Welcome to the July Izneo Pubwatch! We at WWAC have been diving into the latest in European graphic novels translated into English, and I can’t wait to share with you my latest finds. There are also some exciting offers from Izneo this month that you might enjoy. As always, if you haven’t had time yet, please do check out Izneo’s site, it’ll be fun!
And now, without further ado, let’s take a look at the latest news from Izneo. I’ve also got a few mini-reviews of their newest comics for you to read.
In the News
All July, Izneo has a very special offer on titles by famed sci-fi/fantasy author Jodorowski. Fifty books, including a host of Jodorowski’s series like Moon Face, Incal, Technopriests, Bouncer, The White Lama, and Son of the Gun, are available for CAD $3.69 each. The offer is available till July 31st!
Superhero fans have plenty of reason to be excited with Izneo’s special 50% sale on over 80 comics. Books are available from as little as CAD $6.89 after discount, and goes up to CAD $11.29. A steal for collected volumes such as Black Hammer, Empowered, Umbrella Academy, B.P.R.D., Abe Sapien, Captain Midnight, Ghost, X, and Nexus Omnibus. Get your hands on these books now—offer lasts till July 7.
Izneo is offering five volumes of The Survivors for half the price—only CAD $3.69 per volume. The series follows a group of stranded colonists on the planet Aldebaran. A must-read for science-fiction fans.
Mini-Reviews: Loved It!
Philippe Briones (Art), Andrew Crossley (Colours), Kwanza Osajyefo (Writer), Leonardo Paciarotti (Colours), A Larger World Studios (Letters), Mark Waid (Writer)
Humanoids (English, 2019)
Content Warning: School Shootings
A year ago, Phoenix Academy High was devastated by a school shooter, who took the lives of 14 children, and injured over 30 others. The school has reopened, with a new policy: to arm teachers. But a small resistance group have spoken up against this new policy. Who are they? And why are some of the survivors of the shooting missing?
This story is incredibly relevant to our times, and I like how much of the opening issue is devoted to the psychological impact on the students. I’m not entirely sure I understand how the superhero angle is going to be brought into such a politically-motivated narrative, and I hope the creators do it justice. Superheroes are heavily alluded to in this issue, but the heroes only make an appearance near the end. Will it cheapen the message by having superpowered individuals in this story? I hope not.
I like the art, which is luscious, and the vibrant colours are mesmerising. I would have like more diversity in the body sizes of the characters, but I’m hoping we will see more of that in upcoming issues.
A good start, nonetheless, and I hope to read more soon.
Children of the Resistance: Opening Moves
Cromatik Ltd (Letters), Vincent Dugomier (Writer), Benoît Ers (Artist and Colours), Montana Kane (Translation)
Le Lombard (French, 2015), Europe Comics (English, 2019)
The Second World War breaks out and shortly after, France is occupied by German forces. In a small village far from Paris, François and his best friend, Eusèbe, along with Lisa, a lost Belgian child, work together to defy the occupants. But can they sway the minds of the complacent adults around them?
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but it was surprisingly exhilarating. Based on real stories from the diaries of children who fought in the Resistance, this is a refreshing and uplifting tale, that still holds weight so many decades after the events of war.
Protagonist François is headstrong and eager to make a difference, but he isn’t a Gary Stu, because he makes mistakes—one particularly costly one that affects the entire town. I like that he eventually begins to learn that a uniform doesn’t make a person evil; their actions do.
The art is vibrant despite the circumstances it depicts and each character has individualised qualities that makes them immediately recognisable. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and can’t wait to see what else the young protagonists get up to in upcoming stories.
Mini-Reviews: Meh ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Glory Days: Chaos
Cromatik Ltd (Letters), Montana Kane (Translation), Merwan (Writer and Artist)
Dargaud (French, 2012), Europe Comics (English, 2019)
Violet, Helen, and Lila are three young women in crisis trying to sort out their lives and find a place to call home. Will their circumstances spiral out of control, or will they finally get their act together and change their future?
I wanted to like this book. A comic featuring diverse young women dealing with life, work, academics, and romance looked great on paper. But the execution wasn’t as polished as I would have liked. There are too many clichés here and an over-reliance on romance to progress the narrative.
Over 70 pages, we never learn why Violet broke up with her boyfriend, and why she is so distraught about it. Nor do we know why Helen is struggling so much with her dissertation when she has been putting in the hard yards for it. Also, what is the deal with her advisor? Is he leading her in the wrong direction? Who knows? And lastly, Lila, a walking cliché who sleeps with her best friend’s boyfriend and is hounded out of her social circles. Nothing happens to the friend’s boyfriend, however.There are moments in this book that I found interesting, and I do like the fact that the characters represent different ethnicities, but I wanted more from it. The art is great—quirky and simplistic, but with a level of detail that adds to the world. If only the story was tighter.
Mini-Reviews: Ugh, no!
Veerle Hildebrandt (Writer and Artist), James Vandermeesch (Translation)
Ballon Media (2018), Europe Comics (English, 2019)
The Wagner family move from Berlin to Lagos when Hans gets a promotion at his fuel supply job. All seems well at first—they have a big house, a pool, servants, a driver—but their new way of life also has its drawbacks. Hans can’t cope with the political or work culture; his wife Katie sees infidelity everywhere. Their black paradise is turning into a nightmare.
Is it too much to ask to read a book that doesn’t exoticize and other Africa? Black Paradise could have been a story about learning from other cultures, but it ends up being the same drab story of “uncivilized” Africa—no attempt is made to distinguish the many cultures of the continent—seen through the eyes of “civilized” white people. The non-white characters are given no depth, no background, no agency—that is only reserved for the white characters we encounter. We’ve read the same thing a million times. There’s absolutely nothing in these 150 pages that is different or new. What a disastrous read.
Last of the Atlases
Frédéric Blanchard (Artist), Gwen de Bonneval (Writer), Laurence Croix (Colours), Cromatik Ltd (Letters), Edward Gauvin (Translation), Hervé Tanquerelle (Artist), Fabien Vehlmann (Writer)
Dupuis (2019), Europe Comics (English, 2019)
If you read the blurb for this book, it makes it sound like an alternate history thriller revolving around the Algerian Revolution. Unfortunately, this first issue does absolutely nothing to set up the universe. The characters come across as stock tough guys with little personality. Though the book opens with scientists worrying about the lack of bird migration, the event is flippantly disregarded with a comment about global warming. I would have liked to see a connection made between the birds and the characters earlier on.
That’s all for now, folks. Come back next month to see what Izneo has for you!