Sunday, January 13, 2013

Review- DIOSAMANTE

DIOSAMANTE (Humanoids, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects Diosamante Nos. 1, 2 (cover dates September, 1992- April, 2002)
Writer: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Artist: Jean-Claude Gal
This is the first time that this has been available in English in the United States. France's Humanoids is known for high quality work, not punctuality, so years waft by in between “Albums” (as their original graphic novels are called). Diosamante is no exception, as Gal's painstaking, beautiful artwork took him several years just to do the 40+ pages per book. His artwork is insanely detailed, and he colored it by hand, likely by paint or airbrush. 
Gal passed away in 1994 with the rest of Issue 2 roughed out, all of which are collected as extras in the back of this book. This was originally conceived as a four book series, so the text page at the end of the second issue outlines what would have happened if it were completed. I respect Jodorowsky's wishes to not let another artist finish this work even though part of me wishes that he did allow someone else to. This is an unsatisfying read in that regard. 
The half of the story that we do have in this 96 page hardcover is great, a tale of a woman (Queen Diosamante) who is the desire of all yet remains unfulfilled as a human being. She sets out on a quest, meeting King Urbal who is more loved by the people than she. In an attempt to win his love, she embarks on a journey that teaches her humility and compassion. 
Like I said, we do not get to see the full saga unfold, which is a pity. This is still a great read filled with breathtaking artwork, it's just not a fulfilling read because it has no resolution aside from a text page that outlines what would have happened.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Humanoids produces beautiful books, and this one is no exception. High quality materials and high-end features such as a built in ribbon bookmark give this a luxurious feel.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Super thick, high quality coated stock.
Binding rating: 5 out of 5. Wonderful sewn binding which allows the book to lay completely flat from beginning to end.
Hardback cover coating rating: 4.5 out of 5. The image is printed on the hardback itself, with a coating that seems to have a decent thickness to it. It seems durable enough.

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