De cape et de crocs

De cape et de crocs

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De cape et de crocs is an ongoing French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 swashbuckling series, created by writer Alain Ayroles and artist Jean-Luc Masbou
Jean-Luc Masbou
Jean-Luc Masbou is a French cartoonist.Masbou studied at the École supérieure de l'image of Angoulême. He has published the series L'Ombre de l'échafaud, for which he wrote the scenario, and the series De cape et de crocs as a cartoonist.- Works :* De cape et de crocs** Tome 1 : Le secret du...

. It is notable for its many references to classical culture and occasional nods to modern references.

Synopsis


In the 17th century Venice in an alternative world where humans and some animals live together and even can be coupled, Don Lope de Villalobos y Sangrin, a Spanish wolf, and Armand Raynal de Maupertuis, a French fox, are hired by old and rich Cénile Spilorcio to retrieve a treasure map from a Turkish ship. As they deliver the map, Spilorcio plots to have the arrested to sent to galleys; during the arrest, Maupertuis spots Spilorcio's adoptive daughter, Séléné, and the two fall in love.Spilorcio have sent his son Andreo and his servant to find the treasure.

On the galley, Maupertuis and Don Lope meet with white rabbit Eusèbe. On her way, the galley sails into the Turkish ship , the same one from where they stole the map, and boards her; in the battle, Maupertuis and Don Lope are set free and help the Turks gain the upper hand, setting the slaves free and taking villain Captain Mendoza, captain of the galley, prisonner. Don Lope and Raïs Kader, captain of the Turkish ship, have an argument and promess each other to arrange for a duel when time is convenient. The party sails to Malta, where Don Lope meets Hermine, a gipsy girl and Andreos love interes, with whom he falls in love. Mendoza gets free and make dell with Spilorcio .

Finding a ship, the party set sails to Atlantis to retrieve the treasure with Andreo and his servant. In the process, they run afoul a pirate ship and are taken prisonners. Maupertuis and Don Lope are fed to a giant see monster, inside of which they find the Flying Dutchman. Gaining control of the monster, they manage to reach an island of the archipelago where the treasure is supposedly hidden, where they meet with excentric scientist Bombastus Johannes Theophrastus Almagestus Wernher von Ulm.

Exploring the island, Maupertuis and Don Lope discover that it is inhabited by castaway Selenites , peoples from Moon. They are led by Prince Jean sans Lune, exiled brother of the King of the Moon, who plots to seize power; the treasure map was a trick of his to lure Earthmen into bringing him a moonstone, necessary to return to the Moon. Séléné's necklace, which Maupertuis wears as a token, turns out to be such a moonstone, and it is used to propel the Prince's galley into space as the full moon, casting its rays, attracts all moon matter. The pirate ship, arrived meanwhile and laden with lunar fruits gathered on the island, is also sucked into space.

Maupertuis and Don Lope's party set in pursuit in Bombastus's custom-made spaceship. Bombastus, however, falls overboard, and they are left drifting towards the moon; meanwhile, Bombastus is captured by a party led by Mendoza and Spilorcio, and persuaded to build a rocket.

Arriving on the moon, Maupertuis and Don Lope's party make contact with the King of the Moon, informing him of the return of Prince Jean. The King decides, as a precaution, to send Maupertuis and Don Lope seek the "Maître d'Armes", an Earthman of great military expertise, who had previously helped defeat the Prince. Meanwhile, Mendoza's party arrives and makes contact with Prince Jean; Mendoza is hired to raise an army from local tribes of mimes.

In their quest for the "Maître d'Armes", Maupertuis and Don Lope meet with the pirates again. They hire them for the journey to the "Maître d'Armes", only to be betrayed when the pirates turn out to have turned privateers at th service of Prince Jean. As the ship closes to her destination, Maupertuis and Don Lope escape when chimeras attack. They find the "Maître d'Armes", who eventually agrees to help because he was friend with Lopes father.

As the Maître d'Armes gathers his three companions of the previous campaigns against Prince Jean, Mendoza's army marches upon the capital of the Moon. The heroes' party, grossly outnumbered, is quickly destroyed, and the capital falls in the hands of Prince Jean.

The heroes have survived, however, only Don Lope sustaining a musket wound, and the Maître d'Armes being taken prisoner. He escapes with Eusèbe's help, and flees into the wilderness, where he befriends the mime tribesmen. Meanwhile, Maupertuis and Don Lope's party plot to set the King free from his brother; to regain their honour lost in serving the Prince, the pirates join them. As Prince Jean gives a party to celerate his rise and put his brother to death, both parties execute their plans, while Mendoza's henchmen trigger their own attempt at a Coup d'État. In the confusion, Prince Jean is taken prisonner, the King is restored to power, the mimes gain an equal social status with other selenites, and Mendoza and Spilorcio are sent into hiding, while the lovers are reunited.

Influences


The comic draws inspiration from many literary classics, like Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano de Bergerac
Hercule-Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac was a French dramatist and duelist. He is now best remembered for the works of fiction which have been woven, often very loosely, around his life story, most notably the 1897 play by Edmond Rostand...

 and Molière
Molière
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature...

's works, but also from many classic fables, fairy tales, and even modern pop-culture.

As allusions to modern culture, writer Alain Ayroles notably mentions a pastiche of Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Andrew Warhola , known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art...

's painting; architectural features alluding to Jules Verne
Jules Verne
Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , A Journey to the Center of the Earth , and Around the World in Eighty Days...

 and Space: 1999
Space: 1999
Space: 1999 is a British science-fiction television series that ran for two seasons and originally aired from 1975 to 1977. In the opening episode, nuclear waste from Earth stored on the Moon's far side explodes in a catastrophic accident on 13 September 1999, knocking the Moon out of orbit and...

; and an explicit attempt to recreate the atmosphere of Alien
Alien (film)
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature which...

(to which it is further alluded when Prince Jean is said to have planned to exile his brother into deep space "so that none shall hear him scream").

Allusions to classical culture are plentiful; writer Alain Ayroles notably mentions Bombastus drawing in the fashion of da Vinci, Hobbes' Leviathan
Leviathan (book)
Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil — commonly called simply Leviathan — is a book written by Thomas Hobbes and published in 1651. Its name derives from the biblical Leviathan...

 and Rabelais.

The albums of the series are organised into "Acts", rather than tomes.

Many dialogues are written in alexandrine
Alexandrine
An alexandrine is a line of poetic meter comprising 12 syllables. Alexandrines are common in the German literature of the Baroque period and in French poetry of the early modern and modern periods. Drama in English often used alexandrines before Marlowe and Shakespeare, by whom it was supplanted...

s, though the typography does not always underline this feature.

Volumes

  • Tome 1 : Le Secret du janissaire (The Secret of the Janissary, 1995)
  • Tome 2 : Pavillon noir ! (Jolly Roger!, 1997)
  • Tome 3 : L'Archipel du danger (The Dangerous Archipelago, 1998)
  • Tome 4 : Le Mystère de l'île étrange (The Mystery of the Weird Island, 2000)
The original edition of tome 4 comes with a one-act theatre play as a a bonus, telling the meeting of Maupertuis and Don Lope.
  • Tome 5 : Jean Sans Lune (John Lackmoon, 2002)
  • Tome 6 : Luna incognita (Luna incognita, 2004)
  • Tome 7 : Chasseurs de chimères (Chimaera hunters, 2006)
  • Tome 8 : Le maître d'armes (The Swordmaster, 2007)
  • Tome 9 : Revers de fortune (Change of Fortune, 2009)