Book by Sfar Joann Guibert Emmanuel
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Review in January 15th 2007 issue of KirkusMummies and fathers complicate a love story that spans centuries in this gorgeously illustrated fable.Originally published in French in 1997, this English translation highlights the playful collaboration of two masters of the graphic narrative, with Sfar (The Rabbi's Cat, 2005) providing the story and Guibert (Sardine in Outer Space 1 and 2, both 2006, illustrated by Sfar) the colorful, impressionistic visuals. The elegantly slim volume details the romance of a 19th-century British professor's daughter and the 16th-century mummy of an Egyptian emperor (a witty and erudite fellow), who is one of her father's prized possessions. The daughter is one of her father's prized possessions as well, thus rendering their illicit relationship all the more problematic. The mummy's attempt to live with his lover in her world results in an afternoon of mayhem and perhaps even murder, so they try to return to his world, with equally disastrous results. A trial highlights class inequities in Victorian England, while the Queen herself makes a brief (and soggy) appearance. Ultimately, a climactic encounter between the mummy's estranged father and the professor gives the finale a surprising, satisfying twist. No glorified comic book, this graphic novel aspires to fine art. Review in February 5th 2007 issue of Publisher's WeeklyTwo of France's best graphic novel talents, the ever-prolific Sfar and the subtle illustrator Guibert, collaborate. The result is a fun--if slight--effort, as much a love letter to Victorian London as a story unto itself. Very simply, a mummy, somehow alive and walking around London, has a charming romance with a professor's daughter. The logistical complications involved are comically dismissed, and the pair have a grand old time together. That is, until the mummy's father appears to complicate matters. Sfar has written an utterly engaging romp comparable to a fine 1930s romantic comedy. His dialogue is snapVom Verlag:
Imhotep IV is an Egyptian mummy who's just opened his eyes for the first time in 3,000 years. Lillian Bowell is the daughter of a renowned Egyptologist. One day, when the Professor's away, the two go out for an afternoon on the town. The heap of trouble that they land in - brought on by Mozart, afternoon tea, and a passing gentleman's sensitive nature - only deepens when they learn Imhotep IV's father is in town. Can Imhotep IV and Lillian stay together when both their fathers, the London Police, and even the Archeological society are desperate to drag them apart? Written by the hilarious and insightful Joann Sfar and painted in muted, sepiatoned watercolors by Emmanuel Guibert, this book is something to keep as a display piece, a thing of beauty - if you can put down the engaging story long enough for others to admire it!
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