Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Grand Duke

By Berthet Yann and Romain Hugault

This graphic novel was recommended to me by my friend Andreas, who assumed (correctly) that I might like it.
In three parts, combined, this is a story revolving around two fighter pilots on the Eastern front, one a German man and the other a Russian woman. Both go through various trials by combat in differing aircraft and it isn't hard to see how much Romain Hugault loves his aircraft! (Examples of this can be seen on his blog).
The story itself is not as interesting as the images, but it does the job. There are the usual post-modern dissaociations to contemporary political ideologies, with both pilots demonstrating contempt for their own political leadership, but given the awful times in which the novel is set, this is probably necessary for a modern audience to appreciate the unlikely romance which evolves between the two. Most of us need a means by which to suspend our disbelief after all.

The art work is very well done, with meticulous attention to the technical aspects of Second World War aviation (though I spy an understandable emphasis on the German aircraft) and there is no end of details for aeroheads to obsess over. The images appear to be hand drawn line art, coloured in photoshop, and are technically much the same as some of the images I've done in the past. These are just far better than anything I've produced and are so obviously a labour of love that its imposible for me (not least as a aeroplane fan) to not like them.

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