Grandville (Comics), Bryan Talbot’s Graphic novel series

Grandville is a completed graphic novel series written and illustrated by Bryan Talbot mixing steampunk, alternate history and thriller elements.

The World of Grandville

Talbot described Grandville as being “like Jules Verne and Sherlock Holmes directed by Quentin Tarantino—with animals!”

Grandville is set in a fictional Steampunk Europe, one where France emerged victorious in the Napoleonic Wars. The series follows the Detective-Inspector Archie LeBrok of Scotland Yard, a badger, who solves cases with his colleague Detective Roderick Ratzi, a rat.

The series is full of anthropomorphic animals, although humans do exist. there is an underclass of humans, often called ‘dough faces’. You’ll meet throughout the series a hippopotamus brothel-keeper, a star-nosed mole pawnbroker, an otter working as a British Secret Service agent, the Belier Brigadier, a Rabbit Prime Minister of France, a Wolf general, a crow painter, and more.

Each volume of the series explore different themes, generally axed around political events, from terrorism to nazism and religious cult,

Beyond Verne and Holmes, the stories are also full of references to other works and tributes to comics, such as Rupert the Bear or The Adventures of Tintin.

Grandville, The Whole Series

The Casebook of Stamford Hawksmoor, the prequel

A prequel story, titled The Casebook of Stamford Hawksmoor, has been announced, taking place during the last days of the French occupation and before the steam technology revolution. It has been presented as being different in tone and art style to the Grandville books.

– The Casebook of Stamford Hawksmoor (Coming soon!)

L’intégrale

Grandville consists of five volumes, all collected in this one deluxe hardcover volume accompanied by voluminous author notes never before in print. A must-have edition for fans of the series.

Grandville L’Intégrale: The Complete Grandville Series

Grandville, the volumes

Following is the listing of all the Grandville volumes, with summaries from the publisher, Dark Horse.

Grandville (2009)

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 railway bridge, steam-powered dirigible, and mutual suspicion to France. When a British diplomat’s murder is made to look like suicide, ferocious Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard stalks a ruthless murder squad through the heart of a Belle Epoque Paris, the center of the greatest empire in a world of steam-driven hansom cabs, automatons, and flying machines. LeBrock’s relentless quest can lead only to death, truth … or war.

Grandville Mon Amour (2010)

Convicted psychotic killer and extremist fanatic Edward “Mad Dog” Mastock violently escapes the guillotine’s blade in the Tower of London to once again terrorize the Socialist Republic of Britain. But dogging Mastock’s bloody footsteps is his longtime adversary and nemesis, Detective Inspector Archie LeBrock, at odds with Scotland Yard and intent on bringing Mastock’s horrific murder spree to an end, once and for all. Aided by his friend and colleague Detective Roderick Ratzi, LeBrock follows the trail of carnage to Paris, otherwise known as Grandville, the largest city in a world dominated by the French Empire and the prime target of Mastock’s sadistic terrorism. Can LeBrock capture Mad Dog before he can mete out his final vengeance, or will LeBrock’s own quest for redemption be dragged to ground by the demons of his past?

Grandville Bête Noire (2012)

The baffling murder of a famed Parisian artist in his locked and guarded studio takes the tenacious Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard and his faithful adjunct, Detective Ratzi, into the cutthroat Grandville art scene to track the mysterious assassin. As the body count mounts and events spiral out of control, the investigation points to Toad Hall, where a cabal of industrialists and fat cats plot the overthrow of the French State . . . by use of steam-driven automaton soldiers!

Grandville: Nöel (2014)

Detective Inspector LeBrock stalks a cult responsible for horrific mass murder. With Paris in the grip of a mysterious crime lord and violent attacks by human terrorists, can LeBrock stop the inevitable slide into fascism? And could this all be part of a centuries-old conspiracy to throw the world into war?

Grandville: Force Majeure (2017)

Wanted for murder and on the run, Detective Inspector LeBrock is the victim of a diabolical scheme engineered by gangland overlord Tiberius Koenig. But LeBrock is a fighter, and now against insurmountable odds, the British Badger risks all to thwart Koenig’s plot and save all he holds dear!

For more anthropomorphic animal stories, see also the classic french comic series Blacksad or Mouse Guard.