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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Cinebook The 9th art: Valerian 12- The Wrath of Hypsis

Authors: Mézières & Christin
Age: 12 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Publication: June 2016
 ISBN: 9781849183048
Price: £6.99 inc. VAT

The head of Galaxity’s Spatio-Temporal Service himself has joined Valerian and Laureline at Inverloch Castle. There, among various human and alien allies, he explains to them the threat that looms over Earth: all of the recent incidents, all those important people gone mad and threatening to bring about the apocalypse... All of that is due to the malicious influence of the mysterious planet Hypsis. But Hypsis is a world that moves from system to system – it’ll need to be pinpointed first...

Volume 12. If you have never read a Cinebook series then you have missed out. This series in particular is one I cannot recommend highly enough. For the first time, comic readers who do not speak French or German or any of the languages Valerian and Laureline have been translated into...well, those people can now read twelve volumes in English!

If I never thought that we would see over 50 volumes of Lucky Luke in English then I certainly never expected to see Valerian and Laureline -though Olivier Cadic did sort of hint at this a good ways back.

In production already are vol. 13 On The Frontiers , Vol. 14 The Living Weapons, Vol. 15  The Circles of Power and Vol. 16  Hostages Of Ultralum.

I can't give too much away because the pacing is so well balanced between "the mundane", back story and action that writing "Wait until you see page 36!" or "Whoa! Page 38!"  will spoil it.  Splash page 12 -! Now, I've read some -some- Valerian in German and the United Kingdom editions ( World Without Stars, Welcome to Alflolol and Heroes of the Equinox) by Hodder-Dargaud in 1984 and 1985 but I have yet to see those stories I read in Zack in English.  And that kinda gets me excited with anticipation.

This series is not simply "Some European science fiction comic" -it is more than that. The writing and art style fools you. Page 1..."meh"  Page 3...hmm-meh!" Final page "WHAT?? You can't leave it like that! What -?" and even when you have a nice clean ending you want more! And you also get to warm to the characters that are definitely not what I've read a couple Americans describe as "basic characterisation"!!  If anything that shows the dopes either cannot read or that if it isn't featuring a super hero then a comic skips past their tiny brain cells.

Whoa. Getting a bit defensive about the series there.  Good example of how it just tickles your nuts before giving them an almighty squeeze.  Yeah, let's try not to think about that too much.

The point is that, when Olivier Cadic set up Cinebook the 9th Art, some of us knew it would be good. But I think we never realised just how good and with Valerian and Laureline you are surfing the crest of the European comic wave.

Was I being too cryptic here?  Okay.....


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