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The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  247 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
‘He flies through the air with the greatest of ease – the daring young man on the flying trapeze!’

Step right up, Ladies and Gentlemen, for a glorious spectacle of graphic literature beyond your wildest imaginings, in which young  Etienne discovers that replacing his uncle as the Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard, world-renowned acrobat and head of a circus troupe, is eve
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by First Second
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Mar 06, 2011 Tim rated it it was amazing
I love From Hell, but somehow had never read anything else that Eddie Campbell was involved in. So glad I had a chance to read this, though. This is immediately finding itself ranked among the best comics I've ever read. Utterly charming but also somewhat twisted and dark, a bit macabre, entirely hilarious, with lots of non-pretentious references to influential comics and literature. And it's about a not-quite-star-quality circus performer who counts among his friends a talking bear who was susp ...more
Sep 12, 2009 Nick rated it it was amazing
Simply a marvelous book - begins out very strangely at the start but this is just a way to get you addicted. Immensely re-readable, has so much stuffed into such a small book. Not recommended for those that don't like to analyze art.
Matt Buchholz
Apr 05, 2009 Matt Buchholz rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics-read
I call this a trifle with the utmost affection because not aspiring to greatness has always been Eddie Cambell's greatest strength.
Jun 05, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it
I'd read "Eddie Campbell's Illustrated How-To Guide for Operating Your Toaster!" Beautiful, witty, and elegant.
May 11, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous art. I bought this at a library sale and intended it for arts and crafts, but read the book first. Now I don't want to cut it up!
Susan Rose
Apr 28, 2012 Susan Rose rated it it was amazing
This is a really beautiful book, the story is interesting and the illustrations look different to any other graphic novel ones I've ever seen. You should read it.
Hannah Messler
Apr 21, 2009 Hannah Messler rated it liked it
I read this this morning. It's pretty great but super short.
Nov 04, 2016 Shana rated it liked it
wonderful artwork and fantasy and really a lot of potential, but either there are a LOT of gaps in the historical timeline or much is invented because it is pretty open-ended. leaves me with more questions than answers, perhaps a plus?

also, though this is a Graphic Book and tells the tale of a circus man, this is not for young children.
Ariel Caldwell
Jan 24, 2017 Ariel Caldwell rated it liked it
Curious storytelling, not straight-forward. Beautiful, unusual, thoughtful, tragic. A piece of time that's past.
Larry C
Jan 21, 2017 Larry C rated it liked it
Fun, exaggerated tale that's a bit Forest Gump, Big Fish, and Baron Von Munchausen.
Aug 24, 2008 Caleb rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like things that are awesome, particularly in the form of comics
Shelves: graphic-novels
I am just cutting and pasting this from my comics blog, my uncertainty regarding the spelling of circus troop/circus troupe in tact:

When I think “Eddie Campbell,” I inevitably think From Hell’s Eddie Campbell. Not because I’ve never read any of his other work, or think of him as any sort of one-trick pony, but because From Hell is a work with such an enormous gravitational pull. I mention this only because when I think of Eddie Campbell, I tend to think of brutal prostitute murders in black and
Sep 09, 2008 Erik rated it liked it
Released just recently to coincide with this year’s annual San Diego Comic-Con, Campbell’s latest fully-painted graphic novel recounts the fictional life of real-life trapeze artist Jules Leotard’s nephew. The younger Leotard journeys across Western Europe, the Atlantic, and to the United States in a circuitous circus-like fashion reminiscent of the outlandish tales of Baron Von Munchausen; and, in the process, acquires an entourage of Circus freaks – most notably La Quartette Fantastique – who, ...more
Bruce Reid
Dec 25, 2008 Bruce Reid rated it really liked it
A balance of earthy humor and hard, hard truths as only Campbell can pull off. The adventures of a madcap circus troupe stays pitched at giddy insouciance, even when recounting the murderous rampage of a liger ("Don't be silly--it's a Ti-Lion!") or the conflagration set off by an over-powdered human cannonball. But the cannonball keeps falling throughout the book, a shooting star reciting poetry, as old age, infidelities, a hostile public, and the maiden voyage of the Titanic sap our heroes. Cam ...more
Wred Fright
Feb 16, 2009 Wred Fright rated it liked it
Anything Eddie Campbell's done is worth reading. Visually dazzling as usual, the story's a bit daft here, but a fun romp enough through early 20th Century circus culture. I must say though that I'm getting a bit sick of the prestige of graphic novels. In the past this would have been a $5-10 book printed on cheap newsprint instead of $16.95 on nice shiny paper. Sure, it looks great, but it's only about 130 pages long and doesn't take that long to read. I liked it better when the intellectuals st ...more
A beautiful, fantastical illustrated journey through an epochal time, from the siege of Paris to after the sinking of the Titanic, through the lens of a young man forever trapped in the shadow of his brilliantly talented uncle. The evocative watercolors draw to mind the Victorian era, with its elegant allusions and faded tones; the margin illustrations are amusing and balanced, giving commentary and suggestions, slyly alluding to forthcoming episodes or off-page antics. As a whole, the story and ...more
May 20, 2010 Molly rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
It was... interesting. The watercolors were lovely, and there were some really cool things done with the circus characters. (I love the tattooed lady scenes)

