BOOK REVIEW: IN SEARCH OF LOST DRAGONS / AUTHOR: ELIAN BLACK’MOR, CARINE-M, JEZEQUEL / ARTIST: ELIAN BLACK’MOR, CARINE-M / PUBLISHER: DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT/ RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Dynamite Entertainment has just released a beautifully illustrated, hardcover (or eBook) work titled In Search of Lost Dragons. It is the English translation of a French art book - Sur La Piste Des Dragons Oublies - and has to be seen to be believed. At over 200 pages, there are countless full colour illustrations and odd steampunk/Victorian-style sketches and notes making this book truly different.
This is not a comic book, rather the journal of an illustrator documenting journeys across Europe in search of dragons of all kinds, taking in the Middle East and Saigon in a grand, sweeping narrative. Almost every page has a breathtaking piece of art and it is not possible to pick a single favourite. The mood is maintained throughout with snippets of journal, odd notes, newspaper clippings and other odds and ends.
The book is not afraid to name its influences and there are name checks for (of course) Jules Verne as well as Tolkien. There are numerous maps showing where the dragons live or were encountered, botanist’s notes and sketches of rare plants and endless details that almost leave the reader believing in the veracity of the book and its invisible narrator’s journey. There is even much to be learned – who knew that a Jenny Haniver was a grotesquely preserved carcass of a ray or skate, altered to appear like a preserved mermaid, and also the name of a flying ship in the Mortal Engines series? This is a book to savour, enjoy and contemplate.
It is very hard to do justice to something so visually appealing with mere words. If you even vaguely think this might be of interest, get it – you won’t be disappointed.
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