The Incal
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The Incal (L'Incal #1-6)

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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  1,287 ratings  ·  88 reviews
The international comics MASTERPIECE by Moebius and Jodorowsky collected in an hardcover edition and presented in its original colors. With a Foreword by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS. Detective John Difool is the key to the Universe after accidentally discovering the mystical Incal artifact.
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published October 2011 by Self Made Hero (first published 1988)
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Sean Francisco Yau-Smith

When Jean Giraud or Moebius passed away, the international "comic book" or "graphic novel" lost the last of the 4 great giants who shaped the medium (the other three being Osamu Tezuka, Will Eisner and Jack Kirby)- geniuses who combined an innovative and unique look and feel, with a tremendous breadth of work. While American exposure to Moebius actual comic book work was limited- his overall effect in terms of design and mass media can't be understated - first through the translations of "Metal...more
S.A. Hunter
I kept picking up this graphic novel, reading a few pages, only to then put it down again. I could never get into it. The story zooms everywhere and is very epic, but the characters are not really developed and the dialogue is at times kind of preachy. I don't know if it all reads better in the original French or not. This story is heavy in metaphysics, and it felt like a lot of the supposed profundity of the text whizzed over my head, or maybe Jodorowsky tried to jam too much into this one stor...more
Andrew Anony
This book drips in pure sci-fi creativity. It seems like every page has a new, cool concept put forth; all within a cohesive narrative. (I won't give any examples, as I think that would take away from the enjoyment of reading this book).

Moebius's art is fantastic. The new reprinted of The Incal respectfully retains the original coloring (which is especially nice since many reprints seem to replace the original color with some awful modern rendering). I see so many artists that I love within Moeb...more
Rick
The complete collection of the Jodorowsky/Mœbius classic recounts the extraordinary (mis)adventures of the inept private investigator John DiFool. He seemingly stumbles upon the Incal, an entity of immense power. Through bizarre and often metaphysical means, DiFool finds himself as the most important being in the universe. Jodorowsky and Mœbius include several fascinating companions as DiFool follows his unwanted destiny: Deepo, a sentient concrete bird; The Metabaron, the most powerful fighter...more
Jeff Jackson
***1/2 stars. I can see why this epic has inspired so many other sci-fi and comix creators - it's spilling over with fascinating ideas about media and technology, compelling adventure scenes and detailed cityscapes, and Moebius's eye-popping graphics. It was a fun read though also a bit clinical. The characters are all one-dimensional archetypes, there's no emotion generated, and the scenes about convincing entire galaxies to meditate had an awkward New Age feel to them. But if you're a fan of M...more
Alex
I think that seeing the documentary Jodorowski's Dune helped prepare me for this book, since I knew what I was getting into. In a lot of ways, The Incal does what Jodorowski wasn't able to do with his film adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel.

As far as I can tell, The Incal is about...proto-scientific neo-spiritual existentialism? That sounds about right. In a weird way, this story reminded me of C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy--not a connection I was expecting to make as I read this.

My suggestion f...more
Don
I'll be honest, I finally got around to reading this classic only after having seen Frank Pavich's documentary Jodorowsky's Dune. I'd heard of Jodo and his El Topo, and you can't be any kind of comics fan without having at least heard the name Mœbius. Still, I came late to this particular party.

