Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Looks like a pattern is beginning to emerge...

I'm talking about our new series here at Plopish! -  Premium Panels, and the question of what it is that attracts me to these selected slices of the narrative stream we now know as "the comic book".
It must be...  


Yes, and no better example than the panel above, taken from Ambassador of the Shadows, volume six of Christin and Mezieres legendary Sci-fi saga of two space agents from the future world of  Galaxity, Valentin and Laureline.

Ambassador of the shadows has always been my favourite from the series, maybe because it is set in what is basically a multi-dimensional metropolis: Point Central (I actually prefer the name used in the Danish language version: "The Navel")
Around Point Central you can travel both up-down, in-out, left-right, and of course also in time and other dimensions,  as Valentin and Laureline discover at the end of the story. Since Point Central is conceived as a meeting place for all races of the universe, it is bereft with endless pleasures, dangers, wonders and maladies, very much like our own metropolises here on Earth.

I'm not going to elaborate on Pierre Christin's skills at constructing a both complex, exciting and compelling story, which includes replacing the traditional element of the male hero at the very beginning of the story ("traditional" as in: dating back to Homer's The Odyssey), nor will I add too many precious lines heralding the sombre colour spaces and slinky lines of J-C Méziéres superior drawings.

Because what we're talking about here is that one remarkable panel:

Laureline is searching for Earth's ambassador and Valentin, kidnapped by mysterious thugs.Accompanied by Colonel Diol (vice-officer of Protocols, and generally useless...), she travels from cell to cell, encountering not only some highly peculiar beings, but also passing through some truly breathtaking places, like the one in the panel.
A term for these sceneries is not easy to find - "space city scapes"?.. but this particular image really caught my imagination as a teenage boy back in the 1970's, not only because of J-C Méziéres  talent for creating designs that were both futuristic and organic, but mainly because of the whole idea that a construction (Point Central) could be so large that inside of it were structures of super-gigantic proportions, in fact: so large that the space between them seemed to just recede into motionless darkness. Empty space. In empty space...

Mind blowing.

And that's what Art can do, not?

(and: Point Central had a Red Light district,  equally mind blowing!)

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