Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Incal and I

Way back in the mists of December I waffled on in excitement about getting stuck into the Jodorowsky/Moebius collaboration 'The Incal'.

I wasn't disappointed.

How do you describe something like this? God knows. I'll give it a try though.

Essentially what you have is a story following the travails of John de Fool and the adventures that he stumbles into as he reluctantly saves the universe with the help of the mystical entity, the Incal.
There is so much story that it would be impossible to cover here without getting all carried away and having to explain myself over and over again.

Jodorowsky's imagination does loop-de-loops in bends inside itself as it creates a galaxy of intricate detail and fascinating depth. Although Frank Herbert's dune may have been a jumping off point, Jodowrowsky develops something entirely of it's self. A time sit feels as if the story is simply driving itself forward randomly but the ride in itself is simply joyous and the view through the windows is breathtaking.

Other might be able to tell you about the creative process between writer an illustrator but to me it's hard to tell who is in the lead sometimes. Moebius' illustrations are a delight. Every page is soaked in colour and the characters inhabit the perfect perspectives in every form.
The tones that cover each page are an exercise in colour theory and the whole adds up to wonderfully bright epic that brings to mind Miro and Klee's colour exercises with the Bauhaus students.

As far as the Galax(ies)y that the characters inhabit, they are full of threat and corruption, self interest and hate. All the things that make humans such vile beings are wrote large in the societies that battle throughout the book and are wrote small in the lead characters themselves.
The humour in the book as sometimes low and smutty but this only adds the astounding scale of the piece.

If you are a fan of Sci-fi, space operas or just comic books in general then I advise you to get a hold of this book and to immerse your self in something entirely knew and have your mind blown. Like I said in the previous post, at my age it's not very often that you get to find something of this scale and of this breathtaking individuality and it is a pleasure to get sucked in.

The fact that this series is so poorly known in the Uk never mind in the states is verging on the criminal and certainly smacks a little of anglo-centric ignorance.

The book itself is hefty and well bound and considering the start of the story is nearly 35 years old it doesn't show any sign of age. The whole cycle is 7 years work but is remarkably consistent. Moebius style is sparse and jolly but ca switch to amazingly detailed technical landscapes without losing any of its gallic charm.

Do yourself a favour. Go buy this book. Sit down with it as often as you can. Sink into it and enjoy it....

Cos next thing you'll want to read is 'The Metabarons' and you need to get nice and comfy for that!


  1. Welp - I could go for immersing myself in some Moebius comics. Thanks for the recommendation. Will definitely check it out.

  2. I whole heartedly agree with you here? The most interesting thing is reading you saying that this is not known as it should in the UK... From my french perspective, the incal and all things which relate to it are the alpha and omega like the 2000AD publications are too you I guess, and those very same 2000AD publicatons are very poorly known on our side of the channel and yet they share so much.

    I'm a huge fan of the whole Jodorowsli universe but I have to say amongst all, the metabarons are without a doubt the ones that still put a chill down my spine when I read them for the hundreth time...

    You've mad eme think about making a review about my comics, I hope amongst them you'll find some in which you can find the same kind of pleasure as you did in the incal.

    1. I'd love you to do a post recommending stuff. I only find stuff by trawling about and investigating off my own back. I'd be interested to hear your take on things and how far you've delved into the 2000ad universe.

      I think my own fascination comes form the fact that Rogue Trader traditions and the Jodoverse share so many roots but have developed into very different entities. That kind of parallel evolution is intriguing no matter where you find it.

  3. That last picture is the spitting image of Terence Stamp.

    Incidentally, since you are an aficionado of obscure science fiction, I have an unsolicited recommendation for you. I just saw the 3 hour (!) Russian (!!) sci-fi art movie (!!!) "Hard to be a God" by the Aleski German. It's based on a novel by the Strugasky brothers (which I haven't yet read).
    In any case, I highly recommend this movie if you get a chance to see it. It's long and unsettling, but it's also visionary. There's nothing else like it.

    1. You're right, he really does. I'll try and get a hold of the film and engineer a space in my life to watch it, cheers.


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