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Gil Jordan : Ten Thousand Years in Hell (Hardcover) (M. Tillieux)
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Fantagraphics is proud to follow up 2010’s inaugural edition of Maurice Tillieux’s classic early-1960s Gil Jordan adventures Murder by High Tide with a new double dip. “Ten Thousand Years in Hell” marks a sharp departure from the moody, urban detective thrillers of Jordan’s previous adventures: Instead, after a feint in that direction, it turns into a rollicking, comedic South American prison escape yarn as Jordan and his assistant Crackerjack, who have followed a case all the way to the banana republic of Xique-Xique, end up in dire straits indeed. The second story, “Boom and Bust,” finds the duo’s countryside jaunt turned into an ad hoc investigation by a spectacular vehicular washout (Tillieux did love destroying cars) and a suspiciously noisy enclosure. And in both adventure the eccentric but lovable Inspector Crouton eventually becomes part of the story, reuniting the wisecracking trio. Even sporting a more free-wheeling, humorous style, Tillieux’s masterful graphics remind the reader why he was considered one of the top Franco-Belgian cartoonists of the time — indeed, any time. With the resurgence of interest in the Tintin comics, readers eager to explore the work of other cartoonists working in that distinctive cleanly drawn comedy/ adventure register will enjoy the Gil Jordan books.