Heads Up! · Nicolas de Crecy

Heads Up: THE CELESTIAL BIBENDUM by Nicolas de Crecy

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Having been published first in three-volumes in French, and then in a collected edition in French, and most recently in an expensive, oversized, limited, slip-cased edition in English — an edition so limited that the book appears to have sold out before it was even published; in fact, when it’s all said and done, I doubt a single copy will have made it to a bookstore shelf — Nicholas de Crecy’s The Celestial Bibendum will at long last appear in a single 200-page hardcover volume in English (ISBN-10: 0861661753; ISBN-13: 978-0861661756) from British publisher Knockabout in May 2012. From the excerpts that I’ve seen, de Crecy’s artwork in The Celestial Bibendum is in a similar style to the author’s gorgeous graphic novel, Foligatto (with script by Alexios Tjoyas), which was printed in English in Heavy Metal (vol. 15, no. 7), way back in March 1992. The publisher describes The Celestial Bibendum as follows:

De Crecy’s comics are mysterious concoctions where anthropomorphic animals interact with humans, mixing fantasy, absurd humour and realism with breathtaking classically styled illustration. Charming images and moments combine with shocking frightening scenes. You never know with de Crecy what turn a story will take. This is the story of Diego, a seal, living in a city in Europe getting about on one shoe and a pair of crutches, who sails to a fantasy city New York-sur-Loire, a grim and polluted port, where he becomes a darling of the intelligentsia.

To whet your appetite for the book, here is the image (from the cover of volume three of the first French edition) that is currently being used to promote the forthcoming Knockabout edition of The Celestial Bibendum in the Amazon catalogue, along with a couple of interior pages in French that are currently featured in the online Humanoids catalogue:

Gosh! London has a slightly longer preview with a sequence of pages translated into English!

7 thoughts on “Heads Up: THE CELESTIAL BIBENDUM by Nicolas de Crecy

  1. You should try “Léon la came” with Comet, for which they won an Alph-Art in the early nineties at Angoulème…

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  2. De Crecy and Chomet’s Léon la came looks great, Steed, but I only speak and read English and I don’t think the work has been translated, has it?

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  3. Probably not… However, when I think back aout it, the award that was received was for the script and not the art… It was the award for best first script…

    “Léon la came” was published by Casterman (same editor as Tintin) and therefore may not exist in English… As opposed with “Le bidendum céleste” published by “Les Humanoïdes Associés” (Les Humanos)… Traditionally, there was a relationship with “Les Humanos” and the magazine “Métal Hurlant” and its later counterpart “Heavy Metal”… Many books from “Les Humanos” have thus found publishers in the English language…

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  4. Well, more than a “relationship”: Les Humanos Associés is the publication house created by Metal Hurlant’s Team to publish the comics from the magazine and other books (they published Ambler and Bukowsky by example but no modern SF book :-))
    I did not buy all the Bidendum. After a while, De Creçy’s work is a little boring. Beautiful but you have to LOVE is world to be in there.
    I met him once in La Réunion island: he was there to give animation lessons for a strange/half fake animation studio in relation with les Gobelins. First, he was afrait to meet us – le Cri du Margouillat’s team – because he does not like speak about comics. So we speak about La Réunion’s history and he enjoyed the dinner 🙂

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  5. Well, what can I say, Li-An. I do love that world. But I only have a couple of books by de Crecy, and only one of those is in full colour. Maybe I’ll feel differently after I’ve imbibed the couple hundred pages of The Celestial Bibendum… I doubt it, but maybe….

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  6. Li-An ? From Le Cri du Margouillat et un album publié chez Delcourt ? Wow !!! I met some of the artists from Le Cri du Margouillat back in 2000 at the Festival de BD Francophone de Québec… Great people !!

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