Glacial Period: A Graphic Novel
Nicolas De Crecy
ComicsLit, 2007 (2007)
Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton
hat would the Louvre look like if archeologists stumbled upon it thousands of years in the future during another Ice Age? Nicolas De Crecy paints an interesting picture of how he would conceive of the Louvre once it became a relic, rather than a collection of relics. This is part of a larger project by NBM Publishers in collaboration with the Louvre to have four artists each create a comic art story incorporating the Louvre.
s a group of archaeologists trek across a wasteland of snow with the help of genetically enhanced talking dogs, their mutual tolerance slowly deteriorates. If something is not discovered soon, the expedition may fail because of it. The lead dog, Hulk, is also skeptical of some of the people's interest. But before he can explore this, they stumble upon an ancient storage of artifacts that they soon discover is the Louvre. As they venture into the decrepit but preserved building, the educated archaeologists begin sharing their perceptions and commentary about what they are seeing. After thousands of years, the Louvre has drastically changed and brought a completely new meaning to the concept of art imitating life.
e Crecy brings an interesting perspective to this story via scientists encountering the artifacts for the first time in thousands of years. Their interpretations and assessments are both amusing and intriguing. In fact, he provides all sorts of inter-textual comments and criticisms about art from the high-brow presented at the Louvre to even the seemingly low-brow art of comics, with his use of superhero names for the dogs. His art is gritty with drab water colors that add to the dreary cold and dull environment, and contrast nicely with the crisper pictures and paintings in the Louvre. For those unfamiliar with the many paintings and art presented throughout, the book includes an index at the back that includes title, author, size, materials, where in the museum one might find the art piece, and who donated it.
hile the premise of the series is intriguing, it also raises questions of elitism and marketing. The Louvre is accorded high cultural value throughout the world. However, in the end - especially with the catalogue of works - this graphic novel is essentially practicing what is known in the movie business and becoming more known in both the book and comic book industry as product placement. Ultimately, this story acts as one big advertisement for the Louvre. Again, since it's considered high-brow material, most will not see anything wrong with this. However, this reviewer wonders would this graphic novel win as much acclaim if it were done in the same style and manner, but on behalf of a McDonalds Restaurant or a Toyota car plant? It's an interesting thought to entertain.
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