A beautiful graphic novel filled with glossy pictures of dragons is sure to entice anyone who loves fantasy and art and, of course, dragons!
A reporter documents his journey through Europe in a travel journal as he searches for evidence of dragons. Blessed with the ability to see the unseen, he draws what he witnesses in his journal and jots down quick notes alongside his illustrations. He is later chosen to discover what has happened to an exploration party, and the assignment takes him through Scandinavia and Asia, where he continues his documentation and happens upon an amazing race that might be connected to dragons.
My first foray into graphic novels and comics kicks off with In Search of Lost Dragons by Élian Black’Mor and Carine-M. This book was first published in France in November 2005 as Sur La Piste Des Dragons Oublies, and was translated into English and published by Dynamite Entertainment this year in February.
I discovered this book in a Shelf Awareness newsletter (what would I do without that newsletter) that contained a book trailer for it (see below). I usually don’t pay much attention to book trailers because they never get me hyped but this one did. The mention of dragons caught my attention and the shots of pages from the book excited me so much that I bought it soon after it was published.
There’s not much plot in In Search of Lost Dragons. The impression I got is that we, the readers, have stumbled upon the reporter’s journal of his expeditions. Some readers might complain about this but it’s a journal. It has no definite beginning and no definite end, and I like that. It seems that the reader has to approach this book assuming that the story began long before she came to it and will end long after she’s done reading or shortly after. Who knows?
The entries are written in script, I guess to mirror how people in the 1890s wrote; but the illustrations take up the majority of the book. Newspaper clippings, posters, maps, tickets, and letters are also included to round out the reporter’s experiences and show how and with whom he communicates. On these materials are ink stains, water blotches, and even pieces of tape to secure them in the journal. Some papers are folded or have crease marks to show wear and use. I appreciate all the supplemental materials because they help to engross the reader in the story.
The reporter tries to capture the image of the dragons in a variety of ways, but it’s the illustrations that really sell this book. They are beautiful! I’ve included photos of them below but seeing them in the physical book is best.
I love the illustrations! I like that the lines are loose and wispy in some drawings to show how quickly the reporter has to draw before the dragon leaves his sight. Though the completed illustrations are eye-catching, it’s the sketchy ones — the drafts — that are my favorite. I also love how colors are used. They are bright in some areas, dark in others, but always help to exude the mood or atmosphere the reporter describes in his reports. These are beautiful drawings (I can’t say this enough). I spent several minutes staring at them before continuing with the story. Sometimes I’d forget the story and simple stare at the photos the whole train ride to work. As such, it took me 2 days to read this book, which can be completed in a few hours. Yes, I shamelessly blame the illustrations.
My only complaint with this book is the font used for the narration. It’s a very curly script, which at first glance made it hard to read. I sometimes found it hard to tell the difference between J and G. But that’s a minor hang up.
Overall: great book, beautiful illustrations, and a wonderful addition to my book collection. I highly recommend it, and I think it’s well worth the buy if you love dragons and fantasy-inspired art. I hope that there will be more books like this. I think it would make a wonderful anime series. 😉
For more illustrations, visit Élian Black’Mor’s website.
If you’ve read In Search of Lost Dragons, please share what you thought of it below. If not, you’re still welcome to leave your thoughts and I hope you consider picking it up.
Other thoughts on the book
- Graphic Novel: ‘In Search of Lost Dragons’ by Élian Black’mor and Carine-M (theliterarysisters.wordpress.com)
- ‘In Search of Lost Dragons’ Comic Review (project-nerd.com)
- In Search of Lost Dragons (www.hisaye.net)
- In Search of Lost Dragons by Elian Black’Mor and Carine-M (sharonsloveofbooks.blogspot.com)
- In Search of Lost Dragons by Elian Black’Mor and Carine M (paulnelson.booklikes.com)