This is the second book I've Read in the Louvre Series (published by the museum featuring graphic novel artists inspired by art inside). As with the other book (An Enchantment) I can't help but feel there is a good story here that somehow either gets sidetracked or bogged down by being 'inspired' by the Louvre.
In Glacial Period, an exploration expedition is crossing a European landscape blighted by a global climate shift a thousand years previous. Across the snowy landscape, they come across a building suddenly appearing up from the ground - and explore it, trying to decipher the culture that built it and created the works inside. Meanwhile, one of the characters, a dog-pig genetic hybrid with a nose that can decipher history, goes on a whimsical adventure when the museum pieces come to life.
Anyone who has read the seminal "Motel of Mysteries' graphic novel will know what to expect here: amusing interpretations of the culture (without knowing it is a collection of many) based upon the artifacts and paintings inside. E.g., Naked Greek goddesses and Titian paintings tend to indicate the society was lewd and women were repressed and a painting of a monkey painted indicated the culture wasn't literate and painted to communicate. I know the far flung conclusions were meant to be amusing - really, this is a riff on the ancient egypt archeology of the Victorian period. But as with the Enchantment, the musing on the artwork and their meanings just tended to drag the story. I think I would have liked this much better if they could have found a gas station or a department store instead - far more fun to be had figuring out the 'ancient ritual' of a 'for sale' sign than a Titian.
Also odd and a big jarring is that the museum exhibits come to life or exit paintings. In one case, a cow carcass painting comes to life and eats a character. Others, like ancient statues or ornamental pieces, talk a bit about their history and being stuck underground in the snow for so long. There is even a frozen corpse of a guard staring at a painting of a woman. Therein lies the problem for me - is this a horror? a fantasy? a riff on history? Glimpse of the future of humanity (simple people who quarrel a lot)? An exploration of a museum and culture? It seems like a melange of various themes cobbled together to form a half realized story. If anything, I would have suggested it needed an editor before undertaking.
Other issues, such as the museum supposedly being on a huge faultline causing it to randomly and ludicrously rise out of the snow right in front of the group as they are traveling as well as start to fall apart (yet without damaging any of the exhibits, which are intact and neat), further confuses. Add in the characters riding a giant dog full of the exhibits to 'save' them and you kind of get the idea that this is one strange story.
That said, the characters of the pig-dogs are well drawn and fascinating. In fact, they are far more interesting than the humans, who are rather petty and lifeless. I wish the book had been from the perspective of the pig-dog only since he was such a fully realized character.
So while I didn't dislike this graphic novel, I didn't really get into it, either. Extract the Louvre elements and I think there could have really been an interesting dystopian here.