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(Grandville #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,761 ratings  ·  191 reviews
Two hundred years ago, Britain lost the Napoleonic War and fell under the thumb of French domination. Gaining independence after decades of civil disobedience and anarchist bombings, the Socialist Republic of Britain is now a small, unimportant backwater connected by a railway bridge, steampowered dirigible, and mutual suspicion to France. When a British diplomat's murder ...more
Hardcover, 98 pages
Published October 7th 2009 by Dark Horse Books (first published October 6th 2005)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,761 ratings  ·  191 reviews

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Jan Philipzig
Well, this was one gorgeous-looking mess. Combining alternative history with steampunk, the world of Grandville features humanoids with various animal heads, a few servants who look like Tintin, robots, steam-powered carriages, airships, Tarantino-esque violence, countless literary references, and a political conspiracy that echoes 9-11 and the so-called War on Terror. Some of these ingredients actually serve the plot, but most are just designed to look pretty - which they do, as Bryan Talbot's ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure, graphic
You'd think an action-packed alt-history graphic novel that referenced, among other things I grew up with, Weird Al, Princess Bride, and Tintin would be something I would love, but in fact it was only ok. Fun, but that's all. I might have liked it better without the pop cultural references, in fact, because they were all so damned obvious. I mean, if a person knows one line from UHF it will most likely be the "I don't need no stinkin' badgers" one, right?

Actually that pretty much sums up my fee
Tom Mathews
I'm not usually that big on anthropomorphic characters but the magnificent artwork, dynamic alternate-history steampunk setting and action-packed plot totally sucked me in. If you like subversive plots like V for Vendetta, you should appreciate Grandville. I even forgave the talking animals when I read the line "Badgers? We don' need no steenkin' badgers." I'll definitely be reading more of these.

Hint: Check with your local library to see if they have access to Hoopla digital content.
Bill Lynas
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bryan Talbot's Grandville is a fast paced, fun romp featuring Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Le Brock pursing bad guys through Paris.
This graphic novel takes inspiration from Arthur Conan Doyle, but gives a new slant on things as all the characters are animals. The artwork is very good & strong enough to carry the story in places without any dialogue. I look forward to reading more of Le Brock's adventures & hope that they are as amusing as this first entry in the series.
Alice In Sunderland
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
Grandville is an anthropomorphic, steampunk world where Napoleon conquered most of Europe and England has just recently regained its independence. Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard is a cross between Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. He investigates a staged suicide and the case quickly escalates from there.

Talbot has created an inventive original setting for his stories of mystery and adventure. His art is detailed and inventive.
Dave Schaafsma
In comparing it to Blacksad, it feels to me like it pales. This is a steampunk story with many sources he names, like Sherlock Holmes and Tintin and many others he pays tribute to, but the art that others so highly praise, I didn't like so much. Maybe because I just made a run though a lot of sketchy style books like Over Easy by Mimi Pond, Mind Mgmt by Matt Kindt, others that feel more real, that I like better. . . I just think it's not quite as good for my taste. ...more
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Times Online: In a twisty, gripping plot, mined with deep danger, LeBrock uncovers a nasty conspiracy in high places. The contemporary political resonances are sharp and pointed: as an amoral arms dealer remarks, “An empire needs to be at war ... it’s its engine, its driving force ... and ... we need Britain’s oil”. It’s a playful, allusive book in which there’s a witty touch or deliciously knowing in-joke on almost every page: the French press whipping up Anglophobia; LeBrock’s Holmes-like unpa ...more
Sam Quixote
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Grandville" is the name of the French city where two detectives go to investigate the murder of a British Ambassador. They dodge street gangs, save a damsel in distress, uncover yet more murders while picking up clues, and avoid being corpses themselves. In short, your usual detective story.

