A Grand End
♦ Tripwire’s editor-in-chief JOEL MEADOWS took a look at Bryan Talbot’s Grandville: Force Majeure, the fifth and final book in his Grandville graphic novel series, published by Jonathan Cape in the UK and Dark Horse in the US…
Grandville: Force Majeure
Writer/ Artist: Bryan Talbot
Jonathan Cape/ Dark Horse
Grandville started back in 2009 and creator Bryan Talbot has produced four volumes to date of this ambitious detective sci-fi graphic novel series with a twist. Force Majeure is the fifth and final tale starring his slightly irascible badger police inspector LeBrock and is arguably the most ambitious of the five graphic novels.
Bryan Talbot has always been one of the finest ambassadors for British comics for the wider world. Ever since The Adventures of Luther Arkwright back in the 1970s, he has displayed his unique talents as both a writer and an artist. Graphic novels like A Tale Of One Bad Rat and Alice In Sunderland have shown an erudition and an understanding of comics and British culture that very few other comic creators have been able to match.
Grandville: Force Majeure sees Detective Inspector LeBrock forced on the run as he finds himself embroiled in a criminal conspiracy masterminded by Tiberius Koenig, one of the most truly despicable gangster kingpins we have seen anywhere in fiction. Koenig is determined to destroy everything that LebRock holds dear and he is forced to battle with the law he has loved for decades to bring this conspiracy into the light. We get to meet his mentor, the wonderfully named Stamford Hawksmoor, who plays a major part in this tale. Hawksmoor is obviously closely based on Sherlock Holmes.
There is an elegance and an invention to Talbot’s art that really helps to lift his work off the page. His cinematic storytelling, a trademark of his, is very much in evidence here and thanks to Talbot’s mastery of larger-than-life characters, you actually forget that the characters here are actually animals.
With Grandville, Talbot has created a world rich with symbolism and analogy and it is this attention to detail that lifts him above many of his contemporaries. Force Majeure is an ambitious and intelligent science fiction detective story that is uniquely British, just like its predecessors. It is a very impressive conclusion to nearly a decade of work from Talbot. Despite over five decades of an artistic career, it is evident from this that his ardour for creating thought-provoking work hasn’t diminished.
Grandville: Force Majeure is out now