It's absolutely true what people have said--you can literally pick out the bits that have been used in any number of sci-fi films over the past 30 years. I'd never read The Incal, but every one of Mœbius...more
David Gallin-Parisi
The legendary, always-mentioned-but-rarely-seen, influential, and illustrious Mobius and Jodorowsky work is a must read for anybody interested in the following things. Bear with me, this is a long list. Check this out if you find yourself in any of these listings: fantasy lover, sci-fi dreamer, trip-mode druggy adventure, video games, Star Wars, art comics like Ben Jones' or CF's contemporary works, comics like X-Men or X-Whatever, desert dystopias, blade runner dystopias, rainbow industrial par...more
Byron Georgalas
I am sorry, but I couldn't like "The Incal" as much as I wanted. Its art is what an epic space opera should be. Colossal scale but with attention to detail, really beautiful exotic environments with the necessary disregard of physics and it succeeded in immersing you in that degenarate galaxy. Being true to the sci-fi genre, it also dealed with pressing social subjects, like the indifference of the individual and the media manipulation by the leading elite, which allowed (in my view) the Darknes...more
Iain Macleod
For Moebius's artwork alone this would get five stars. But it's great to see Jodorowosky bring his own surreal and zany sensibiities from his own movies to scripting a comic, where the plot can be described as equal parts philosophical and madcap. Although this dates from over 30 years ago it is as inventive and exciting as the best sci-fi comics being released today. If not more so. (Plus it has loads of giant spaceships zooming about the place! Some of the spaceships here are very reminiscent...more
Tamahome
May 02, 2014 Tamahome marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Proposed animated movie trailer, very good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4Vkyz...

Saw this in 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die. Holy crap.


Mrx_Horror
Una de las historietas más fascinantes que he leído jamás. El dibujo es maravilloso, cada página es como contemplar un cuadro al tiempo que la aventura engancha sin remedio hasta el final. Y menudo final, todavía estoy recuperando el aliento.

Con razón ocupa tan elevado puesto en el mundo del cómic.
Zach
At 30, I likely discovered The Incal later than many who did so in their college years, but the second I flipped to the first page in the bookstore, I knew this one was for me and I think I appreciate it much more than I would have when I was younger. The art is absolutely incredible and detailed. The plot is a spiritual, psychological, space faring opera. It does drag a bit about 3/4 of the way through but the ending knocked me on the floor for several days.

One other reviewer mentioned the sta...more
Toby Litt
Where has this book been hiding? Why did no-one ever tell me about it?
Nathan
Great art, awful writing.
Erni Bär
This is a very beautiful volume.It contains Moebius' and Jodorowsky's complete story about the unbelievable adventures of private eye John Difool (the fool). Jean Giraud's art is magnificent, whereas the story by Alexandro Jodorowsky suffers a little from getting too excessive and lenthy, due to his beloved and personally flavoured mysticism in my opinion. Nevertheless both did a great job and have enriched Europe's popular culture with a high ranking graphic science fiction novel. It's a pity t...more
Michael Robertson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Timothy Eklund
Here's the short version: The Incal is a metaphysical phantasmagoria of a space opera that offers a world you can get lost in, without ever quite feeling truly connected to it.

First of all, the most obvious thing about The Incal is that it looks gorgeous. I'm sure I don't have to tell anyone that Moebius' art is excellent, but it really, really is. With Moebius, Elements you see in the work of artists like Windsor McCay, Steve Ditko, Dave Gibbons, or Katsuhiro Otomo combine to produce crisp, sum...more
Evan
Some of the best art in comics. The story is unfocused and suffers for being translated. French quirks of narrative and phrase are lost in English. The characters are therefore flat—John DiFool is an especially shit protagonist. The story is not compelling. Dialogue poor.

But the universe of The Incal is so intoxicating and the art so wonderful that it's hard to truly dislike it. Jodorowsky's cosmo-spiritual gibberish is romantic. Moebius and Jodorowsky may be the most complementary collaboratio...more
Jeremy DeBottis
This is a graphic novel that I would recommend to anyone that ranks the art of a story up higher than the story itself.

The story here is complex, and long, but I would not give it the title "epic." Just because something goes on for a while does not make it epic. The story itself is probably closer to 2 stars as it drags on and at times seems to jump around almost at random.

The dialogue is the bigger issue. I wish I could give it some leeway as some of the issues with it probably come from it b...more
Mike
Gorgeous, breathtaking, massively epic. Goodreads says the author is Alejandro Jodorowsky, but the story functions through images more than through words. This belongs to Moebius far above anyone else.

True to form, the pacing is different from pretty much anything else I've read. Enlightenment descends on the characters in the course of just a few panels, scenes jump around quickly, and we get rapid and massive shifts in scale. Each panel contains a wealth of information, but it's communicated s...more
David
Jodorowsky's story is all over the place, but teeming with inventive ideas. Moebius's art is equally, if not more inventive than the story.

