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Saturday, 26 November 2011


Writer: Jean Van Hamme
Artist: Grzegorz Rosinski 
Letterer: Imadjinn 
Translator: Jerome Saincantin 
Publisher: Cinebook

What’s it about?
This is set in 1868, when America was being colonised and white folk were staking out their claims across the nation.  Ambrosius Van Deer investigates a claim that his long lost nephew, presumed stolen by native Americans (except the book calls them Red Indians) several years ago, has been rediscovered.  The meeting is made, plans are revealed, and  we skip forward 15 years.  The lad has grown up and has made his own way in the world.  Events conspire to send him back to Van Deer's daughter, Cathy.  Then the real tragedy begins.

This is a story of identity, of struggling to survive, of staking your claim in the world, and of family.  It’s heart wrenching, beautifully told and beautifully painted.
What’s good about it?
I have never been a fan of the Western genre so had my doubts about this story.  Upon reading, my doubt vanished and I was utterly and totally suckered into the book.  Part of this is down to the heroine, Cathy.  Despite not having much screen time, her presence is pivotal to the plot.  She’s courageous and bold.  At a time when women weren’t allowed much freedom she manages a massive plot of land and is beholden to no one!  I would love to see a book telling of Cathy’s life and her experiences.
The lad is nearly as enthralling.  Without trying to give too much away, he doesn’t have an easy life and suffers an accident which could easily have killed him, but instead leaves him disabled.  Events are told from his point of view and as the final tragedy unfolds you weep for all involved.

What’s bad about it?
I have nothing to criticise with this book.  It is played out perfectly, constructed wisely and leaves you with a gut wrenching sense of loss.

What’s the art like?
If you like the finer style of comic book art, then this is for you.  Most of the pages are rich in detail and expression, having been produced with a mature and caring hand.
In between the regular sequential art sections you will find opulent double page painted spreads.  Immaculate in their scope, they contain a sense of largeness of landscape that seems to dwarf the reader.  I won't post any here, but be assured they are gorgeous.

Other information
Price: £7.99
ISBN: 9781849180849
Available direct from the publisher, Cinebooks Ltd.  Information about where to buy the books are detailed here. Shipping options and costs detailed here.

Many thanks to Cinebook for sending me the review copy.

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