ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Isaac The Pirate: Art, Adventure, and the Antartic

Updated on September 10, 2012

Readers of these reviews may notice I'm a sucker for an oddball story concept. So it's no surprise that I liked this French comic, about a Jewish artist who is shangaied by pirates to document their attempt to discover Antarctica. The writer and artist, Christophe Blain, somehow manages to make its rather absurd premise sound almost plausible, which is not a mean feat by any stretch of the imagination.

Isaac is a poor painter in 18th century Paris who lives with his adoring fiancee Alice but is rather down on his luck, unable to get any serious success. One day, in order to get some money, he decides to sell a prized sketch by a more famous artist in order to pay the bills, but is instead accosted by a ship's physician named Henry Demelin, who mistakes the sketch for one that Isaac himself made, and offers him a position on the ship he's sailing on, which he claims will only take a few days to complete and get back home to Paris. Isaac reluctantly agrees, but when he gets on the ship he discovers it's actually going to the Americas!

To make matters worse, halfway through the trip the ship is attacked by the pirate captain John the Pillager, for whom Henry was working as a spy. Fortunately John and his crew are fairly nice guys, and John in particular is thrilled to have a painter on board to document his crew's adventures.

After a detour on a tropical island, John and Henry reveal to Isaac their real ambition: to rediscover the southern land mentioned in passing in the journals of a shipcaptain a hundred years ago, and explore it. But can a bunch of pirates unused to scientific exploration really survive in such a perilous region of the world?

Meanwhhile, back in Paris, Alice tries her best to live her life waiting for Isaac to get back. She also encounters a young aristocrat, Philip Du Chemin Vert, who's attempting to organize his household in order to move to India in order to make his fortune. He employs her so she can have some money to support herself, and quite quickly seems to fall in love with her. Can Alice resist the temptation of this relatively kindly rich young man when her husband has to all appearances abandoned her?

A lot happened in this very short and compact comic (only 46 pages!). I liked how Isaac is fairly deadpan about the rather worrying situations he finds himself in, and how Henry and John are both shown to be relatively nice guys, even though they basically kidnapped the poor guy. I liked how the rough and tumble pirate crew viewed Isaac as both one of the guys and a character to respect (although this is mostly because he's quite good at drawing naked women). I liked how the relationship between Alice and Chemin Vert evolved in a somewhat predictable although still very cute way. And I liked how Blain's artwork both stylized how the characters looked while simultaneously making them look realistic enough that you empathize with them.

There's at least one other volume of this series out there, and I'm looking forward to reading it as soon as I get my hands on it. All in all, this was an interesting little story I ended up enjoying a whole lot. Definitely check it out if you want an interesting adventure tale.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      A.E. Williams 

      5 years ago from Hampton, GA

      Awesome review David! Definitely useful and interesting. :) Thanks for sharing this.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)