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Last Days of an Immortal

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  482 ratings  ·  74 reviews
When you live forever, what will you live for?

In our distant future, science will provide access to eternal life. With immortality a universal constant, the concept of crime takes on a new definition, giving rise to the “Philosophical Police”, agents trained to solve conflicts between individuals as well as entire species of aliens who have integrated into our society. Whe
Hardcover, 152 pages
Published December 4th 2012 by Archaia (first published March 2010)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  482 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Fabien Vehlmann - author of the excellent “Green Manor” series, a much underrated book called “7 Psychopaths”, and a collaboration a couple of years ago with Jason, “Isle of 100,000 Graves” - returns with another highly imaginative and well written work with “Last Days of an Immortal”.

Set in the distant future where mankind has reached a point where death is no longer an inevitability and that people regularly live hundreds of years. They can also replicate themselves a number of times - called
Nicola Mansfield
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Reason for Reading: "The premise sounded intriguing, I like crime/detective fiction, science fiction and this also sounded like it would have a dystopian vibe. All things that interested me.

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up and started reading with how much I loved the art. It was astonishingly stark and understated and yet fully drew one into the story. This is a prime example of less is more. In this future world which is our Earth, people no longer die as we know it. By accepting ce
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"LAST DAYS OF AN IMMORTAL is a classic, cerebral science fiction story in the tradition of JG Ballard, Gattaca, Solaris, and THX-1138"

What more do I need to hear? JG Ballard? Gattaca?? Solaris??? Actually, they had me at "Gattaca," and I'd say I picked up on that, and the other nuances. Basically, if you enjoy any of those things, and can appreciate the simplistic, effectual art (that actually seems an homage to old cartoon illustration styles of the 60s and 70s), and strangeness of the futurist
Ryan Werner
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
A very smart sci-fi story, but I just couldn’t connect with it. Nothing seemed to be on the line, even with the threat of war looming over the outcome of protagonist Elijah’s investigation into an ancient murder. Perhaps the book was a bit too cerebral for me to latch onto, like how everything in a HHH match makes sense but isn’t necessarily exciting.

The art has a mid-century feel to it, not too far removed from a simplified Beetle Bailey as far as I can tell. I think the choice of paper, thick
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: speculative, comics
what I wrote last June when I read this for the first time: There's something about deBonneval's line that I love. expressive yet compact & controlled. the story is intriguing, the concepts are fascinating, and things don't get bogged down.

re-read June 2014: still agree. love this book and I'm glad we're reading it for a book club so I can read it again and make other people read it. it's brimming with ideas but it has tender feelings too.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
This graphic novel is a giant convoluted mess of ideas, which is interesting considering how hollow and unpolished the art looks. It often feels like you're being pummeled with hip tech-speak to compensate for the rather boring characters and inexplicable, unannounced leaps in setting between pages. Don't misread that. Last Days of an Immortal isn't surreal; it's just disorganized. ...more
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Reminiscent to me of some of Jack Vance's work, in theme, setting, and mood, Last Days of an Immortal places the reader in a world of humans become so alien as to be almost unrecognizable as humans to the reader, yet at the same time still exhibiting all the petty foibles that make us so human. In the end though, it's a story about letting go of life and accepting death. ...more
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is one boring book if you don't read adult comicbooks with deep philosophical bent. The story is a good scifi what-if on immortality, having humans live hundreds/thousands of years and also intermingle with alien races. I recommend this book to some one with an open mind, it may not be your cup of tea, but given a chance it is well written. ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
It's not bad, but it's less a mystery and more of a philosophical blah blah blah about how different all alien species are or whatever. There's a major terrorist attack that happens 2/3 of the way through that has almost no impact on either the plot or the reader.

I'm also 100% done with people (men) including scenes of nude women in their sci-fi/fantasy/whatever graphic novels in an attempt to make people think the story is deeper or artsier than it really is.

