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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: