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The Professor's Daughter Paperback – 1 May 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: First Second; 1st American Ed edition (1 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159643130X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596431300
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 0.8 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 350,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Review in January 15th 2007 issue of KirkusMummies and fathers complicate a love story that spans centuries in this gorgeously illustrated fable.Originally published in French in 1997, this English translation highlights the playful collaboration of two masters of the graphic narrative, with Sfar (The Rabbi's Cat, 2005) providing the story and Guibert (Sardine in Outer Space 1 and 2, both 2006, illustrated by Sfar) the colorful, impressionistic visuals. The elegantly slim volume details the romance of a 19th-century British professor's daughter and the 16th-century mummy of an Egyptian emperor (a witty and erudite fellow), who is one of her father's prized possessions. The daughter is one of her father's prized possessions as well, thus rendering their illicit relationship all the more problematic. The mummy's attempt to live with his lover in her world results in an afternoon of mayhem and perhaps even murder, so they try to return to his world, with equally disastrous results. A trial highlights class inequities in Victorian England, while the Queen herself makes a brief (and soggy) appearance. Ultimately, a climactic encounter between the mummy's estranged father and the professor gives the finale a surprising, satisfying twist. No glorified comic book, this graphic novel aspires to fine art. Review in February 5th 2007 issue of Publisher's WeeklyTwo of France's best graphic novel talents, the ever-prolific Sfar and the subtle illustrator Guibert, collaborate. The result is a fun--if slight--effort, as much a love letter to Victorian London as a story unto itself. Very simply, a mummy, somehow alive and walking around London, has a charming romance with a professor's daughter. The logistical complications involved are comically dismissed, and the pair have a grand old time together. That is, until the mummy's father appears to complicate matters. Sfar has written an utterly engaging romp comparable to a fine 1930s romantic comedy. His dialogue is snap

About the Author

Emmanuel Guibert and Joann Sfar are two of the most ridiculously talented comics authors to come from France. Prolific, inventive, and versatile beyond common sense, the two shared a Paris studio from 1995 to 1999, and stories grew there like ragweed. Taking turns writing scripts and drawing pictures, Joann and Emmanuel have collaborated on a number of prizewinning graphic novels, such as SARDINE IN OUTER SPACE, the BLACK OLIVES series, and now THE PROFESSOR'S DAUGHTER. Working solo, Sfar is the author of the popular LITTLE VAMPIRE and VAMPIRE LOVES series, as well as the bestselling THE RABBI'S CAT. As for Guibert, his many works for readers young and old include ALAN'S WAR, an extraordinary biography of his late father Alan Cope, an American WWII veteran.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
First Second is a wonderful imprint that's been publishing some of the most interesting graphic storytelling of the last several years in beautifully produced editions. This slender story, a translation of a book that appeared ten years ago in France, is no exception. At 64 pages, with generally six panels a page, it's a quick read, albeit a pretty strange one. Sort of Monty Python meets Preston Sturges meets Tales From the Crypt -- or something like that.

There's no way to summarize the story and do it justice, all you need to know is that it involves a romance (of sorts) between the beautiful daughter of an Egyptologist and the decidedly animated mummy of Imhotep IV. A day out together turns into a madcap farce involving drunken disorder, poisoning, element, multiple kidnappings, a pirate mummy, a court scene, a soggy Queen Victoria, surreal dream sequences, and various other outlandish elements.

It all moves along at a cracking pace with abrupt shifts in the story, so much so that I had to stop a few times and make sure I hadn't missed some transitional page along the way. For the most part, the translation manages to hit the right sassy, snappy, silly tone, with only a few misfires here and there. The artwork is really excellent and unusual, lovely pencilwork and watercolors with a great sense of palette. Guibert captures the Victorian era and brings it to life while also creating engaging characters with relatively simple features. The lettering is slightly disappointing, a lame faux-handprinted font called "Felt Tip" that is resized throughout depending on space. This a minor quibble though, and the book is perfect for the reader looking for an absurd and witty diversion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
First, Joann Sfar tackled the subject of a dorky bloodsucker's "Vampire Loves," and now it's the love life of a lonely mummy.