It's fine! But it's not saying as m
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Another try at a graphic novel, as recommended by my colleague who really likes the genre. While I really enjoyed Maus because the story was so real, this was an odd Sci-fi. It was fun and an easy read--took no time at all. The art was better than Maus. The story was decent and I liked the way it resolved. But, I think this story could have been better developed as a traditional novel. It's a good-enough premise to warrant a 300 page book. With this graphic format, one really has to read between ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-comics
A little cerebral, the focus was on the philosophical journey of the mc rather than fitting that emotional arc into one plotline, which would have been more interesting to me. Twice the mc's brilliant solution is presented after the fact, diminishing the excitement of a murder mystery and a delicate cultural investigation in the hopes of preventing war. The character seemed deeply concerned for two other characters who it seems have a longstanding relationship with him yet treat him like crap. ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting science fiction story exploring the idea of immortality via identical genetic copies. There are also interesting notions of alien interactions and very foreign means of communication. The art is clear and crisp, not overly realistic nor overtly cartoony. Some food for thought and definitely a graphic novel for grown ups.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
An enjoyable, quick read that feels very much like classic sci fi. At times it felt a little abrupt, and I'm not sure I understand Elijah's final choice, but I'd recommend it to my friends that enjoy sci fi and graphic novels. ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's a little hard to get into because the main plot doesn't become apparent until about 60% of the way through. On the whole I loved it. Sadly this is the last Vehlmann graphic novel I have library access to. ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, art, sf
The black and white pastel artwork is decent but doesn't stand out in my mind, the alien races are mentally bizarre and imaginative and the handling of the issues of potentially immortal humans interesting. It reminds me a bit of Jack Vance, a good read. ...more
Louis Corsair
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great one-day read. Elijah is an unusual cop protagonist who is from a far off future. He and his “clones” take on cases and confer with each other, all the while trying to keep his relationship with his girlfriend fresh.
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was an extremely pleasant surprise. I absolutely loved the retro styling of the artwork - it reminded me very much of some of my favorite classic manga works (I saw a little early Rumiko Takahashi and a bit of Moto Hagio influence in there - wonder if I'm right or if it's just me).
The story itself in an interesting exploration of life, death, individualism, culture and communication.
Elijah, the lead character is a police officer - called a "philosopher" in this future world where humans ha
Last Days of an Immortal is a transhumanist futuristic science fiction that followed Elijah's journey to solve the millenia old mystery to prevent a war and his search with the meaning of life in his immortality.
The artwork is interesting, it does reminded me of the strokes from Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis, the intensity from Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa and charicatures from Tin Tin. For a science fiction, the content of the book is extremely heavy with philosophy, violence, depression and occasiona
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
The best part of foreign language comics is that if something is garbage, no one will go through the trouble of translating it.

In my mind, immortality isn't a good thing. The have-nots will be harvested to provide raw material to the haves and inequality, already back to railroad baron-era levels, will get even worse. This book posits something different: immortality being so normal, so commonplace, that death is something so rare that it requires discussion in committee. In the future, the poli
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Sometimes things are best uncluttered. "Last Days of an Immortal" is a simple far flung future story where humankind can clone itself and whilst each individual has a primary body the clones (or echoes, which can also live individually and independently) are as back-up should the primary body fail. It's not an original idea, but it doesn't have to be. The plot follows two lines, that of Elijah's role as one of the Philosophical Police who has to appease two alien races potentially at war, but al ...more
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Saw it in the library, picked it up because it seemed interesting.

This book throws you into the deep end of the universe. Technology has made it so that humanity can create "echoes", which are people split off from your personality. They act the same as you, so you can literally be in several places at once. If one of them is killed off, you can be restored from one of those echoes. The only cost is that if you create too many of them, you lose some of your early memories. Also, death is purely
Tyler Kroon
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Vastly complex yet easy to follow, this sci-fi graphic novel portrays the life of an immortal human who is able to create "echos" (exact copies of himself) as he mediates conflicts and navigates ethical conundrums through his job as a Philosophical Policeman. I loved the simple black-and-white ink drawings, and was pleasantly surprised by how easily I was able to connect with the main character. Vehlmann and Bonneval's immensely huge universe is filled with unique and fun beings, and along with ...more
Andrew Garvey
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Intelligent science-fiction, pitting Elijah, a celebrated Philosopher-Policeman against an ancient grudge between two very different alien species plummeting towards a disastrous war, while also managing his ever-increasing workload and the Echoes (clones, basically) he needs to do it, this French graphic novel is an unusual, thoughtful read.

The monochrome artwork is simplistic to the point of almost slapdash sketchiness but still manages to effectively convey the sheer strangeness of the author
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
An advanced society of the future.
A detective (of sorts) whose job it is to investigate and mediate conflict between societies.

I think a lot about how to effectively communicate between differently-wired brains, so this was fascinating to me. One society shows its love by blasting holes in the objects of affection. One society communicates all in theatre.

I appreciated how all different appearances, methods of communication, etiquette, and practices were treated as equal. There didn't seem to b
Paul Decker
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Find this review and more at The AP Book Club

Last Days of an Immortal is a very interesting graphic novel. It is set in the far future, in a world where many different alien species interact and humans have become immortal. Each person has multiple "echoes" which are essentially clones of themselves. If you ever die, your memories are transferred to one of these "echoes" and you continue your life.

The protagonist is a well established philosophical police officer. He helps to find the reasons b
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very interesting graphic novel about cultural dfferences amongst different alien species as well as future-day immortal humans. It reminded me of Solaris. Moreover, there is also a reflection on immortality and cloning. In this case, cloning is not necessarily a bad thing, since clones can be merged at will with the original body in order to share memories, and they are created at an older age with the same personality and memories than the original self . So, rather than several individuals, it ...more
I really liked this sparely drawn graphic novel about a Police-Philosopher living in the distant future. Elijah's immortality is partly due to advanced biomedicine, and partly due to the fact that he can create "echoes" or clones of himself who go out and work for him. When a dear old friend of his dies (which is to say, lets all of his echoes die, and then lives out his natural life), Elijah doesn't understand why he wasn't notified by his friend's final echo as it fades away, nor invited to th ...more
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very, very good; philosophical science fiction in well-rounded, well-thought out medium. It took me a bit to get my footing in the story, particularly when jumping to different settings with the main character’s identical twin ‘echoes,’ but the extremely creative sci-fi setting fascinated me. The little mini-stories dealing with various alien races were gloriously vivid and nicely told. I must look into further work by Vehlmann.

I didn’t feel strongly for De Bonneval's artwork at first, but it be
Michelle Morrell
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Imaginative view of a world many hundreds of years in the future where immortality has been achieved via splitting yourself into "echos" with a finite time span which you can either consume back into yourself, along with its memories, or turn into a main body and transfer your memory intact.

A study of mortality couched within the day of a police philosopher, who investigates crimes committed between alien species where protocol and cultural chasms are to blame.

The far future science was fantast
Andrew Rostan
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book which seems like a shortened version of a much longer saga with so many deep ideas...I wish it was longer.
Vehlmann and company tell a sci-fi murder mystery which manages to touch on six or seven major philosophical ideas, while also crashing into existentialism and a bit of deep romance. There is far more going on under the surface of the minimalist but stunningly effective illustrations, and in Elijah the professor/police detective/protagonist, graphic novels have a new hero
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Usually uses the pseudonym Vehlmann

Fabien Vehlmann est comme son héros : pétillant, engagé et plein d'humour.

Après avoir patiemment suivi les cours d'une école de commerce nantaise, Fabien Vehlmann réalise que sa voie est ailleurs. Bien décidé à se lancer dans la bande dessinée, il se consacre à l'écriture de manière intensive durant une année entière. Il empile les projets et inonde scrupuleuseme

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