Over at The Comics Reporter, Bart Beaty writes about a book that he’s surprised isn’t coming to a store near you:
Standing in a store like Paris’ Superheros, I occasionally stumble across a book and think, “Well hold on, this will appear in English soon, and I can buy that version.” For instance, last fall I saw a beautiful Kevin Huizenga book from Vertige Graphic before I knew that Drawn and Quarterly was also bringing it out, and so I waited for the DQ version that I rightly assumed had to be coming. On that same occasion I also saw World Trade Angels (Denoel Graphic) and I thought: “Gee, that has to be coming from an American publisher. It’s a comic by The New Yorker‘s Laurent Cilluffo and it’s about September 11th. That’s the sort of perfect New York media storm that will launch this book onto the bestseller lists. If the guys behind Richie Rich can get loads of press for a bad book about that tragedy, imagine the accolades that will be heaped upon one of the best illustrators working at one of the most esteemed magazines in the country. Surely I can wait for the English edition.”
…World Trade Angels is certainly the finest comic to have been produced about the events of 9/11 to date. Cilluffo’s first comic book (he once did the covers for an issue of Drawn and Quarterly, about a decade ago) is something approximating a masterpiece. Formally inventive in a manner that rivals Chris Ware, Cilluffo has designed a book that is simply stunning… It is clear when reading World Trade Angels that every single page has been thoughtfully designed to work as a part of the overall larger project, but that each page also stands alone as a striking visual artifact.
The text and story, by French novelist Fabrice Colin, is equally striking. While it has strong overtones of a Wim Wenders-style melodrama, the resolution of the story, while predictable, is heartbreaking. The visual metaphor that ends the book is almost inevitable, and is powerfully moving all the same… This is one of the few comics that I have ever read that actually touched me on an emotional level.
So I don’t get it. I don’t understand why there doesn’t seem to be an American release of this book forthcoming.
Surely, after a review this strong (There is much more at the link, including images from the book that are, indeed, stunning), that’s going to be something that’s going to change.