Thursday, July 6, 2017

'Armies' trade paperback

trade paperback edition
by Jean-Pierre Dionnet and Picaret (writers)
and Jean-Claude Gal (art)
Humanoids, July 2017

When Humanoids published the oversized hardbound edition of 'Armies' in 2013, I snapped it up. It was an outstanding book, although comparatively more expensive than most graphic novels. The hardbound edition has been out of print for some time, and copies in good condition have asking prices of $99 and up.

So it's a relief that Humanoids has just released a trade paperback version. At 7.5 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches, it's smaller than the hardbound version (9.4 x 0.7 x 12.6 inches) but it's also very reasonably priced at $19.95 (the cover price; your usual online vendors offer considerably lower prices, but make allowance for shipping and handling).

All of the contents of the hardbound edition - that is, both 'Conquering Armies' and 'Arn', as well as the Introduction by Dionnet, and the Postface by Pat Mills of 2000 AD lineage - are reproduced here. 

As with the hardbound version, the panels in 'Armies' are now rendered in color, by Dan Brown and Digikore Studios.

Looking through the pages of this trade paperback version, I again am struck by the outstanding artistry of Jean-Claude Gal. His work on 'Armies' and 'Arn' certainly qualifies as one of the highest achievements not just for albums de bande desinnee (i.e., Franco-Belgian comics), but for comics worldwide.

And Dionnet's writing complements the artwork.Spare and unobtrusive, the captions and speech balloons communicate the storyline with necessary economy. 

Summing up, you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of 'Armies'. This is a volume that belongs on the shelf of every fan of graphic art and comics.

(detail of above)

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