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Before the Incal (The Incal / L'Incal - Complete Editions 0)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  511 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
The prequel to Moebius and Jodorowsky's masterpiece The Incal, this story cycle recounts the youth of John Difool and the adventures that propelled him into his encounter with the mighty artifact known as the Incal. Written by Alexandro Jodorowsky, who once again builds on the vast universe he has created and developed over many different titles, and drawn by European sens ...more
Hardcover, classic collection, 304 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Humanoids, Inc. (first published November 1st 1992)
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Community Reviews

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The most intricate world building I’ve ever seen, in a satirical futurism fantasy of humans, mutants, monsters and robots, steeped in violent social conflict, eternal scheming, sex, drugs, and a hint of romance. Hilarious, bizarre, and with highly detailed artwork and coloring. Life changing and highly recommended.
Caro M.
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Quite entertaining and enjoyable. It's Jodorowsky, so of course it's full of religious and cultural allusions, mythologic symbols and parodies of most "sacred" things. Which is fun to uncover, if not too easy. Going to read the classic Incal as well very soon.
I want a concrete seagull as a pet now. And a robot mentor. Sniff, sniff. :'(
Nik Astashinsky
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this prequel a bit more than the original Incal book. The writing style is the same but the story is not as epic as the original - it's more "down to earth". I liked the relationships of all the characters (especially Deepo & John) and I was genuinely surprised how well the story moved from one chapter to the next. Everything blends together very nicely. Near the end, the book is retconning to the original so it feels a bit forced but doesn't hinder the story. Overall, still an ext ...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Filled with cruel, crass, cheesy, mystical, arcane space opera stuff - everything Jodorowsky wanted to do with his film project "Dune" but couldn't. In fact, the narrative coherence here is far better than in his surreal films. As far as graphic storytelling goes, this is a grand and fully realized project. Not a dull moment, and so much to care about. I am already gearing up for other books in the series.
Mario De Leo Winkler
It's ok. You know what you are getting into with Jodorowsky: the writing is pretty lame and deux ex machina are lurking in every corner. But I still buy them because the Jodoverse is pretty awesome in the ideas presented, the imagined worlds, and he usually pairs with great illustrators. They are a guilty pleasure.

That being said, I had my doubts about Janjetov (the illustrator). His style is simply not my style. I love the streamlined feel of Gimenez or Moëbius, but Janjetov is what I would cal
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, comics
Just your average story about a detective in an anti-gravity future where society is ruled by cybernetic android policeborgs, genetically mutated hunchbacked henchmen under the command of a body-swapping transgender president, plus a legion of technopriests, all of whom answer to a disembodied electronic brain. That's the basic premise. Oh, and there's a concrete seagull that kind of looks like a pterodactyl. And nudity!

In a word: visionary.
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like the other works in the series it's beautiful, funky, interesting, inovative & cliche at the same time. Though no "pre-story" is needed for "The Incal", "Before The Incal" lays out a good foundation for "The Incal". "The Incal" stands on it's own...but it's so absorbing and interesting that most people will naturally want to spend more time in this futre/past/present universe...and "Before The Incal" delivers.
C. Varn
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
While I don't think Zoran Janjetov is quite the visionary as Moebius, he is still a visionary and a good compliment to Jodorowsky's work. Jodorowsky's dialogue is still laughable, and his symbolism ranges from obvious to so idiosyncratic to be incomprehensible, this does actually develop some character consistency in the Incal storyline. This makes this my favorite of Jodorowsky's Incal trilogy despite the fact that "The Incal" was obviously more original. Furthermore, it clear Jodorowsky felt t ...more
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
It’s not that The Incal required a prequel, but Jodorowsky has done a clever job here of explaining stuff you were perfectly happy to swallow unexplained in that book, as well as set things up beautifully for the later story. Janjetov’s art nicely emulates Moebius’ style – in fact, according to the introduction it was Jodorowsky’s observation that Janjetov’s style was similar to early Moebius that prompted him to write Before The Incal in the first place. All the characters from The Incal are he ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
On the surface, the Incal graphic novels look like sort of silly science fiction. Before the Incal, however, is a bit more salient in its treatment of drugs and prostitution - certainly a prod at French society where Jodorowsky lived for a long time - which also serves as an origin story for the Incal protagonist, DiFool. It is not really heavy on plot, but does feature some decent art. I preferred the mainline Incal story to this sidelined derivative.
Contando los antecedentes de lo que ocurría en el mítico El Incal, Antes del Incal se resiente de toda la fuerza de su original, y se queda en una precuela. Un cómic irónico, lleno de acción y suspense, pero que carece de todo el elemento de sorpresa y tremenda originalidad de El Incal, siendo sus últimas páginas el prólogo demasiado evidente de la historia original.
Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ok, Mœbius is Mœbius. But Janjetov's work is brilliant in its own right, especially the cityscapes. Lovely.
 Dennis M
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
I sat through a plodding Incal book not drawn by Moebius and all I got was this T-Shirt.
Robbie Whelan
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not as good as the original Incal because it lacks the visual brilliance of Moebius's drawings, but still a very fast, salacious, fun read.
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Con questo si può effettivamente definirlo “con i piedi per terra” se paragonato a l’Incal poiché qui quasi tutto si svolge su Terra 2014, senza tutto quel viaggio universale e spirituale che si avrà poi. Il motivo è che l’incal, l’oggetto non il fumetto, entrerà in gioco solo verso la fine e si riallaccerà a L’Incal(fumetto). Qui ci mostra la crescita di John Difool, i livelli bassi della Città-Pozzo a cui il povero John appartiene, ma anche la superficie e gli aristocratici.
Io questo l’ho
Woody Hayday
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic
From despicable to revelatory, this prequel got under my skin. At first I stumbled through the over-referencing of hard drugs and deviancy, carried by the decent translations of good writing, and the good artwork (and occasional stunning panel), but then Janjetov finds his stride. Both creators eventually deliver, and the last quarter of the collection contains all of the iconic, symbolic, artistic and narrative flair that you're seeking. Read it, give it time, and settle into this sad mad, palp ...more
Shabbeer Hassan
After The Incal, this prequel felt a bit stale what with plenty of similar humour tropes used here and not so great a storyline though kooky as before but with more deus-ex machinas than I ever seen. The main grumbling bit for me was that every strange and outlandish occurrence in the original book had a backstory here which frankly took the charm away. The artwork is quite good, but we see a tendency to ape Moebius here with touches of garrulousness which to me is another drawback.

