HOW MUCH TIME YA GOT?

Mar 3, 2022

by

The above title isn’t my attempt to gauge how long a review to write for this amazing tradeback from Titan Comics. I really want to know if you have any concept of a lifespan. The idea of how much time we’ve used and how much we have left doesn’t get examined very often. Titan Comics gives readers with a madcap adventure where the sea moves and the North, as in the cardinal direction, has gone missing. What do these two things have to do with time, life or even love? I can’t explain it but thankfully Azimut does a fantastic job of keeping all the cogs to deliver something spectacular.

Azimut

Rated: 17+

Titan Comics

Writer: Wilfrid Lupano
Artist: Jean-Baptiste AndreaeTitan
Translator: Marc Bourbon-Crook
Letterer: Lauren Bowes

Wilfrid Lupano has developed a phenomenal story with such a fascinating message that makes sense. So what better way to present it than in such a nonsensical format. Sounds kinda counter intuitive but I found this kept this adventure from becoming a complete sermon. Page after page the story progresses from what feels like absurdity to arrive at something amazing.

Azimut includes a colorful cascade of characters. At the beginning of the story it feels overwhelming keeping track of each new arrival, though this subsides quickly. I think this is due to the fact that no character feels like a sidekick, even the Freaks we meet. Every individual has their own part to play in this menagerie, even those that seem insignificant get a moment to shine.

Time to meet the cast

The story opens with a scientist father and son. Astride’s thoughts are upon the legend of the Time Snatcher. His father explains such ordinary people as them have nothing to fear and returns to his search for a rare bird. Well not just any bird but the fabled Pretty Aeon. Rumor has it this bird lays only 12 eggs in a lifetime, the final offering power to the one who consumes it. We witness the father seemingly achieve his goal but you have to wonder what would be worth spending your whole life for?

The story quickly jumps from Astride’s portion to sometime a few years later. We find ourselves aboard a ship as a mighty storm tosses it about. While the Explorer, Count De La Perue, is hoping to complete his expedition, the painter, Eugene, he has bought along to document the discovery has lost his muse. Now all he can do is paint her image just to toss it into the deep.

Manie Ganza isn’t the villain in this story, but her actions do create quite a bit of conflict. While Holly would if she could, this blonde bombshell will do anything (and it seems anyone) so long as it gets her to her goal. While Freaks, creatures birthed from special eggs, are looked down upon in this world Manie’s trio seem to hold a place of affection in her heart. Even if it just because they are willing to help her with her activities. They may not get the chance as she has a Mommy Dearest type relationship with her own.

Speaking of Manie, her mother isn’t the only one hunting her. There is Major Oreste Picote who is working with a Polo, a Freak who looks like a rabbit, to locate her. With little memory of his previous existence this bunny is on a hunt for his baby, even though he has only seen her reflection in a bucket of water. The Major reminds him that he is there to apprehend her for her crimes as well. The two meet a scientist, named Astride, who is studying the connection between time and all living beings. They watch as an egg he has discovered hatches and out pops a Freak named….Astride(?).

This is but a small sampling of the variety of creatures and personalities that occupy these pages. There is also a group of elemental representations or Primordials, including Sandy (least that’s what I gonna call her), a village named Little-ghistan and the previously mentioned Time Snatcher to mention a few others. And the most amazing thing is how by the time you reach the end each one will have impacted the other in some small (and sometimes very significant) ways.

Scattered Pictures

With a story that is equally ridiculous and rational you have to make sure you don’t lose the audience. This is never the case as this epic tale benefits tremendously from the talents of Jean-Baptiste Andreae. As unusual as this story is every page is beautifully presented. You can’t help but continue along. The colorful illustrations in this trade offer treats on each page for the ocularly observant. You notice this occur especially in transition scenes as we jump from one side story to the next.

Azimut, and the world it exists in, is such a fascinating place and Andreae really let’s loose. Lupano’s concept could have challenged some artists, but that was not the case here. I couldn’t find one instance where the artwork didn’t keep up with where the story wanted to lead me.

Another delight for readers is that although there is a lot of dialogue Lauren Bowes keeps the boxes tight. This is even while making them distinct for each individual. Noting that Marc-Bourbon Crooke is translating the text gives me hope that this story will get a good global reception.

The Second Hand Unwinds

Azimut is like very few books you might experience. The solicits liken it to Carroll’s Wonderland but that doesn’t scratch the surface. Get ready for the mash up of Python, Henson and the Krofft Bros. Just a warning there is a bit of Benny Hill too, some woman can make an entrance just wait til you witness the stunning exit Manie pulls off. There is humor and horrendous acts but every piece pushes this creative work to it’s wonderful conclusion. We discover how everything we do is to get as much of the one true commodity in life. The one thing that has little value to others but means so much to the individual.

Score: 9.6

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