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Winner of the coveted Gaiman Award as the No. 1 translated foreign comic book series published in Japan in 2013, this story of perseverance and a young girl's search for love has been translated from it's original French into ten languages. Author and publisher Stephen D. Smith has now translated The Leaning Girl into English and it features an introduction by Karen Green, Graphic Novel Librarian at Columbia University.
After a freak accident on the Star Express roller coaster, 13 year-old Mary Von Rathen begins to lean. Doctors can not help her, so she is sent by her selfish mother and hen-pecked father to a private school in Sodrovni. Mary escapes and joins the Robertson Circus where she remains for several years, until she hears from newspaper editor, Stanislas Sainclair, that a scientist, Axel Wappendorf, might be able to help her. Wappendorf is working on a rocket to reach a planet that could hold the secret to Mary's trouble. Meanwhile an artist, Augustin Desombres, has run away from the busy world and buys an empty building on the High Plains of Aubrac in the French countryside. He begins painting murals of strange globes. Now as a young woman, Mary decides to join Wappendorf in the rocket. On the alien planet, they discover an area with many globes where she has a chance meeting with the artist.
Nominated for two 2015 Eisner Awards: BEST U.S. EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATERIAL and BEST PENCILER/INKER - François Schuiten.
About the Author
Benoît Peeters was born in Paris on August 28, 1956. After publishing two novels early in his career, he experimented with diverse genres: essay, biography, illustrated story, photo novel, film, television, radio theater and of course comics.
An Hergé specialist, he has written three books to date on the subject: The World of Hergé, Hergé, Son of Tintin, and Read Tintin. He is also the author of several books on comics, storyboards and biographical studies on Hitchcock, Nadar, Jacques Derrida and Paul Valéry.
François Schuiten was born in Brussels on April 26, 1956, into a family of architects.
Early in his career, he created two graphic novels with Claude Renard, Cymbiola and Rail. Then with his brother Luc, he created three graphic novels in the Hollow Grounds series. Since 1980, he has worked with Benoît Peeters on The Obscure Cities series. His graphic novels have been translated into a dozen languages and have received numerous international awards. He has also created many illustrations, posters and postage stamps across Europe.
In 2002, he received the prestigious lifetime achievement award from the Angouleme festival. He published his first solo effort, The Beauty, in 2012, and designed a train museum, Train World, which opened in Brussels in 2015. His 2014 exhibition and accompanying book, Revoir Paris, has met with international praise.
"Before dark energy and string theory entered the popular lexicon, the Belgian graphic novel wunderkind team of Schuiten and Peeters imagined how invisible cosmological forces might exercise their perplexing pull on a few select mortals in this fabulously original and haunting story, translated from the French. Mary Von Rathen, a charming sprite who drives her mother crazy with her boundless energy and insatiable imagination, embarks on the Star Express, an amusement park attraction that leaves her leaning at a constant diagonal unable to stand up straight. Somehow, this incredible premise leads to a perfectly logical denouement involving competing dimensional realities and invisible planets with powerful gravitational fields. In a subplot, after being lambasted by the ranking art critics of the day, painter Augustin Desombres seeks refuge in an abandoned manor house on a desolate plane. The paths of Mary and Augustin finally cross in a creative and sexual conflagration of quantum proportions. The sixth in the ongoing, futuristic Obscure Cities series, The Leaning Girl offers superbly intricate artwork, and the writing has a literary scope that extends well beyond science fiction and flirts with greatness." –Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly
"This is one of my favorite graphic novels (or whatever you want to call them) from the last decade. It is connected in my mind both with Glimmerglass and with Station Eleven (see below). In a note to readers of this English translation, Benoit Peeters writes that it may be precisely because The Obscure Cities the Schuiten-Peeters series in which this volume belongs is fundamentally so full of holes and destined to remain incomplete that it invites so much outside participation from our readers. I can attest to that, since I came to this installment without any context and was drawn deeply into it." –John Wilson, Christianity Today
"In a steampunk-influenced counter-earth, young Mary von Rathen suddenly stands off-kilter as if pulled by a different gravity. Professor Wappendorf readies an interplanetary rocket to investigate planet-threatening dangers, while an isolationist painter on Earth (depicted in photos) seeks his mysterious muse. All three meet in a Jules Verne-type center of the counter-Earth (Verne himself plays a bit part), and the mysteries are resolved. Schuiten's haunting inked linesimpersonate Victorian engravings and counterpoint Plissart's misty photos to give a beautiful nearly real quality. The counter-Earth locales are fully embodied with visual magic, including Mary's sometimes delicately sexual adventures. Yet even if it might seem to follow from the setup, the sad conclusion that life's responsibilities trump art, imagination, and love seems denied by the artfulness of the work itself.
"VERDICT: Bemusement for the eyes and mind, this sets a high mark for sublime art and imaginative plotting, even if one debates the resolution....It's a solid bet for lovers of philosophical, alt-world fiction." –Martha Cornog, Library Journal