Announcement: 'La Saga d'Atlas & Axis', by Jean-Marc Pau
This is an announcement rather than a review because I have just found out about these two albums of bandes desinées, and I have not read them yet.
In the world of Pongeo, where all the animals talk and walk on two paws, Atlas and Axis are two mutts of very different characters and pedigrees: the first is intelligent and rational, while the second is controlled more by his feelings. One day when the two companions return to their village for a festival, they discover it ravaged by the cruel Vikiens, bloody brutes from the North who pillage and kill all who fall under their claws. So begins the saga of Atlas and Axis, the astonishing epic of two friends overflowing with courage, who leave to brave the great North to avenge their folk. In the grand tradition of adventuring duos, prepare to live a story funny and terrible, tender and epic … The kind of story that you’ll want to read and reread, wherein you’ll lose your innocence of a young puppy! (translation)
The summary of Tome 2:
After their vendetta against the Vikiens of the great North, our two heroes return to their land, but what is left for them? No village, no friends, no family … So they find refuge in the Tower bar, with Honey, its bear landlady. But their rest is cut short on their first evening when the bar is deafened by the noisy arguing of two savants who bark endlessly about the origin of dogs. Which of their theories is more believable? That of evolution, which says that dogs came from wolves, or that of the god Toby, who made the dog in his own image? It’s to find their origins that Atlas & Axis leave on a new quest, to find a forgotten and mysterious people, the Tarses, the hypothetical missing link between dogs and wolves. This time action gives way to questions that our two mutts hope to find answers to during this new journey, and to learn more about the legendary overflowing bowl of Khimera. (Read the Amazon.fr entry for the original French.)
Atlas looks like a golden retriever, and Axis like a terrier-sized mongrel. Their world looks like a doggy version of Astérix & Obélix, with less of the Astérix humor but with more canine traits (and toilet humor – the characters mark their territory). You can see a larger sample on Ankama’s website. Both Ankama and Amazon.fr accept major American credit cards.
Volume 1 was published on August 25, 2011, and Volume 2 is scheduled for February 14, 2013. It was the announcements for volume 2 that called my attention to this series. Volume 1 is 76 pages; no page count is announced for Volume 2. The two are published by Ankama éditions, at €14.90 (which is about $19) each.
The first block of quoted text is my translation of, “Dans le monde de Pongeo, où tous les animaux parlent et marchent sur deux pattes, Atlas et Axis sont deux cabots aux caractères et pedigrees bien différents : le premier est intelligent et rationnel alors que le second fait plus volontiers confiance à son flair. Un jour que les deux compagnons rejoignent leur village pour festoyer, ils découvrent le lieu ravagé par les cruels Vikiens, des brutes sanguinaires venues du Nord, qui pillent et tuent tout ce qui se présente sous leurs crocs. Commence alors la saga d'Atlas et Axis, l'étonnante épopée de deux amis débordants de courage, partis braver le grand Nord pour venger les leurs. Dans la grande tradition des duos d'aventuriers, préparez-vous à vivre une histoire drôle et terrible, tendre et épique... Le genre d'histoire qu'on se surprend à lire et relire, alors qu'on pensait avoir perdu son âme de jeune chiot!”