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The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (French: Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec) is a Franco-Belgian mystery and adventure comic book series first appearing in 1976 written and illustrated by French comics artist Jacques Tardi and published in album format by Belgian publisher Casterman, sometimes preceded by serialisation in various periodicals, intermittently since then. The comic portrays the titular far-fetched adventures of its eponymous heroine, a writer of popular fiction, in a secret history-infused, gaslamp fantasy version of the early 20th century, set primarily in Paris and prominently featuring real-life locations and events. Initially a light-hearted parody of such fiction of the period, it takes on a darker tone as it moves into the post–World War I years and the 1920s.
One of Tardi's most popular works and his first to span multiple albums, it has been reprinted in English and other translations and is being adapted as a big-budget film trilogy. Sample pageReviewMore comics from this writerThe Most Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec
Jacques Tardi artist, writer
Published by Casterman, Fantagraphics (USA), NBM. 2001
1 Adele and the Beast/Adèle et la bête, Casterman-01/1976
2 The Demon of the Eiffel Tower/Le démon de la tour Eiffel, Casterman-01/1976
3 The mad scientist/Le savant fou, Casterman-01/1977
4 Mummy Madness/Momies en folie, Casterman-01/1978
5 The secret of the salamander/Le secret de la salamandre, Casterman-04/1981
6 The drowned man with two heads/Le noyé à deux têtes, Casterman-09/1985
7 All of the monsters!/Tous des monstres!, Casterman-10/1994
8 The Mystery of the Depths/Le Mystère des Profondeurs, Casterman-10/1998
9 The infernal labyrinth/Le labyrinthe infernal, Casterman-10/2007
HS Adèle Blanc-Sec, Casterman-01/1986
HS Le livre d'Adèle, Casterman-03/2010
HS Le roman du film, Casterman-03/2010[/b]
The adventures, set in Paris in the years before and after World War I, revolve around the protagonist Adèle Blanc-Sec. A cynical heroine, she is initially a novelist of popular fiction, who turns to investigative journalism as her research and subsequent adventures reveal further details of the mystical world of crime. Themes of the occult, corruption, official incompetence, and the dangers of patriotism suffuse the series.
One interesting feature is the hiatus which separates Adèle's first exploits, taking place in 1910s Paris, from later ones, instead set in the interwar milieu. The separation is explained with her having been cryogenically hibernated following a grave injury. The expedient was deemed necessary by Tardi to avoid her entanglement in World War I. In an interview he declared: "Her feisty nature made it impossible to provide her with a place in the war. She would not have been allowed to fight, and could no more have settled for being a nurse, than she could have remained home rolling bandages."
Adèle Blanc-Sec takes place in the same fictional universe as three earlier Tardi comics: Adieu Brindavoine ("Farewell Brindavoine"), serialised in 1972 in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote #680–700, its direct sequel La Fleur au fusil ("The Flower in the Rifle"), a ten-page one-shot first published in 1974 in Pilote #743 and included in albums of the former, and the 1974 original graphic novel The Arctic Marauder (Le Démon des glaces, "The Demon of the Ice"). It is, however, the more technology-focused, what might now be called steampunk, Arctic Marauder that takes place first in the fictional continuity, being set in the 1890s, with Lucien Brindavoine's adventures, considered a less refined, early prototype for Adèle's, occurring during the World War I hiatus in Adèle's story line.
Adèle itself came about as a consequence of a commission from Casterman for a multi-album series, something Tardi had not been particularly interested in pursuing of his own accord at the time but took them up on the offer. A survey of popular series demonstrated an abundance of strong male protagonists but women in the lead role represented only by, on the one hand, the ingenuous Bécassine and, on the other, the primarily sexual Barbarella; thus, he sought to differentiate his series by centring it on a heroine every bit the equal of these other comics' heroes. Contradictorily, however, and in particular contrast to Forest's Barbarella, he was also to set the series in the 1910s of Maurice Leblanc's Arsène Lupin, when her independence would be even more extraordinary. And so he created… Edith Rabatjoie and, subsequently, Adèle Blanc-Sec (her family name coming from wine terminology, meaning "dry white") as an adversary for her. But upon the originally villainous Blanc-Sec coming into the comic he found he enjoyed drawing her far more than Rabatjoie and so she became the protagonist and title character, while ever since retaining something of a Lupin-esque moral dubiousness and disregard for the law. Her green coat, as well as complementing her red hair, is in ironic reference to the green dress of Bécassine, whom she is partly conceived as an antitheses of. The comic first appeared in the daily newspaper Sud-Ouest in 1976, with the pages in colour on Sundays and black and white on others, prior to album publication in colour throughout by Casterman and later in their (À suivre).
Adele and the Beast, 46 pages, black&white -- Cheval Noir #1-4, (Aug 1989 - Feb 1990) Adèle et la bête, 1976 -- (No 1)
The Demon of the Eiffel Tower, 46 pages, black&white -- Cheval Noir #5-8, (Mar 1990 - Jun 1990) Le démon de la tour Eiffel, 1976 -- (No 2)
The Mad Scientist, 46 pages, black&white -- Cheval Noir #15-18, (Feb 1991 - May 1991) Le savant fou, 1977 -- (No 3)
Mummies on Parade, 46 pages, black&white -- Cheval Noir #19-23, (Jun 1991 - Oct 1991) Momies en folie, 1978 -- (No 4)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Download Instructions:The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec 01 The Beast 1976The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec 02 The Demon of Eiffel Tower 1976The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec 03 The Mad Scietist 1978The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec 04 Mummies on Parade 1978French
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Movie Adapted
Luc Besson's live-action adaptation of Jacques Tardi's famous graphic novel series revolving around the many adventures of the novelist turned investigative journalist Adele Blanc-Sec.
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