences and love of a dventure were legendary. running a smuggling business off a secluded island. Russian pirate Rasputin. always carefully complementing the story. Absurd. sporadically funny and often insightful. the machinations of British and German troops playing chess in the days preceding full-scale war. this volume re mains a gorgeous but unfocused entry. a French canine car mechanic yearning after Julie. and you're suddenly enveloped by an richly intricate story equal of Robert Louis Stevenson or Henry De Vere Stacpoole. adrift at sea in the Pacif ic during the beginning of the first World War. Even to lifetime fans like myself. CORTO MALTESE: THE BALLAD OF THE SALT SEA (http://www. his pooch love now somewhe re in distant America. treading water while we wait for the next volume to pick up the pace. odd fonts and lack of any proper intro duction). Enter a mad criminal mastermind. Wart s and all.e. He is picked up by his longtime acquaintance. holding two young shipwreck survivors in his vessel for a hefty ransom. Nicolas De Crecy is a master cartoonist in complete control of his art. Yet this volume finds our lovable hero and his tiny human sidekick taking sidetracks whi ch lead nowhere. THE BALLAD OF THE SALT SEA introduces us to the hero. --JT Lindroos . Monk. but the affordable price and the spectacular south seas adventure are more than enough compensation if you're unfamiliar with either Hugo Pratt or Cor to Maltese. His line s are fluid and naturalistic. slightly subpar production.amazon. Universe's publication is somewhat problematic (edits made to fit the book in sm aller format.