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The Collected Fantasies, Vol. 2: Arzach and Other Fantasy Stories

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This collection of nine short stories, six of which are told without the use of dialogue or sound effects, features the mysterious character Arzach, first created in 1976 by the French writer and illustrator Moebius. It is not apparent whether the eponymous character is a hero, an antihero or simply a definitive example of the surreal Fantasy and Science Fiction This collection of nine short stories, six of which are told without the use of dialogue or sound effects, features the mysterious character Arzach, first created in 1976 by the French writer and illustrator Moebius. It is not apparent whether the eponymous character is a hero, an antihero or simply a definitive example of the surreal Fantasy and Science Fiction storytelling made popular by French comics magazine Métal Hurlant and its English language counterpart Heavy Metal. What it is apparent is that Moebius has created a truly unique world populated by strange and fascinating characters. Arzach is recognizable by his cone-shaped hat, his flowing cloak, and the stern yet gentle expression on his wind-burned face. He rides a creature that resembles an albino pterodactyl across bleak desert landscapes, where he encounters remnants of lost civilizations. His experiences are both dramatic and absurd, and his meandering journeys are as mystifying as they are humorous.


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This collection of nine short stories, six of which are told without the use of dialogue or sound effects, features the mysterious character Arzach, first created in 1976 by the French writer and illustrator Moebius. It is not apparent whether the eponymous character is a hero, an antihero or simply a definitive example of the surreal Fantasy and Science Fiction This collection of nine short stories, six of which are told without the use of dialogue or sound effects, features the mysterious character Arzach, first created in 1976 by the French writer and illustrator Moebius. It is not apparent whether the eponymous character is a hero, an antihero or simply a definitive example of the surreal Fantasy and Science Fiction storytelling made popular by French comics magazine Métal Hurlant and its English language counterpart Heavy Metal. What it is apparent is that Moebius has created a truly unique world populated by strange and fascinating characters. Arzach is recognizable by his cone-shaped hat, his flowing cloak, and the stern yet gentle expression on his wind-burned face. He rides a creature that resembles an albino pterodactyl across bleak desert landscapes, where he encounters remnants of lost civilizations. His experiences are both dramatic and absurd, and his meandering journeys are as mystifying as they are humorous.

30 review for The Collected Fantasies, Vol. 2: Arzach and Other Fantasy Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anca

    This review contains more words than the actual book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jesús

    This volume collects the early run of Moebius’s Arzach comics—a defining classic of the anthology magazine Métal Hurlant/Heavy Metal. Moody, imaginative, colorful, and fantastical, these comics remain influential to this day. They present a series of very brief encounters and episodes as Arzach wanders strange lands astride a giant pterodactyl. The collection also includes a handful of other short Moebius comics. Most of these are much wordier (almost comically so) than the Arzach com This volume collects the early run of Moebius’s Arzach comics—a defining classic of the anthology magazine Métal Hurlant/Heavy Metal. Moody, imaginative, colorful, and fantastical, these comics remain influential to this day. They present a series of very brief encounters and episodes as Arzach wanders strange lands astride a giant pterodactyl. The collection also includes a handful of other short Moebius comics. Most of these are much wordier (almost comically so) than the Arzach comics, but no less imaginative.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paul Randall

    Some really original and amazingly illustrated stories throughout this book, ‘The White Citadel’ being my favourite. Strongly recommend to any graphic-novel readers or someone searching for something beautiful.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Arzach is one of Moebius's defining works. It was America's first introduction to him through the Heavy Metal serialization of the story. It, like many of Moebius's works, isn't very strong in a narrative sense, but it is nice to look at. And, unlike lots of Moebius, it isn't bogged down by text. Which is funny to say because the second story in this volume is bogged down by text; to the point that I began to skim the text and focused on the drawings.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Another great collection of stories by the master, monsieur Moebius. Aside from the masterpiece both in design/color and scenario, Arzach, the rest short fantasy and sci-fi stories are a sight for sore eyes. I loved the "The White Citadel" and "The Ballade", while the "The detour" had too big speech bubbles for my taste.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jemppu

    "Arzach", this is the one most visibly recognizable as having influenced the Heavy Metal movie (personal history with which I recounted in the previous volume's review). You almost miss not seeing Taarna featured. Incidentally, this was also where my mind instantly went to for visuals, when reading China Miéville's Perdido Street Station recently: of a city under a skeleton of a giant ancient beast. Or the scenery in the closing sequence. I must wonder about influences again, acknowledged or subconscious. The "Arzach", this is the one most visibly recognizable as having influenced the Heavy Metal movie (personal history with which I recounted in the previous volume's review). You almost miss not seeing Taarna featured. Incidentally, this was also where my mind instantly went to for visuals, when reading China Miéville's Perdido Street Station recently: of a city under a skeleton of a giant ancient beast. Or the scenery in the closing sequence. I must wonder about influences again, acknowledged or subconscious. The gorgeous inks apparent without coloring in "Detour" remind me also of André Franquin's Idees Noires.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Clodjee