But... it wasn't that great. The stories start out with promise, and then fizzle out. Granted, his uncle's dying words were something about 'may nothing occur...' but... I don't know- seems like inaction is a silly premise for a book. I mean... don't you want to read about things occurring, not a book about nothing occurring? Maybe it's just
Joseph McGee
Feb 17, 2012 Joseph McGee rated it liked it
Recommended to Joseph by: Lisa Jahn-Clough
Despite its brevity and initial impression of colorful absurdity, this graphic novel has multiple themes and parallel messages. The art is beautiful,sure (a muted blend of pastel watercolors), but the story is much more complex than appears after one read. This is a story that will not only offer readers poignant philosophical and social questions, but will also challenge them to reflect on some of their own personal courses in life. Really well done, it will linger after your first read and be ...more
Emilia P
Jun 05, 2012 Emilia P rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Surprisingly good. Eddie Campbell is a great artist, if not a great cartoonist, and this story, of a circus showman who inherited his uncle's tightroping gig in the early part of the 20th century, and grew to love his circus family, lends itself more to artistic flights of fancy than to straightforward cartooning. Plus there are pages from Leotard's water-logged diary thrown in! Though it is something of a World's Greatest Mustaches book, it's still pretty darn good, especially for you, First Se ...more
sweet pea
Oct 06, 2008 sweet pea rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-content
an entertaining slice of circus lore. sometimes seemingly historical, sometimes improbable, frequently humorous. the chapters are often broken up with explanations of the situation or flashes back to the past. the sleeping chapter is an interesting way to fast forward the timeline. but it is a device that doesn't work for me - it made the novel seem too broken up. the illustrations are interesting. the concept in interesting. not as phenomenal as i had hoped. but definitely worth a read.
Aug 01, 2008 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: sequential-art
I was a bit disappointed by this -- it felt like a great idea which wasn't properly developed, and petered out too quickly. Also, from a design perspective, there is an inconsistent use of typography which slightly irritatated me: the handlettering is fine, but if you're going to pick a mechanical typeface, just pick ONE and stick with it. Fantastic cover design, though. (and it's signed copy, too)
May 24, 2013 Hamish rated it liked it
I really like what Eddie Campbell has been doing with his art lately. His newer stuff doesn't really look like his older stuff and it definitely doesn't look anything like what anyone else is doing in comics. Everything about it is so refreshing and new and yet comfortingly familiar as well. It's too bad that the narrative it's attached to seems a little light. I almost wanted to give this four stars, but who knows, maybe on a future read...
Susan Laddon
Jun 10, 2013 Susan Laddon rated it it was ok
Spoiler: I almost stopped reading it because the circus troupe were forced to eat the circus animals during the war. (WWII) Other than that, I don't have much to say, good or bad about this particular graphic novel, it speaks for itself, literally,that device being the most clever thing about the novel as a whole.
Jan 09, 2009 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Eddie Campbell is a favorite of mine. It took me a while to get his sense of humor, though. At times he is very dry and understated.

This book is no exception. It follows the mis-adventures of the nephew of the real Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard when he takes over for his uncle after his untimely death. I love his messy yet precise illustrations.
Apr 27, 2010 Deborah rated it it was amazing
The story of the son of a fabulous trapeze artist who decides to takes on his father's identity when he dies performing. Hilarity ensues with this cast of circus performers and "freaks" and the changing world and its politics surrounding the 1930s.
Jamie Felton
Aug 06, 2008 Jamie Felton rated it liked it
The watercolor illustrations in this graphic novel were perfectly suited to the whimsical and charming story of trapeze artist Etienne. The story was not an engaging as it could have been had it been fleshed out more with more character development. However, it was a really enjoyable read.
Aug 06, 2008 Mary marked it as to-read
My roomate in college used to write letters to her boyfriend back home and put "Maurice Crouton" on the return address. The title of this book reminds me of that. Say it with a french accent: Maurice Crouton. Monsieur Leotard. Hee hee!
Nov 15, 2011 Twan rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
A circus troupe, consisting of all the usual suspects, a strong man, tattooed lady, dwarves, rubber man and a talking bear, travel the globe getting into all sorts of shit, even getting stuck on the sinking Titanic. Quite a funny little read.
Was a bit darker than I expected, or really wanted. I also found the end un-satisfying; everyone ends up old and tragically dead.

If you like graphic novels like Goodbye Chunky Rice, and Fluffy you'll likely enjoy The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard.
Aug 16, 2012 Damon rated it liked it
I didn't really know what to expect here, but this was pretty good. I liked the sort of off-kilter reality of the story, Definitely a nice change from Campbell's usual excruciatingly introspective stuff...
Aug 12, 2008 Loyd rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard doesn’t entirely hold together as a narrative, but it’s whimsical and entertaining, and the illustrations are wonderful. Moments of it remind me of Forrest Gump done in an early 20th century circus setting.
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Eddie Campbell has earned an international following. For over 25 years, he has blazed a trail in the world of graphic novels, and his work has earned nearly every honor in the field, including the Eisner, Ignatz, and Harvey awards.

With Alan Moore he created the towering opus From Hell, later adapted by Hollywood. Among the multitude of solo works he has produced, the epic series Bacchus brings th
More about Eddie Campbell...

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