Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Littlest Pirate King

David B. & Pierre Mac Orlan

This new graphic novel from creator David B. is adapted from French writer Pierre Mac Orlan's story, and is one of the first in a wave of European comics that Fantagraphics is publishing (Stephane Blanquet's Toys In the Basement is another, with more coming next year).  David B. made a big splash with his debut graphic novel, the autobiographical Epileptic, a few years ago, but it seems that his storytelling prowess isn't limited to non-fiction, for he brings to life the eerie world that Orlan creates with ease, to fantastic results.  I was really blown away by this graphic novel, featuring a pirate ship manned by the undead, who wish for nothing more than to end their existence once and for all, that is until they come across a human child, whom they raise as one of their own and plump him up in preparation for the day they actually make him one of them.  It actually takes awhile before the little human comes into the story, as David B. sets the tone of the book and fills in the backstory for half of the book, elaborately illustrating the pirates with wonderful designs and illustrating the sea with swirling waves and hundreds of lovely sea creatures.  The art here is amazing, the kind you just love to stop and stare at, and take your time with because you don't want it to end.  In fact, one thing I wanted in this book was just more of it.  I had a really fun time living in this world of pirates, pillaging other vessels and being generally mischievous, and I wished when it came to a rather abrupt ending that it would have continued.  David B. definitely proves that he's a force to be reckoned with here, that he really is a master of the medium.

No comments: