European Comics in Official and Fan Translations

West Coast Blues

George Gerfaut, aimless young executive and desultory family man, witnesses a murder and finds himself sucked into a spiral of violence involving an exiled war criminal and two hired assassins. Adapting to the exigencies of his new life on the run with shocking ease, Gerfaut abandons his comfortable middle-class life for several months (including a sojourn in the countryside after an attempt to ride the rails turns spectacularly bad) until, joined with a new ally, he finally returns to settle all accounts... with brutal, bloody interest.

Originally released in 2005, West Coast Blues (Le Petit bleu de la cote ouest) is Tardi's adaptation (which was an Eisner Award nominee in several categories) of the popular 1976 novel by the French crime writer Jean-Patrick Manchette. Tardi's late-period, looser style infuses Manchette's dark story with a seething, malevolent energy; he doesn’'t shy away from the frequently grisly goings-on, while maintaining (particularly in the old-married-couple-style bickering of the two killers who are tracking Gerfaut) the mordant wit that characterizes his best work. This is the kind of graphic novel that Quentin Tarantino would love, and a double shot of Scotch for any fan of unrelenting, uncompromising crime fiction.

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The Marvelous Adventures of McConey 6 — Harum Scarum

Midnight. A small Parisian apartment in the 1930s. A rabbit, a cat, and a dog scream in terror as a giant monster lunges toward them...

That's the opening scene of Harum Scarum, a European-style album that mixes action, humor, horror, and funny-animals with a uniquely modern flair. Written and illustrated (in stunning full color) by Lewis Trondheim, the hottest French cartooning talent to emerge in the '90s, Harum Scarum mixes sardonic wit with a genuinely thrilling story that involves a plague of horrible monsters and science gone awry... kidnappings, murder, arson, and pitiless beatings... fairy dust, time machines, and the teleportational cap... sinister commies, double agents, and corrupt commissioners... the niceties of tipping and the precise location of the jugular vein. Join the bunny, the cat and the dog as they blunder and wisecrack their way through a monstrous mystery that could destroy mankind as we know it. Trondheim has been nominated for multiple awards, and Harum Scarum is probably his most accessible (and most fun) work.