Saturday, 26 March 2011

A face of beauty, a mind for adventure

Here's the trailer for Luc Besson's upcoming movie The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. I found this on the Forbidden Planet Blog and I'm very glad I did, as the official English language trailer has a dumb-ass, gravelly-voiced narration that will make you want to punch a hole in your PC monitor. This trailer, though, is the real deal, and if it doesn't make you immediately resolve to catch up on all of Jacques Tardi's brilliant graphic novels then you're obviously one of those casual readers we were talking about recently.

I'm often asked if the pteranodon perching on the Eiffel Tower in Mirabilis #3 is our hommage to the Adèle Blanc-Sec books. Fact is, I'm very happy to let it stand as hommage because we certainly owe Monsieur Tardi a creative debt, but it didn't actually come about that way. Originally the pteranodon was atop Nelson's Column (above) as illustrated by Martin McKenna. That was part of our pitch to David Fickling years ago, and at that stage it was a nod to the pterosaur that escapes over London at the end of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World.

Later, in writing the comic, we reached a screne where Jack has traveled to Paris to board the Orient Express. That was the perfect place to work the pteranodon into the story, so it hopped over from Trafalgar Square to the Parc du Champ de Mars - becoming, in one fell swoop, a gestue of tribute to both Conan Doyle and Jacques Tardi.

And that's more than doubly appropriate, as I've always thought that if Estelle Meadowvane and Adèle Blanc-Sec were to meet ten years after the events of Mirabilis - well, they couldn't, of course, because the post-comet Mirabilis universe is our real world, meaning no pteranodons or pterodactyls. But if they did, I'm sure they'd be friends. It'd mean twice the trouble for poor old Jack, of course.


  1. Aha - so THAT's where the where the flying reptile came from? I shouldn't be surprised that the creature has such an impeccable provenance. Looking at the two bottom panels reminds me once again of the bridge that Nikos' coloring creates between Martin's initial paintings and Leo's pen and brush work.

    Lovely stuff indeed!

  2. Somebody should probably write a book on pterosaurs at large in Western cities - if they haven't already. (Q The Winged Serpent would get a chapter to itself.) We didn't originally intend the pteranodon to have more than a fly-on part, but it was such an irresistable gift to use it to carry off old Bodgkiss. Any dinosaurs that show up later in the Mirabilis year are likely to be styled on the Victorian/Edwardian concept of such beasts as seen at Crystal Palace, rather than on modern scientifically "correct" views.

  3. Hello. I'm currently the proud owner of the first Mirabilis book, prior to its becoming a birthday present. I hope it will give the young recipient the same enthusiasm for your work that I had, and still have, growing up with your books (specifically Knightmare - I look forward to elaborating in a future comment).

    Though it seems churlish to point it out, in case no one else has done so, I couldn't help noticing that the back cover refers to 'a pterandon'. It makes me think that a second well-placed o in Susan Sarandon's surname and she'd fit right into Jurassic (well, Cretaceous) Park.