This follow up to his earlier steampunk tale, Grandville, is officially published in the UK on 16th December by Jonathan Cape, with a US edition from Dark Horse released on 22nd February 2011.
Set three weeks after the finale of Grandville, Grandville, Mon Amour pits Detective Inspector Archie LeBrock of Scotland Yard against an old adversary, Edward 'Mad Dog' Mastock - a psychotic serial killer whose shocking escape from his execution at the Tower of London begins this fast-paced, Hitchcockian steampunk thriller. With a range of new and fascinating characters and a mix of Holmesian deduction, knowing humour and edge of the seat action, Grandville Mon Amour continues the vein of high-octane adventure begun in the first volume. Can even LeBrock escape the past or do heroes have feet of clay? Follow the badger!
Listing the accomplishments of Bryan Talbot is a daunting task – arguably the creator of the first British graphic novel, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, the credits to his name are too numerous to mention. He started in the underground comics scene of the late 1960s and his work has spanned the flagship series of 2000AD as well as Batman, Sandman, Hellblazer amd Fables.
The Observer described his last graphic novel, Alice in Sunderland, as "one of the most exhilarating books in years".
"I'm setting these stories in a world that is fantastical but one that is taken for granted by the characters," says Bryan of the Grandville saga, talking to Comic Book Resources last month. "A little like the three protagonists in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly who weave their way through the American Civil War without once having to stop to deliver a chunk of exposition that informs the audience of the causes and culture of the milieu. We are imparted this sort of information, but only in passing, when it's an unobtrusive part of the storytelling and fits naturally into conversation or plot."
The first Grandville was a response, in part, to British and American governments lying to their citizens in the lead up to the Iraq war. For Mon Amour Bryan says that there is a real-world inspiration but "it's more general.
"It could be seen as statement on terrorism and its consequences, the way it dehumanizes the exponents and destroys or scars lives. You could make parallels with Irish terrorists – on both sides. But still – it's a fun adventure story folks! I think it's a good thing to have hard-edged topics that make people think alongside an exciting ride."
• Comic Book Resources Interview with Bryan Talbot
• Pre-order Grandville Mon Amour from amazon.co.uk
• Pre-order Grandville Mon Amour (Dark Horse edition) from amazon.com