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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

 
The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard -- There will not be a more inventive or funnier comic book released in calendar year 2008 than The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard by Eddie Campbell and Dan Best, published by First Second. And by "calendar year 2008," of course, I mean, "The 21st Century."

Holy hell, Eddie Campbell still has the ability to surprise me, and does so on almost every page here, defying my expectations for this work and making me laugh out loud quite a few times.

Monsieur Leotard is a fraud, first and foremost, but a most sincere and earnest one, who is bade farewell by his dying uncle's last, unfinished wish, "May nothing occur -- " which fails to come true again and again in the most astonishing, breathtaking manner over the book's 128 pages. Campbell, who writes and draws, and Best, who wrote some too, demonstrate that a deep literacy and love of language and history can stand side by side on the page with a boundless sense of humour, willing to make any joke, no matter how silly or profane, as long as it is funny. Take, for example, the saga of the bearded pirate, which winds its way through the story and ultimately -- well, that would spoil it for you. Instead, contemplate the brilliant cameo appearance from one of Campbell's most noted co-creations, as Monsieur Leotard crosses over Crisis-style with -- no, goddamnit, I won't spoil that either.

If you love great comics of almost any genre -- and The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard sits comfortably within most of them -- you will love this book. You will love rediscovering the joy of a wild adventure comic that you can't stop reading. You will love laughing at each inevitable change of fortune that makes Leotard's life so amazing, so remarkable. If you've ever loved any Eddie Campbell work, from the Alec stories to From Hell and everything else he's done, you will love once again letting Eddie (and Dan Best) take hold of your consciousness and imagination and turn them inside out and upside down on the wildest ride you'll find in comics this year, and very probably this century.

Buy The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard from Amazon.com.

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