Forbidden Planet reviews Frédérik Peeters’ Pachyderme

January 25th, 2013 § 0 comments

RHB at Forbidden Planet International (the blog of that famous chain of SFF/comics bookstores) has posted some astute acclaim for Frédérik Peeters’ Pachyderme.

But just because Peeters the artist fills his pages with beauty and disturbing imagery, Peeters the writer is not tempted to sit back. In fact, here with Pachyderme there’s plenty of story, and free-flowing natural dialogue abounds between the fascinating cast of characters. Everything works together to create something absolutely intense, a surreal, dreeamlike experience that Peeters throws about with such control.

Yes, it’s an artist’s story, but whilst some artist’s who write create nothing but visual wonder loosely held together with a bland, perfunctory story, there are those who utilise every bit of visual ingenuity and style they possess but then step up and create something dramatic that reads as beautifully as it looks. Thankfully Peeters is one of the latter.

Simply put, Pachyderme is a magnificent roller-coaster of emotional intensity, one of those narratives that grasps the mind, quickens the pulse, and simply doesn’t let go until the very end. Yes, there’s all that Lynchian influence thing going on, intentional or not, but influences worked out this well aren’t something to complain about.

I’d like to see this book get some more love, as it sort of slipped onto shelves late last fall from SelfMadeHero—their second Peeters book—but hasn’t really picked up the steam it so mightily deserves, despite a preface by no less than Moebius calling the book a masterpiece. This book is a genuine marvel, perfect from the first page to the last. I won’t say it’s been overlooked yet—it’s still early, and it hasn’t been out long—but with awards seasons coming up, this graphic novel could use some word-of-mouth and more reviews. Don’t let it suffer the fate of all too many a translation and sink from sight, without a trace, for lack of buzz! Find out more about it in my essay at Weird Fiction Review!

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