For folks wh
Aaron Boyd
not as good as the first book "Incal" the drawing style is different and the writing is not as good and is more repetitive. The story also dose not matter at all in regards to being a prequel. There is about 5 pages at the end that connects the two stories.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
More coherent and clear than a normal Jodorowshy story. This would be a good one for people to start with. Strong very human emotions throughout this one. The whole Incal works are amazing. I look forward to reading the other stories for this universe.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jodorowsky como siempre, un grande
Dave Corun
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics-2018
Andrés Mejia Álvarez
Like the prequel of The Incal, this book explores the history of John DiFool since his childhood until became in the detective known by everybody. That gives to the story certain level of reality, building an realistic image of the hero, his sacrifice, his fears and his victories.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics-read
A brilliant exercise in ret-coning, "Before the Incal" has the advantage of being easier to follow, and artwork by a man who wants to be Moebius, but isn't. This gives the art the right look while still maintaining its own identity in a story that almost makes sense. And...he has to draw the same characters and ships and stuff that Moebius did...and I like the ships and stuff.

It does not have the same weirdness as "The Incal", first because you are now a little familiiar with its "Dune"-based wo
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
The book almost defies your expectations of a prequel for The Incal. Still, you get the origins of pathetic Class "R" detective John DiFool, you see the byzantine and surreal chain of events that push him directly to his role in that story, and you see in the last chapter--which I personally could've done without--wherein Jodo feels the need to show every other character in The Incal and how they're positioned to take up their roles in that book. But that doesn't take away from how brilliantly t ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Like the Incal the art here is pretty phenomenal.

It's setting up the Incal and as the title suggests, it actually ends where the Incal begins.

Society is pretty depraved in the story and at times the book puts it on you, "as a reader of this comic, am I reveling in the depravity too?" I mean, this society doesn't know love. It shoots suicidal jumpers as they fall to rob them of their agency. etc etc.

It's a mess.

and our hero represents something else... and yet part of that same thing.

It's weird.

Héctor Toledo
May 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cómic
Historia de detectives entretenida, aunque le cuesta un poco arrancar.
Trata de hilar todo para que encaje en la historia de "El incal", y termina con un capítulo resumen para enlazar ambas historias bastante cutre.

Por otro lado, no tiene apenas rastro del misticismo sincrético que tiene "el incal" y en ocasiones los diálogos están construidos de forma simplista y un poco burda para evidenciar los pensamientos de los personajes.
Los dibujos tampoco llegan al nivel de Moebius, pero no están mal.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
An overall better story than (original) Incal. However, the ending is pretty bad. The world is further expanded. A somewhat Orwellian feel. Again, too exaggerated and characters are... special.

A note on "remastered" art -- it ranges from okay to terrible -- the computer shading is awful. I have no idea who could have looked at it and thought "yep that's better". It's like all the worst parts of 90s graphics. And don't get me started on censorship and such.
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Epske esefično djelo, kao to uobičajeno biva s Jodorowskim, no manje transcedentalno i mistično od Inkala. I ništa manje uzbudljivije i inventivnije od njega. Dodatno obrađuje neke nepoznanice koje su možda ostale nerazjašnjene, i završava točno tamo gdje Inkal počinje. Janjetov na tragu Moebiusa, prije nego kreće na svoju vlastitu crtačku odiseju...
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-comics
It is one of the hardest comic series to follow, the whole complex art style, parallel universe setup and extremely deep story-line keeps you there begging for more but it also at the same time never holds your hand to follow the story, this is a surely mature comic book, certainly not a kids thing, this is a comic book for people who are older than 30 years old.
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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

Other books in the series

The Incal / L'Incal - Complete Editions (4 books)
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  • Après l'Incal - Tome 1: Le nouveau rêve
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