File Size: 241278 KB
Print Length: 160 pages
Publisher: Cinebook; 01 edition (June 23, 2017)
Publication Date: June 23, 2017
The series appeared in 20 or so successive ‘album de bande dessinee’, or Franco-Belgian comics, until 2010. Only recently have more than a couple of these comics been translated into English, so for much of the period from the 70s through the 2000s, only a comparatively few Anglophone readers were aware of the Valerian franchise. These Anglophone viewers would occasionally ‘borrow’ aesthetic concepts from Mezieres, who had mixed thoughts on discovering ‘Star Wars’ …….. and realized that more than a few of their designs were copied from his very own artwork…....
Timed to accompany the release of the feature film ‘Valerian and the town of a Thousand Planets’ on Come july 1st 21 here in the united states, 'Valerian: The Complete Selection Volume 1' compiles English language translations of the four initial episodes of Valerian serialized in ‘Pilote’: ‘Bad Dreams’ (1967), ‘The Associated with Shifting Waters’ and ‘Earth in Flames’ (both 1970), and ‘The Empire of any Thousand Planets’ (1971).
‘Pilote’ was intended for what in the united states is called a 'tweener' or 'Young Adult' audience, so these initial episodes of Valerian should be read with an awareness of that audience in mind. This specific does not mean that Valerian, like many of the comics published in ‘Pilote’, cannot be loved by adults; many of the strips that appeared in the magazine have since are becoming comic book classics, like ‘Asterix’, ‘Lone Sloane’, and ‘Blueberry’.
The premise of Valerian is straightforward space opera: in the year 2720, Valerian is an operative for the Terran Galactic Empire. Teleportation allows people to instantaneously travel enormous distances in time and space. On the mission to Earth's past, Valerian befriends a peasant girl known as Laureline, who soon becomes an operative herself. Together, they are sent all over the galaxy on troubleshooting missions.
This volume of ‘The Complete Collection’ is a nicely produced book, with crisp color reproductions done on high-grade paper. It has an substantial Introduction section designed to acquaint an American readership with the Valerian canon, as well as pointing out how influential the series has been on sf and pop culture worldwide.
When it comes to comics themselves, I found them entertaining despite being aimed at a Young Adult readership. Although Christin's pièce apparently were designed to provide a satiric treatment of the political stances of French president Charles de Gaulle (?! ), for all practical purposes, Christin's narratives move along at a satisfying pace. In these initial issues, artist Mezieres was plainly finding his way; his depictions of a persons characters have a decidedly 'cartoony' look. Yet his rendering of scenery and technological artifacts is good, besides making clear that as the series progressed, Mezieres would refine his techniques and produce some memorable imagery.
Given the comic's Gallic origins, there inevitably are going to be those times that will draw a 'huh? ' exclamation from any American reader....... for example, the ‘Earth in Flames’ episode sees a reincarnation of Jerry Lewis from ‘The Nutty Professor’ (1963)?!
The verdict? If you're a fan of those earlier days of ‘Heavy Metal’, and Eurocomics like ‘Barbarella’, then you may want to invest in a copy of 'Valerian: The Complete Collection Volume 1'.
If you're someone who is less acquainted with the Eurocomics scene, someone more at ease with US and UK sci-fi comics like ‘Star Wars’, ‘Star Trek’, or ‘2000 AD’, or more modern series like ‘Black Science’ or ‘Saga’, then Valerian may or may not be your glass of tea.......... looking at a digital comic or two may be a great way to gauge whether you'll find Valerian rewarding, and whether you should spring for ‘The Complete Collection’., I actually grew up reading Asterix and Tintin, and having seen film production company Valerian, so I had high anticipations of this series. I must say it didn't really grab me. It is possible that this is because the original material was written in the sixties and 70's, and so is very dated and there is a variety of similar content available today. Nevertheless , I really just did not find the characters or the stories all that interesting., Reading these the first time though I've been aware of these stories for many years. I'm struck by how relevant and topical these stories remain to our times and can obviously see the effect on so many Science fiction Space Opera franchises that we know and love. This is true Technology Fiction, dealing with important issues, but with fun and adventure. For contemporary comic readers, the art feels almost amateurish but is also incredibly reasonable and detailed. The reports and characters feel so familiar because they have influenced so many popular franchises. If you can put yourself in the shoes of any reader in the 1960s, you can imagine how mind-blowing some of this was. Essential and highly recommended for fans of science hype and popular culture., Fun! Wish I had formed knowen 'bout these in older days., I read this just before discovering the movie!, Great book!, Good, Outstanding Science Fiction Adventure Stories!
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