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October 04, 2011

Pipes, Gears, Mummies & Steampunk Week

Tor.com.steampunk

Tor.com is having a Steampunk Week this week, celebrating all things gears and top hats (and I am assured they will have some comics, too), so I thought I'd spend some time on one of my favorite First Second graphic novels:

ProfessorsDaughter

The Professor's Daughter, by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert

This book is a love story between a mummy and an Egyptologist's daughter.

Also it is a gorgeous book!  I'm not sure what Guibert uses to do the art -- watercolor and some sort of oil pastel would be my guess -- but it is probably one of the most sepia-y steampunk books to ever exist.  And I feel that's appropriate for steampunk.

The other thing that I feel is very steampunk-y about this book is the hijinx.  It is possibly an artificial integration on my part, but one of the things I get from steampunk is a sense of joy from its creators, who are all making this brave new world of gears and costumes and crazy machinery because they think it's fun and exciting and wonderful. 

The Professor's Daughter echos that, from the point when the mummy, Imhotep IV, wakes up in the bright new world of Victorian England and finds himself in love -- and also very confused.  Embarking upon a careening unicycle ride of a narrative, the author and illustrator nonetheless manage to guide their love-stricken protagonists to safe waters (Queen Victoria not so much, as she ends up being pitched into the Thames). 

In conclusion: read this book!

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