It’s albums that make the difference from the coverage. Which one feels that they have something special. The Last Pharaoh is part of those. Released in bookstores today, this new adventure of Blake and Mortimer reviewed and magnified by the artist of Cited the Obscure François Schuiten is not an album like others.
To be sure not to get lost en route, the Belgian Schuiten, assistant to the help of the three stooges, the filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael, the novelist Thomas Gunzig and the poster artist Laurent Durieux.
for Three years, they are found in the workshop of the designer of The Fever of Urbicande and have devised a new adventure out of the common for the two heroes “so british” created by Edgar P. Jacobs in 1946, in the pages of the Journal de Tintin .
Blake and Mortimer aged
Schuiten, we feel, has been intimidated by the fact that its not in those of a master such Jacobs. He reassures himself, even keeping his own graphic style, it has given birth to a great comic, full-bodied and controlled, which is able to capture the spirit of Jacobs, and the original series. The story begins a few moments after the awakening of the two heroes in the room of Horus, just after the final sequence of the diptych The Mystery of the great pyramid (1954), which remains one of the classics of the BD franco-belge.
Blake and Mortimer have discovered a secret chamber in the pyramid, and the mysterious sheik Abdel Razek has finished by erasing their memory. The Last Pharaoh illustrates this idea, where it had been left by Jacobs. And if the loss of memory of Mortimer could be at the origin of a new cataclysm? The album keeps up with the fantastic and science-fiction in which Jacobs was very fond. But this time, instead of being in an exotic country (or Paris as in SOS Meteors ), the adventure takes root in Belgium, in Brussels, and more specifically at the heart of this strange Palace of justice designed by architect Joseph Poelaert. A first, for Hergé, who wanted to erase any “belgitude”, had forbidden the authors of the Journal de Tintin to locate the adventures of their heroes in their own countries. Another new feature in this new album, Blake and Mortimer have aged. The bubbly professor has even adopted a dog to accompany (as Schuiten).
This exceptional album, in the margin of the classic series, begins by plunging the belgian capital in a revelation, beautifully rendered by the atmospheres and the precise line of François Schuiten. We also understand that one of the albums of Jacobs irrigates in an underground way the plot of this one, it is the Trap of Evil, released in 1962, and install an atmosphere of end of the world thanks to the amazing machine of the professor Miloch, the chronoscaphe. Schuiten admit to having been “profoundly influenced by this album” and it includes. The Trap of Evil had been banned from publication at its release in France, under the pretext that he was afraid for the children.
The other important resource of the history is based on the quarrel between our two inseparable friends… As in The Trap of Evil , it is Mortimer who leads the adventure. Captain Francis Blake is in withdrawal. Schuiten draws beautifully the dream sequences. And remade it to Philip Mortimer a “savanturier” high in color, worthy of those invented in the works of Jules Verne. We will long remember the scene where Mortimer goes down on Brussels paragliding!
anyway, the trap of evil put in place by Schuiten and his cronies works great: The last pharaoh is a book that can be read in a kind of trance strange, and that we immediately want to reread it just comes-one to close the last page. Hats off, gentlemen!
The Last Pharaoh François Schuiten, Jaco Van Dormael, Thomas Gunzig and Laurent Durieux, 91 p., editions Blake and Mortimer, 17,95 €.