Yet another volume in the album series Les Tuniques Bleues (The Blue Tunics), and as per usual, it´s a traditional, well-made comic in the classical French-Belgian album tradition. The plot is pretty thin – someone within their own ranks is trying to assassinate General Ulysses S. Grant, and as he becomes more and more paranoid, the rest of the camp is trying to figure out who might be behind it all. Cauvin delivers yet another OK script, but it’s Lambil’s artwork that lifts this album above the average. Not the best album in the series, but well worth reading.
This is the 38th album of the Les Tuniques Bleues and the artist Lambil is as good as ever in his somewhat more realistic version of the dynamic Marcinelle-style. Sometimes I feel, however, that the script writer Cauvin has lost some of his edge thorough the years. In this particular album, though, he rises to the occasion. A battle between the North and the Confederate soldiers is contrasted with a protracted childbirth. Life and death. This has of course been done before, but Cauvin manages just the right balance between nonsense and seriousness. The pacifist end of the story is also spot on.
Lars Krantz is likely THE most different and artistically interesting Swedish comics artist working right now. This second and final part of his epic Vandrande stjärnor (Wandering stars) is incredibly beautiful with its well-composed images, pages and spreads with black and white flowing back and forth, crawlingly frightening in a way that gives you an empty feeling on your stomach after reading it, and intellectually challenging with visual cues high and low – from today’s popular culture to the Bible, and everything in between.