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Darwin's Diaries Vol.1: The Eye of the Celts [Paperback]

Sylvain Runberg , Eduardo Ocana
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2011 Darwin's Diaries
Victorian England. In Yorkshire, several men and horses working on a railway line have been killed. The police suspect some kind of wild beast. The government calls on controversial naturalist Charles Darwin to help with the investigation. A reasonable move, but one that is dicatated rather by the least known part of his work: research on what other people would qualify as legendary creatures. It won't be long before the scientist discovers that he may be right about them after all...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 56 pages
  • Publisher: CINEBOOK (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849180954
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849180955
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 17.8 x 0.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 769,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Eduardo Ocana is a Spanish artist who trained as an architect and taught graphic arts in Madrid but gradually moved on to animation and comics. In 2006 he started the series Messiah ComplexA" with Alex de Campi; at about the same time, he met Sylvain Runberg when they worked together on volume 7 of Kookabura Universe.A" Sylvain Runberg, a Frenchman living in Sweden, has become a very prolific scriptwriter in just a few years: Les Co-locataires,A" Hammerfall,A" Mic Mac AdamA" and, of course, the critically acclaimed Orbital.A"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Darwin's Diaries 1: The Eye of the Celts 23 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback
At its heart, Darwin's Diaries has a very interesting concept; what would happen if Charles Darwin, the man who bought us the Theory of Evolutuion and one of the world's most forward thinking naturalists, was exposed to fantastical beasts that did not fit into his natural order?

Victorian England. In Yorkshire, several men and horses working on a railway line have been killed--slaughtered, really. The police suspect some kind of wild beast. The government calls upon controversial naturalist Charles Darwin to help with the investigation. A reasonable move, but one that is dictated rather by the least known part of his work: research on what other people would qualify as legendary creatures. It won't be long before the scientist discovers that he may be right about them after all...

Eduardo Ocana's artwork is very evocative of the time and he manages to capture Victorian England exceptionally well, and the colouring of Tariq Bellaoui - who does a great job of giving the images depth - helps this. There's a sense of dim, muted light cast over everything. The artwork is incredibly good and manages to convey the era extremely effectively; for example, on page nine there's a panel that depicts two men talking in a meeting room and you can see the length of the room to the windows, the wall coverings, the table covered in a cloth, the bookcases, the tiled floor, the paintings... in this one image it captures the period and transports you into the story. It's also gory when it needs to be without being gratuitous, and the images are suitably disturbing. The action scenes are full of dynamism, and there are several frames that really capture speed and movement. It's very impressive and leaves a satisfyingly exhilarated feeling when the moment has passed.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Really Mixed On This 7 Oct 2013
By Talvi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Darwin Diaries was an interesting read with a unique premise and beautiful but graphic artwork. I appreciated the palette and also really liked that the artwork had a unique and interesting palette of natural browns and reds.

The historical detail on the men's costumes and looks was perfect - very 1850s. Yet I cannot fathom why the women's costumes were all pigeon fronted Gibson Girl frocks from the turn of the century - it was like watching a movie about the 1990s yet the women are wearing pearls, pumps, and poodle skirts from a 1950s sock hop. It really killed all credibility for me and was so disappointing considering the mutton chops, beaver hats, cravats, and suspenders were all so spot on for the male characters - not to mention the detail of the period locales. Either get it all wrong or all right - but not this half and half that is jolting and just looks lazy.

The story is horror and we have some action but it is mostly a tease for further volumes where we discover more about the monster(s) and about Darwin himself. I tend to dislike books that use famous figures as protagonists but I also understand that having Darwin as this type of conflicted character was the point of the story and couldn't be substituted with an ordinary character. At least we weren't bombareded with famous names every other page.

I started with a 5 star rating for the beautiful (if horror graphic) artwork. 1 less star for a huge blunder on historical costuming of the women (yes, I recognize this can almost be classified as AU - but at least keep the decades all the same) and 1 less for being more of a tease on an already thin volume.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darwin's Diaries 1: The Eye of the Celts 23 Jan 2013
By Mr. J. M. Hicks 'Farsight Blogger' - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
At its heart, Darwin's Diaries has a very interesting concept; what would happen if Charles Darwin, the man who bought us the Theory of Evolutuion and one of the world's most forward thinking naturalists, was exposed to fantastical beasts that did not fit into his natural order?

Victorian England. In Yorkshire, several men and horses working on a railway line have been killed--slaughtered, really. The police suspect some kind of wild beast. The government calls upon controversial naturalist Charles Darwin to help with the investigation. A reasonable move, but one that is dictated rather by the least known part of his work: research on what other people would qualify as legendary creatures. It won't be long before the scientist discovers that he may be right about them after all...

Eduardo Ocana's artwork is very evocative of the time and he manages to capture Victorian England exceptionally well, and the colouring of Tariq Bellaoui - who does a great job of giving the images depth - helps this. There's a sense of dim, muted light cast over everything. The artwork is incredibly good and manages to convey the era extremely effectively; for example, on page nine there's a panel that depicts two men talking in a meeting room and you can see the length of the room to the windows, the wall coverings, the table covered in a cloth, the bookcases, the tiled floor, the paintings... in this one image it captures the period and transports you into the story. It's also gory when it needs to be without being gratuitous, and the images are suitably disturbing. The action scenes are full of dynamism, and there are several frames that really capture speed and movement. It's very impressive and leaves a satisfyingly exhilarated feeling when the moment has passed.

Sylvain Runberg's writing is what I've come to expect from him - excellent. The characters have depth, the dialogue is sharp and flows naturally and, even though there's a slightly predictable feisty female character that's independent and forthright in this world of Victorian stiffness controlled by men, the characters are well developed and interesting. The story is carried completely by the dialogue so there's no narration to consider, and that's fine as the dialogue is very good and even reads as you would imagine them talking in the Victorian period - parts of it read like a Charles Dickens story. The primary character, Charles Darwin, is the most interesting of the lot, of course, and as the story progresses you realise that he's nothing like what you expected. In fact, the things he does later on in the story downright surprised me but I shan't ruin that for you here. Fair to say that, even though the plot doesn't progress very much in this first volume, the story will keep you intrigued and wanting more.

This is an excellent piece of work that I can highly recommend.
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