Friday, 25 March 2016

The Cruise Of Lost Souls



The Cruise Of Lost Souls was the first of Enki Bilal / Pierre Christin's so-called 'Townscape' trilogy, a series of environmental fables, that all follow much the same basic idea. As a group of unscrupulous politicians and businessmen set out to ruin the lives of the average working man, something magical happens to block the path of 'progress'. Always involved is the mysterious white-haired man ( who looks kind of like a gallic Elric ) who turns up at opportune moments, and always knows more than he lets on.
Titled The Voyage Of Those Forgotten when it originally ran in Heavy Metal, ( a better title I think ) this tale is about a tiny Italian ( or possibly French ) village that takes it upon itself to one day float off into the sunset.
The message is sometimes forced, but Christin's script manages to hit just the right side of whimsy, ably lightening Bilal's usual gloom encrusted worldview ( although he really lets himself go in later episodes, where army officals start mutating into hideous monsters ). But it's the comedic, secondary characters I like, such as the bedridden old man who refuses to believe any of it is happening, the kids who realise they won't have to go to school, and the fact that, confronted with such a bizarre set of happenings, the villagers take the only sensible option, and break out the wine, bread and pate.
Here's the first few episodes.

















5 comments:

  1. Some say Bilal's a bit of a Moebius clone, but I reckon he has his own thing too. Tend to prefer the work with better colour(Hunting Party, Nikopol) but still massively enjoyed this. Thanks.

    Only... now I want to read the rest. Which will probably means tracking down the right HMs or breaking out the English/French dictionary again...

    -sean

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  2. As always, Sean, happy to put up the whole thing if enough people want to see it.

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  3. Argh - you got me there, Pete!
    Ideally, I think maybe its better to post extracts like this, so as not to put off publishers potentially putting out a new translation.

    On the other hand... I would very much like to read more of this, and English editions of old French stuff haen't exactly flooded the market in recent years.
    So... erm... yeah, put me down as a vote for more.

    -sean

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  4. Done and done. At some point soon I'll post some more of this one ( gotta keep that variety up there as much as I'd sometimes like to post nothing but Euro comics! )
    Who even has the rights to stuff like this anyway? Still Heavy Metal? Or would Cinebook give it a go I wonder.

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  5. Titan have just bought the Nikopol trilogy back into print (which shows how reliable I was earlier on comic publishing trends!) and they did the English versions ages ago, so... I guess any publisher who's up for it and can strike a deal with the French rights holder.
    Apart from Exterminator 17, I thought Bilal used to be in Pilote more than Hurlant? (Not that the current Humanoids have much to do with HM these days)

    Anyway - look forward to more whenever, and the variety is welcome. Thanks again

    -sean

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