Discover the work in black and white, in large format and very small price of one of the greatest masters of comics. First album written entirely by Jean Giraud, after the death of the brilliant Jean-Michel Charlier, Mister Blueberry is a masterpiece of graphic mastery that confirms that, more than a western, Blueberry is the largest series of adventures of comics.

  • Dargaud, April 12, 2015
  • Written and drawn by Jean Giraud
  • 48 pages, 30cm x 40cm (12″ x 16″)
  • ISBN 9782205075274
  • 19,99 €
  • Order online: Amazon.fr, Amazon.ca

As with all original artist’s gallery editions this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index.

There is a wealth of bandes dessinées Artist’s Edition style books available in French, and looking at all my options Dargaud’s collection of Jean Giraud’s Mister Blueberry fit the bill as a test: inexpensive, almost full sized reprinting of the original art. Currently there are four Blueberry Noir Et Blanc editions with a fifth on the way.

The publication notes the following on its indices page; as with all translations shown here my limited French and Google Translate are poor substitutes.

This black and white edition of Mister Blueberry uses the original boards of Jean Giraud. These were completely rescanned so that the maximum details – fineness of the features, grays, densities of the hues of black, precision of the backgrounds, and the few corrections of the author – could be seen. The 30 * 40 format, larger than the classic publication format, will help you find some of the incredible feeling that comes from viewing the origins of one of the greatest artists of bande dessinée.

Scan quality is excellent: clean and well presented. Blacks show gradients throughout. Correction fluid is visible on multiple pages, correcting art and word balloons. No notes since Giraud was doing it all, but there are numbers in pencil on the bottom of each page.

The design is quite elegant. No colour in the interior, but three two page spreads with panel enlargements surrounded by black. Since the material was published as one volume these aren’t chapter dividers, but here to add emphasis to the art. No introduction or table of contents: we solely have the story.

Production is good, but costs had to be cut somewhere to reach this low price. This is a softcover with a glued binding, and after some careful stretching of the pages to allow the book to mostly lie flat some pages are just barely in place. The paper is a heavy stock, slightly off white, and perhaps the heaviest I’ve seen in an Artist’s Edition format book.

All four volumes are available for just under cover price from Amazon France: shipping them to my Canadian address cost 7 Euros. After shipping and exchange I paid $30 CDN per volume.