I’m at a loss for words to describe what Azimut by Wilfrid Lupano and Jean-Baptiste Andreae even is. This bizarre graphic novel took me on quite a journey that had me thinking “what just happened?” Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, and Jim Henson (a la Dark Crystal, not Muppets), Azimut has easily become one of my new favorite graphic novels. Continue reading to get my take on this stunning graphic novel.
Azimut features a host of quirky characters in a colourful fantasy world whose lives are turned upside down when the magnetic North pole simply disappears!
Time and death are not what they seem in this world – old professor Aristide Breloquinte spends his time studying the peculiarities on his laboratory ship, fearful of the dreaded Time Snatcher! The beautiful Manie Ganza, who seems convinced that time is money, daringly robs and outwits the pompous rulers across the land. Add in an intrepid explorer who can’t find North, and an aeronaut/talking rabbit duo on a personal quest for love, and you’ve got a fantasy adventure full of nonsense and excitement!
Wilfrid Lupano spins a wonderful yarn of fun, flawed characters – who could’ve jumped straight out of the works of Lewis Carroll – on a spectacular adventure, with mesmerising art by Jean-Baptiste Andréae.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Andreae’s arty style is incredibly surreal, unique, and steampunk-y, reflecting the plot and various characters throughout. I did really like the style as helped to build the eclectic, grotesque, and fantastical elements of this world. Each setting and each character were one of a kind and clearly well developed. Andreae even pays attention to even the most minute details, such as the clothing, backgrounds, and extra characters.
So clever and randomly punny! The overall story that moves the plot forward was an interesting mental exercise. What would happen if suddenly North didn’t exist? How would things change as a result? Lupano’s writing masterfully lives up to that challenge.
The pace was very quick and there was rarely a dull moment. Something was always happening somewhere. Even though the story takes place in so many different places and groups of people form and fracture throughout, it was still easy to follow and allowed the plot and characters to be fully developed.
All of the characters were vibrant and lively. The characters each had their own quirks, personalities, and histories that made the story even richer. I would not say that Lupano gave an in-depth look at the main characters but that somehow added to the odd charm of the series. Even though I had a shallow knowledge of these persons, it did not detract from the story.
I truly enjoyed Azimut. It was fast-paced, inventive, bizarre, and delightful. While its contents were not necessarily light and chipper, the grotesque and dark elements helped make an extraordinary story. If you get the chance, I strongly encourage you to give Azimut a chance.