What makes this so much more than average is the stunning artwork Talbot's created. Motorised carriages, robots, airships, antiquated yet futuristic weaponry, panoramic views of Victorian streets populated
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic Victorian thriller! I had no idea what I would think of this story going into it, it’s essentially a Sherlock Holmes-esque murder mystery and also a spy thriller with James Bond moments with the high stakes action. The anthropomorphic characters Lebrock and Ratzi are just as cool and likable as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. It’s a fantastic and gritty murder mystery suspense thriller and maybe the best comic Bryan Talbot has done thus far.
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
It's too bad this sat on my shelf for so long, because I did not expect to like it so much. So we have anthropomorphized animals on an Earth with an alternate history where France dominates Europe (at least in the West). There is racial strife and everyone hates the British. Tons of violence, it rarely slows down. And that main character is ridiculously badass. It's like an Arnold Schwarzenegger film, but with creepy animal faces. The art is superb as well. ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is the what if Nappie won, took over England, oh and everyone is a animal comic you never knew you needed to read.

Okay, honesty, I don't get why all the animals are the same size, and, as always, I have that question about inter breeding, but it is a pretty cool rife on James Bond and Sherlock Holmes. Art work is nice too.
May 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Bryan Talbot's reputation is built off the his Michael Moorcock inspired Adventures of Luther Arkwright and the excellent Tale of One Bad Rat. While this is what some would call this a "furry" tale, and it is, it is so much more.

Inspector LeBrock and his partner Ratzi are sent to France to investigate the apparent suicide of a British diplomat. Did I mention Britain has recently won its independence from France, as it lost the Napoleonic Wars? Of course this is not a suicide, nor is is a simple
Sheila Beaumont
I had great fun reading this steampunk graphic detective novel that's rather like a mash-up of Sherlock Holmes and The Wind in the Willows. This exciting "scientific-romance thriller" is set in an alternate-historical present-day France and England (though it seems more like Victorian times). In this version of history, France won the Napoleonic War 200 years ago. Technology is based on steam and includes robots, or automatons. The characters are talking animals (dogs, cats, frogs, fish, hyenas, ...more
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic
I love this book. Ok its not your normal book to read but there are times when you find something just so totally different and amazing you just cannot read enough of it (you get to the end hoping here is another chapter or a sequel out there). I was aware of the author from my Uni days when as part of the unofficial reading list of my friends "The Adventures of Luther Arkwright" was required reading. The story is face paced and unpredictable, while the penmanship and artwork is fascinating (alw ...more
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. Some Tarantino references were a bit pointless, but there was also some really hilarious. For example reference to Tintin's Milou dog really dropped me to the floor. I read this in Finnish and I hope that the following episodes will be published also. Relax and have fun with this. Excellent way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. ...more
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
I love the political plots and the star character. LeBrock is similar to Sherlock Holmes but more human (what an irony since LeBrock is a badger.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
The alt-history premise is pretty neat, but the hideous digital coloring and the hamfisted "9/11 Was an Inside Job" politics date-stamp this book as extreeeeeeeemely 2005, and not in a good way. The allusions to classic literature and the steampunk trappings get this book compared to "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" frequently, but its references are nowhere near as dense or as well-thought-out as those of "LXG." Why is Snowy from "Tintin" now an Opium addict? I don't know, cuz it's edgy, ...more
Rural Soul
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I can't wait to get hold of next volumes. Set in a alternate history where Brits lost to French in napoleonic wars. Characters are primarily animals but in rare occasions we see humans too. A hardboiled detective story. ...more
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I've always been of the opinion that Bryan Talbot's Adventures Of Luther Arkwright edged out Alan Moore's Watchman as the great monumental comic of the eighties, for all that Arkwright was messy with underground new ave influences as opposed to the stunning, but sterile, formalism of Watchmen. Anyway, Talbot's on my pantheon of greats, and I've been looking forward to trying out his Grandville series, combining as it does, according to the blurb, Conan Doyle, Rubert The Bear and Quentin Tarantin ...more
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A British badger and his rat partner go to France to solve a murder. Sounds like the beginning of a weird joke, but I really liked this imaginative steampunk adventure. It reminded me of Canales and Guarnido’s Blacksad, which was also a detective story populated by strange humanoid animals (also, it was awesome—read it) but that one is crime noir. Both have incredible artwork and are on the violent side. This one has a wild alternate history and a lot of British lingo.
I don’t remember how this
Jun 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Full-color steampunk graphic novel.
Alternate history where France won the Napoleonic war, so that Britain only won it's independence recently in an anarchist revolution and is now a socialist state.
Sherlock Holmes-style character who solves a mystery involving a government conspiracy.
Tarantino-style violence.
Cameo appearance by Snowy, Tintin's dog.
9/11 allegory.
And every character, besides a few minor servants, have animal heads. Great and famous works of art appear in the background of several
Martine Bailey
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I came across this when it was praised as a classic at a lecture on Steampunk at Manchester Festival of the Gothic. It’s a beautiful graphic novel, part Tintin, part Sherlock Holmes, part Tarantino with a wild premise – that animals rule the world and Napoleon won the war with England. Wit abounds amidst beautiful, humorous artwork recalling art nouveau, Rupert the Bear’s English village home, a glamorous animalistic Paris and plenty of steampunk gadgets and wizardry. The story itself is well cr ...more
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
What Blacksad attempts with noir, Grandville attempts with Sherlock Holmes. While not quite as successful as the former, this is still a fun book and I found the two main characters more enjoyable (perhaps because they rely so heavily on Holmes and Watson who I'm quite familiar with). There are apparently many references to other works, but with the exception of UHF I didn't catch them. The final twist would have perhaps played better as a reader-only reveal, but that is a small gripe. The art i ...more
Marcela Křížová
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful steampunk detective romance which is reversing our history into its own and creating nice fast and interesting story. Cool kudos to Mr. Gérard called J. J. Grandville and Mr. Robida. If you are looking for a comics with atmosphere and want to move in time to Paris, then go ahead, cannot recommend more!
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is what graphic novels/comics are for, great story and excellent artwork with a brilliantly constructed world combining Steampunk and animal characters. Detective inspector Archie LeBrock is now one of my favourite characters and I will now read the next 2 in the series
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fantastic read with beautiful artwork. Alternate history, conspiracy plots and talking badgers what more could you want?
Jill Kenna
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. The characters are so awesome and very well drawn. I would very much like to read the other four books.
What do you get when you cross Wind in the Willows, Reservoir Dogs, and Goldfinger?

