Isaac the Pirate:
To Exotic Lands

by Christophe Blain
(NBM, 2003)

Isaac is an impoverished French painter in either the 18th or 19th century who goes to sea to seek the riches he believes he needs in order to marry. But the ship's captain is a pirate who, weary of plunder, now wishes for fame earned from discovering new continents at ... the South Pole!

And no one in Isaac the Pirate turns into a mutant with superpowers! Yes, this is a graphic novel for adults with little or no interest in superheroes, science-fiction or fantasy. This is also a story filled with adult themes, characterization, believable dialogue, several complicated and intertwined plots, and a central theme not concerned with an epic battle between good and evil.

Of special note is author Christophe Blain's mastery of characterization. Readers will be intrigued by and care for his rich cast of landlubbers and seamen who are neither all sinner nor all saint.

This graphic novel is drawn in a distinctive, abstract, minimalistic style of sharp angles and physical exaggeration. Blain has created an internal, visual logic that is consistent throughout, therefore making suspension of disbelief painless. Readers will yearn to read the soon-to-be-published conclusion to this marvelous graphic novel. Isaac is highly recommended for adults, and contains sexual situations, some profanity and violence.

- Rambles
written by Michael Vance
published 20 March 2004

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