Grandville Bête Noire, the third in the Grandville series of graphic novels by British artist and writer Bryan Talbot, debuted last Friday at Foyles in London's Charing Cross Road. Talbot discussed his work in conversation with Kim Newman (Anno Dracula) before participating in a Q&A session and a book-signing. (Questions on the night included an incredulous "How do you make animals sexy?", to which no answer was given.)
The Grandville series is set in a steampunk-style, alternate-Victorian era where robots stalk the streets and messages are delivered by 'pneumail'. Britain is slowly emerging from a long subjugation by France following defeat in the Napoleonic Wars, while Paris, known as Grandville, is the glittering centre of the world. Most of the characters in the series are anthropomorphic animals, birds and fish, with the rare human 'doughfaces' treated as an underclass. The hero of the stories is Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard, a badger whose brilliant deductive abilities are matched by his strength and ferocity in a fight.
The three books so far released have been in a full colour, hardback format, with covers inspired by the art nouveau movement. Bête Noire weighs in at 95 pages. A digital version is also available from Dark Horse Digital for e-readers and tablets.
Featuring a world populated by anthropomorphic animals, Grandville has an allohistorical setting in which France won the Napoleonic Wars and invaded Britain.
What do you get when you combine furry, steampunk, detective thrillers, alternative history, and a bit of Quentin Tarantino?
Bryan Talbot's Grandville series of graphic novels; two so far, Grandville (2009) and Grandville Mon Amour (2010). Both are about 100 pages and very sturdy hardcovers. Sounds like quite the hodge-podge of genres, no? Yet it works!
Talbot revealed on his Twitter account that the new book, set in a steampunk world with an alternate history and with a population mostly of anthropomorphic animals, will be called Grandville: Bete Noire. There are plans for a total of five books in the series.