Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Professor's Daughter

Written by Joann Sfar
Art by Emmanuel Guibert

This is another oddball Free Comic Book Day purchase that I made this year, based on the high esteem in which I hold Guibert's other two First Second books, Alan's War and The Photographer.  Really though, you'd never know that those books were by the same artist.

The Professor's Daughter is a very weird, although also weirdly compelling, story about the daughter of a stultifying professor in Victorian London.  She feels that her father, an Egyptologist, does not give her any freedom.  And so, when he is away one day, she decides to take the mummy of Pharaoh Imhotep IV, out on the town.  For his part, Imhotep is a willing participant, as he has become quite smitten with the young lady, who reminds him of his long-dead wife, who was not mummified, and is therefore lost to him.

The story is a screwball romance, with bumbling police, bottles of poison, and a surprise appearance by Queen Victoria herself.  Imhotep's father, Imhotep III shows up, wanting Lillian (the daughter) for himself, and much hilarity ensues.

This odd little story is disarmingly charming, as are Guibert's watercolours.  This is very much not my usual type of graphic novel, but I found myself enjoying it quite a bit.

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