This crazily violent - and witty - steampunk caper. :o)
Tammie Painter
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't know what I was expecting with this, but I loved it! With a dash steampunk, Sherlock Holmes, thriller, and plenty of anthropomorphized animals, Grandville introduces you to a new world in a fascinating way. The cheeky nods to other similar books was great - including the rare human character looking like he's just walked out of a Tintin comic.

It's a bit violent and there's hints of sex, so if that bothers you, go find something else to read.
Katie McGovern
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Ugh. This book creeped me out in the way I DON'T like to be creeped out. All of the characters reminded me of Furries which might be your thing but it really, REALLY isn't mine. And it's not just because they're animals, it's the way they're illustrated and sexualized. And what a blatant 9-11 conspiracy allusion. I'm not super-patriotic or anything but it was sort of ridiculous. I was completely let down by the ending to this "mystery." Just not my cup of tea I suppose. ...more
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Talbot began his comics work in the underground comix scene of the late 1960s. In 1969 his first work appeared as illustrations in Mallorn, the British Tolkien Society magazine, followed in 1972 by a weekly strip in his college newspaper.

He continued in the scene after leaving college, producing Brainstorm Comix, the first three of which formed The Chester P. Hackenbush Trilogy (a character rework

Other books in the series

Grandville (6 books)
  • Grandville Mon Amour (Grandville #2)
  • Grandville Bête Noire (Grandville, #3)
  • Grandville Noël (Grandville, #4)
  • Grandville Force Majeure (Grandville, #5)
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