I’ve written a few reviews over the last few years on books created by the brilliant Franquin. This one first saw light in 1962 and continues the tale from volume 13 featuring the despicable Zorglub.
Franquin was a gifted all-rounder, combining a talent for absurdity and silliness with globe-trotting adventure, and lots of humour. Memorable characters, bizarre creatures, strange situations and odd places abound in tales he both wrote and illustrated.
In this book our two heroes return from the successful conclusion of their previous adventure to find a rogue agent still at large, freezing townsfolk into living statues. What’s clear is that the danger is far from passed, made worse by Zorglub’s bold return. A trip to the nation of Palombia is on the cards to right this wrong once and for all.
Franquin always seems to be having a lot of fun with his creations, investing plenty of exagerated exhuberance and farcical set pieces to push the story along. Like many comic creators of the time working on both sides of the Channel there’s a rich abundence of finely crafted content that’s seldom seen these days, so even though you’re highly unlikely to have read these tales before there’s still an odd sense of nostalgia for when comics were done differently.
And don’t be put off by this being book 15. You can start pretty much anywhere and still enjoy the self-contained tales, and that will then simply open the door to hours and hours of fulfilling reading. Go on, treat yourself.
And if you liked that: Head on over to Cinebook.com’s website where they do a rather excellent deal when you order four or more books.