Gothic Steam Phantastic

The Silkmoth Network

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Le réseau bombyce: Papillons de nuit
Text: Corbeyran
Artwork: Cecil

This comic comes from France, I don’t know whether it has been translated to English or if it ever will. The “Papillons de nuit” are “Butterflies of the night” and it is the first part of a series “The Silkmoth Network”; the second part is “Monsieur Lune” (Mister Moon). I read the Dutch translation.
Some pictures show nudity, cruelty and violence; it’s a comic for adults.

It’s a bit hard to tell what the story is about - after all it’s only part 1 and it’s not a closed story; it will continue in the next parts. Main characters are Eustache and Fly, both burglars, but very different from each other. They set off to steal money from the rich Harcourd, but end up with a film. They try to blackmail the man with the film, but things are more nasty than they expected.

But that is probably not what you wanted to know, and that is not the reason I put a review in here.

The setting of the comic is a never-existing Paris at the end of the nineteenth century. It is filled to the brim with “Jugendstil” architecture and decorations, and it is very beautifully drawn. It’s not that you can say “this is here and there in Paris”, but the overall feel is French.
There are some steampunk devices, of which Harcourd’s house might be the most intriguing: it has a tower and the tower room moves up and down to make it a kind of vault. The impressive two-story steam train is also very nice and reminds me of the modern RER-Transport of Paris.
Both Eustache and Fly have several gadgets they need to do their iffy jobs, and they have clothes that suit every steampunk hero very well.

I’ll try to find the second part and then add more to this review.

© Yaghish 2003
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