    Strangely, this edition of Arzack, published by Epic / Marvel, offers the stories in a different order than the French edition. As for the French edition of Arzack and the compilation of stories that included it, this book offers some of the best examples of science fiction stories by Moebius. It is very interesting (and entertaining) to read. It’s really worth a look. Ready complete comment on https://clodjee-blog.com/2019/08/15/m...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ash

    Confused as to why Giraud wasted his obvious artistic talents (obviously also taking a great deal of time) on these stories that are so rubbish. Some are childish, some are sniggering dirty old man stories, but most are just slight, weightless, almost nothing at all.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alex Fyffe

    3.5

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

    Read as "Fantasie Comics Band 2: Moebius"

  11. 5 out of 5

    Steve Gutin

    Peak Moebius.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Francisco

    A história "Arzach" é uma verdadeira obra de arte.

  13. 4 out of 5

    J.

    Contains one of the most influential stories in all of comics history. Moebius is always a treat, but every panel of this story could be framed and hung in a gallery. HIGHLY recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Bought this book in the French original so I couldn’t understand the first story but since this rest of this book had no text whatsoever it hardly made much difference. The art is just incredible. Arzach’s psy-fi-chedelic journey through Moebius’ world is full of naked zombie creatures, giant phallic apes, alien warscapes and deceivingly beautiful monsters. I can definitely understand why Moebius’ art is considered revolutionary in the comic book genre; he mereges bright pop art-like colour schemes with the wo Bought this book in the French original so I couldn’t understand the first story but since this rest of this book had no text whatsoever it hardly made much difference. The art is just incredible. Arzach’s psy-fi-chedelic journey through Moebius’ world is full of naked zombie creatures, giant phallic apes, alien warscapes and deceivingly beautiful monsters. I can definitely understand why Moebius’ art is considered revolutionary in the comic book genre; he mereges bright pop art-like colour schemes with the world of a visionary sci-fi epic. It’s no suprirse that he helped Jodorowski out with the storyboards for his hugely ambitious rendition of DUNE (that was of course never made). In fact these drawings have apparently influenced everyone from Alan Moore to Ridley Scott. Although very short, this book definitely deserves 4 stars for the ambition of Moebius’ project which, although I won’t be purchasing any time soon due to the hefty price tag, I’m intrigued to read more of.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Lisovsky

    Даже после традиционно познавательных комментариев автора не могу сказать, что понял, что такого прекрасного в четырёх мини-историях под названием Arzach (которые произвели в своё время эффект разорвавшейся бомбы во французском комикс-мире). Да, они рассказаны без слов, образы очень яркие, крайне сюрреалистичные и символичные (Фрейд был бы доволен со всех сторон), но тут, видимо, нужно быть художником и поэтом, чтобы насладиться чистыми образами, без особого сюжета. Перечитывая их заново и уже з Даже после традиционно познавательных комментариев автора не могу сказать, что понял, что такого прекрасного в четырёх мини-историях под названием Arzach (которые произвели в своё время эффект разорвавшейся бомбы во французском комикс-мире). Да, они рассказаны без слов, образы очень яркие, крайне сюрреалистичные и символичные (Фрейд был бы доволен со всех сторон), но тут, видимо, нужно быть художником и поэтом, чтобы насладиться чистыми образами, без особого сюжета. Перечитывая их заново и уже зная, что ожидать, заметить красоту и уровень неземной фантазии и нетрадиционность подхода к повествованию оказалось гораздо проще. Удивительные зарисовки чужого мира. Впрочем, мне понравились некоторые другие короткие истории этого тома, особенно прямо-таки наусиковская "Баллада" и лавкравтовская Ktulu.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hugo

    Moebius tiene un estilo muy personal de narrar y de dibujar, es muy bueno, un poco sombrío y mórbido, pero es parte de la aura que encierra su obra. Esta novela encierra las historias del silencioso Azarch, un héroe sobre un pterodáctilo (que influencio a Taarna de la película Heavy Metal). Me saco un par de sonrisas y hay algunas bromas que me tarde en captar, pero creo que la traducción tiene algo la culpa. Aparte de las de Azarch hay algunas historias cortas como La Ciudadela Blanca, Kutulu y Moebius tiene un estilo muy personal de narrar y de dibujar, es muy bueno, un poco sombrío y mórbido, pero es parte de la aura que encierra su obra. Esta novela encierra las historias del silencioso Azarch, un héroe sobre un pterodáctilo (que influencio a Taarna de la película Heavy Metal). Me saco un par de sonrisas y hay algunas bromas que me tarde en captar, pero creo que la traducción tiene algo la culpa. Aparte de las de Azarch hay algunas historias cortas como La Ciudadela Blanca, Kutulu y La Desviación, que es una historia de cuando se salieron de la carretera principal en unas vacaciones el, su esposa y su hija, para llegar sin problemas, pero contada de forma fantástica y con eso me refiero con gigantes de tierra, combates con un ejército de colados de bodas, etcétera.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Helmut