I don't feel The Incal has any truly great characters. There are characters that are good in concept. Unfortunately, they remain mostly one-dimensional throughout. It was difficult for me to latch onto John Difool as a protagonist. I guess 'hapless' is a defining character trait that is best confined to the first part of a story, not the whole thing.

I can on...more
Aaron Arnold
This seems targeted at fans of stuff like Heavy Metal, The Fifth Element, or Aeon Flux, the latter two of which this predates by at least a decade. Jodorowsky is typically weird and fantastical, throwing in plenty of drugs, violence, weird sex, and so forth - if I'd read it in middle school I probably would have loved it. The plot is incredibly overwrought space opera, so hopefully you have a high tolerance for incredible evils, intergalactic conspiracies, narrow escapes, goofy metaphysics, robo...more
Nathan
I really wanted to like The Incal, and there are parts I really like! The artwork is amazing, and it keeps getting better as the story progresses. Some of the ideas were really creative and fun. There was a lot here that made me think.

But I can't give more than two stars for the way they treat John Difool. The entire plot consists of everyone doing whatever the Incal says, John complains about it, and then either a) John decides to help because the girl he likes tricks him into it, b) the girl h...more
Kyle Youngblom
One of my favorite comics. Jodorowsky's particular brand of bizarre haphazard metaphysical sci-fi is matched perfectly by Moebius' preternatural draftsmanship and imagination. These two toss together absurdly deep concepts with cheesy puns and pulpy sex/violence, and it just ends up working somehow. It's a silly masterpiece.
Ian
The story of The Incal was allegedly cobbled together from bits left over from Jodorowsky's failed attempt to make a film of Dune. I'd have paid to see that film - it may not have much resembled Frank Herbert's novel but it would have been worth seeing. As it is, The Incal is every bit as bonkers as Jodorowsky's films, though Moebius' lovely art does tend to hide this. The Darkness is attacking the human galaxy, and it's up to John DiFool, Class R Detective, the unwitting tool of the Incal to pr...more
Ken-ichi
Complete waste of a hardcover binding. Moebius's art might earn this 1.01 stars. Might. In lieu of a review, I think I will simply list non-character proper nouns until I shoot myself:

The Great Acid Lake
Suicide Alley
Rosa City
Cogan 38
The Great Underground City
The Crimson Ring
Amok
The Incal
The Berg
The Prezidents Hunchbacks
Technocity
The Technopope
The Technotemple
The Black Incal
Cityshaft Margarita
The Shadow Egg
The Kentz Scale
The Metacraft
The Metabunker
The Pegaz
The Inside/Outside
The Cardioclaw
The Necr...more
Ben
Trippy, epic SF comics. Moebius' art is predictably awesome, and Jodorowsky's bizarre saga hits the mark at being an inventive and compelling narrative. Again, some story beats are odd in a way they're probably not in the original French (or maybe they are), but it just adds to the appeal of the 'Jodoverse'. Also, it's not hard to see the influence this has had on other SF creations in the years since.
Nicolas
Dans ma mémoire, peu de bande dessinées ont eu la profondeur scénaristique ET (voire même "en plus de") l'excellence graphique de ce récit complètement fou d'un pauvre détective privé de classe R et de ses aventures autour de l'incal, concept philosophico-mystique incarné dans un univers de space-opera on ne peut plus classique.
Bref, l'Incal, c'est de la science-fiction totale, et le lire me paraissait être le meilleur hommage à rendre à Moebius. Et franchement, je ne regrette pas cette lecture...more
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Also credited as Alexandro Jodorowsky

Better known for his surreal films El Topo and The Holy Mountain filmed in the early 1970s, Alejandro Jodorowsky is also an accomplished writer of graphic novels and a psychotherapist. He developed Psychomagic, a combination of psychotherapy and shamanic magic. His fans have included John Lennon and Marilyn Manson.
More about Alejandro Jodorowsky...
Psicomagia The Metabarons #1: Othon & Honorata La danza de la realidad The Metabarons: Aghnar and Oda, Volume 2 The Metabarons #3: Steelhead & Dona Vicenta

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