Monday 20 February 2017

Aldebaran, tome 1: La Catastrophe, by Leo (Dargaud) | review

Contact with Earth was lost over a hundred years ago, soon after it was hit by an economic crisis, though life isn’t too bad on the planet known as Aldebaran. A religious order rules, but their influence is barely felt in Kim’s little village on the coast, where the beach is endless and the ocean the sweetest blue. She dreams of getting back in touch with Earth. Marc, a boy who fancies her big sister, works as a fisherman; his dream is to go to the big city. The fishermen find some odd corpses in the water, monsters driven up from the seabed, and a stranger arrives with dire warnings of a disaster to come. No one believes him and he leaves, before a journalist turns up, hot on his trail – Marc takes her after him, and they begin to see some really weird stuff. And maybe it’s a good thing he isn’t at the village right now… This is the first of five French albums collected in Aldebaran: L’Integrale, recently reprinted. It’s a gorgeous book, inside and out, and it feels like this first volume barely skims the surface of this strange and beautiful world. Leo’s artwork is rather like a slightly stiffer Steve Dillon, his creatures as weird as Miyazaki’s. An English translation is available, but it’s possible to order the French version through UK Amazon too, if you fancy dusting off your GCSE French. Stephen Theaker ****

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