    Sehr gemischte Zusammenstellung Während die ersten, frühen Zeichnungen von Moebius komplett ohne Dialog auskommen und eine unheimliche Faszination ausstrahlen, ist der Rest so extrem dialoglastig, dass man die Zeichnungen hinter den riesigen Textblasen kaum mehr sieht. Leider ist meines Erachtens mit dem Dazukommen des Texts die Magie der Bilder abhanden gekommen. Trotzdem lohnt sich die Anschaffung, denn allein die ersten zwei, drei Geschichten sind, trotz ihrer Kürze und Textlosigkeit, extrem faszinie Sehr gemischte Zusammenstellung Während die ersten, frühen Zeichnungen von Moebius komplett ohne Dialog auskommen und eine unheimliche Faszination ausstrahlen, ist der Rest so extrem dialoglastig, dass man die Zeichnungen hinter den riesigen Textblasen kaum mehr sieht. Leider ist meines Erachtens mit dem Dazukommen des Texts die Magie der Bilder abhanden gekommen. Trotzdem lohnt sich die Anschaffung, denn allein die ersten zwei, drei Geschichten sind, trotz ihrer Kürze und Textlosigkeit, extrem faszinierend, geheimnisvoll, voller Sense of Wonder und verrückten Ideen, schwarzem Humor und Abenteuer. Sehr empfehlenswert.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shish Basu Palit

    Moebius's visual imagination is unparalleled. I can just stare at his panels for minutes, each one is an exquisitely imagined and flawlessly executed painting. But as Eisner said, comics is sequential art, they need a narrative component, and this is where Moebius falters. The (very) short stories in this anthology, most of them centered on his famous pterodactyl-borne silent alien warrior Arzach, are barely stories at all. The humour is rudimentary, drama nonexistent and attempts at Moebius's visual imagination is unparalleled. I can just stare at his panels for minutes, each one is an exquisitely imagined and flawlessly executed painting. But as Eisner said, comics is sequential art, they need a narrative component, and this is where Moebius falters. The (very) short stories in this anthology, most of them centered on his famous pterodactyl-borne silent alien warrior Arzach, are barely stories at all. The humour is rudimentary, drama nonexistent and attempts at psychosexual allusion forced. Perhaps he was one of those artists who needed a strong script to build upon. Still, what images!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Javier Jiménez

    Esta obra está compuesta por historias cortas que tienen como protagonista al mismo personaje, un hombre llamado Arzach que viaja en una especie de ave gigante para encontrarse con seres extraños. Las historias son humorísticas, ambientadas en lugares extravagantes y haciendo uso de ciencia ficción. Un estilo que solo como Moebius era capaz de llevar acabo. Cabe mencionar que estas historias practicamente carecen de texto. Los relatos son algo graciosos y entretenidos, sin embargo lo Esta obra está compuesta por historias cortas que tienen como protagonista al mismo personaje, un hombre llamado Arzach que viaja en una especie de ave gigante para encontrarse con seres extraños. Las historias son humorísticas, ambientadas en lugares extravagantes y haciendo uso de ciencia ficción. Un estilo que solo como Moebius era capaz de llevar acabo. Cabe mencionar que estas historias practicamente carecen de texto. Los relatos son algo graciosos y entretenidos, sin embargo lo que vale la pena son los dibujos y el mundo de Moebius.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Scott

    The art is novel (for its time) and amazing. The story is cryptic. This was a source of inspiration for so many artists, including Hayao Miyazaki (for Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, for example). Enough said. TODO: +++ art + cryptic story - loose or no plot - gratuitously obscene

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    This is a collection of several Moebius stories, and the first few have Arzach in them. Those are really interesting—it’s cool to see and consider how the panels and their actions communicate and propel the story forward without any words. The world he creates is pretty cool looking and imagination inspiring. What bums me out are several of the other stories included in this compilation just seemed kind of dumb. The family vacation, mainly. Just didn’t get why these were all lumped together.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    Beautiful wordless comix of strange captivating other worlds populated by green-skinned men and weird albino pterodactyl like creatures. The intricacy & care with which Moebius draws his bizarre alien worlds would almost be too fussy if not for the sly humor coursing through each page. A delight to behold.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Matt Gonzalez Kirkland

    beautiful and trippy as always; so far in what I've read I think I prefer his SF stuff to 'fantasy' as it gives him more opportunities for psychedelic detail and weirdness - that said, there are some great monsters fer lookin at in here

  24. 5 out of 5

    Peter E. Frangel

    Incredible artwork. The entire experience might have been even better if all the stories, like Arzach, had been wordless; the narrative doesn't often live up to the art. Open it to look and to gaze and to stare, astonished. (Includes some nudity)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hater Shepard

    http://www.altertube.tv/view_video.ph...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    The panels & color! Very visually pleasing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    More fun Moebius stuff. The Arzach stories left me a little confused as to why they're so renowned, and I hated Detour, what a wordy mess.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Zena V.

    his art always gets 5 stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jaco

    Voto: 10

  30. 5 out of 5

    Antonis Lamnatos

    Not so much a story-wise collection, but oh my god those drawings. An exquisite surreal safari of wonders.

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