The French adaptation of Elric’s story continues in this third book, ‘The White Wolf’, originally published as ‘Elric: Le Loup Blanc’ by Editions Glénat and featuring French talent. The French have a rich graphic novel tradition and regarded it as a serious artform long before us Anglo-Saxons. Thankfully, Titan Comics have issued this translated edition for our delectation and delight.
The story continues. It’s now a year since Elric gave up being Emperor of Melniboné to roam the Young Kingdoms where he is known as the White Wolf. He saves a group of slaves on a whim or perhaps to feed Stormbringer their captors’ souls. One Smiorgan Baldhead, Count and Sea-Lord of the Purple Towns then accompanies the albino on his travels. A strange emissary in the form of a white wolf summons Elric to Dhakosi, capital of the Kingdom of Jharkor where Vassliss, heir to the Guild of Merchant Princes seeks his aid on a special quest involving an ancient Melnibonéan Emperor, thought long dead. The book ends on a cliff-hanger.
The art has a slightly sketchy quality in places but I think that suits the epic fantasy subject matter. I’ve been reading Walter Simonson’s ‘Mighty Thor’ lately and that has a similar look. Telo and Recht can draw human beings, demons and architecture with equal facility and the colouring is subtle and beautiful. There are splash panels for grand scenes and small panels to show sequential action effectively. The storytelling is well done. As a bonus, there are pen and ink character sketches at the back of the book.
Other pages, front and back, list or advertise the many graphic novel adaptations of Elric and other works by Michael Moorcock, perhaps the most adapted fantasy author after Tolkien and Lovecraft. He worked in comics himself in youth and has never looked down on the medium, not even when he got all literary and started being noticed by ‘The Guardian’ newspaper.
It’s a good story, fine art and a nice hardcover edition printed on quality paper. It’s not a very thick book and the actual story is only 46 pages but this is new stuff, not old comics reprinted so I guess it costs more. Still worth it, but this came out a while ago now and my research has revealed that ‘Book 4: The Dreaming City’ is the last one in this series and there’s a box set coming out in September. There are also eBook versions of these things, slightly cheaper. Ah, eBooks! Age will not weary them, nor the years condemn, but many old folks prefer paper. ‘Elric: The White Wolf’ is recommended in any medium.
(pub: Titan Comics, 2018. 64 page graphic novel hardback. Price: £17.99 (UK), $19.99 (US), $25.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-178586-402-5)
check out website: www.titan.com