Friday, 16 October 2009

Tardi & Manchette - West Coast Blues

This was a good laugh. I’d never read any Tardi before so I ordered this one when it came out from Fantagraphics. There’s another book too but that ones only for sale in the USA for copyright reasons.

It’s very French, and very seventies too in the drawing style… I think it’s because of the rounded cloud like speech bubbles. It reminded me a bit of the Coen Brothers in the story, something like Fargo. I think it’s the ordinary people getting caught up with violent murderers theme. The violence in it is very sudden and brutal but very cartoony. It takes you by surprise when it suddenly breaks out. He draws lovely lumpy people that I really like and great scenery. There are some very funny bits, especially the scene when the hero is explaining to a woman he’s just met what has happened to him.

The only thing I didn’t like about it too much was the way all the people’s and brands names were in capitals throughout the story. I’m sure they were like that in the original French version but I wasn’t sure why. It just bothered me for some reason while I was reading it as it pulled you right out of the story. I suspect it was done to make the story seem more cold and distant, more like reporting on the facts afterwards. It was an interesting effect anyhow.

I’d like to try some more Tardi, maybe his ‘Adele Blanc-Sec’ series as I like the look of the heroine. I’ll get some next time I’m in France.

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