Yeah, it's a weird story, and it gets progressively wackier, cleverer and more feverish as it goes on. But Sfar and Emmanuel Gilbert crafted a sweetly offbeat love story, between a young Victorian lady, and her father's three-thousand-year-old mummy, Imhotep IV.

When the professor is away, Lillian Browell and the mummy Imhotep IV like to tour London together. But one of their walks goes horribly wrong -- Imhotep gets dead drunk and trashes a cafe, and Lillian learns that he's about to be sent to the museum. When the cops arrive to arrest him, she accidentally poisons them. And when her father arrives, Imhotep sweeps her out of the house and elopes to Egypt.

Except they never get further than the docks: Lillian is kidnapped by a pirate mummy, and Imhotep is forced to hide in a kindly man's house. Their love is tested like never before when they are both jailed, and both their fathers -- the professor and the pirate mummy -- are determined to save them. Too bad they're no good at it.

"The Professor's Daughter" is kind of like watching a charming, quaint little screwball comedy. A very romantic one, I might add -- the romance between Lillian and Imhotep IV is one of those sweet, comfortable ones where you just want them to live happily ever after.

But in the meantime, Sfar keeps the quirky, poignant story rolling -- accidental poisoning, the arrest of hundreds of mummies, and Imhotep III proposing marriage to Queen Victoria (and subsequently chucking her in the river). Even the dialogue has that quirkiness: "The last time I meddled in his affairs was three thousand years ago, and he's STILL furious at me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER on 8 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
The classic romantic setup of boy meets girl is given a twist where a professor's daughter falls for a mummy. The mummy is Imhotep IV who imagines his long-dead wife in the visage of the woman, not such a laughable storyline as you'd think given that it preceded the Stephen Sommers "Mummy" movies by a couple of years, and that film had the exact same premise.

The artwork is so-so, the story kind of tired as the silliness of a mummy doesn't really go anywhere. Imhotep's dad is quite funny and I did laugh once when he threw Queen Victoria in the Thames. But it's a brief comic book that doesn't really go anywhere or say anything much interesting. The story is a bit dull, the characters barely there, and while both Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert would go on to write much better books, their first collaboration, "The Professor's Daughter", is a weak and forgettable book.
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By Locky on 10 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback
There story is fine, Victorian England, a daughter of an Egyptian Professor falls in love with a mummy. However, I purchased this graphic novel (comic-book) due to the stunning artwork of Emmanuel Guibert. This book stands out from so many other books which are crafted digitally (although done well is not the same) and other standard comic book styles. Painted in watercolours, many in muted and sepia colours it captures the era. The detailed obtain with watercolours and style are nothing but exquisite. I would recommend this book without any hesitation.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Angieville: THE PROFESSOR'S DAUGHTER 2 Nov 2008
By Angela Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This charming, madcap Victorian romp was originally published in 1997 and has just recently been translated into English and reissued by First Second. The French pairing, Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert, have infused their girl-meets-mummy love story with equal amounts whimsy and longing. Lillian Bowell is the daughter of renowned Egyptologist Professor Bowell. During one of her father's many absences, Lillian befriends one of her father's many mummies, Imhotep IV. Lillian soon feels safe with the debonair mummy and Imhotep finds the lovely lady reminds him of his long-dead wife who was not mummified and therefore will not be around to enjoy eternity with her spouse. Together these two unlikely confidantes spend a day out on the town, strolling through the streets and parks of 19th century London.

Mayhem ensues when Imhotep gets into a drunken pub brawl and Lillian is forced to drug the police who come to investigate the matter. Unfortunately, the sedative turns out to be poison and Lillian is put on trial for murder. Both fathers attempt to come to the rescue of their besotted children, but the British justice system will not be perverted and the two lovers must find a way out on their own. Always zany, at times hilarious, this original tale rushes headlong toward a satisfying, if slightly cringe-worthy conclusion. The text is enchantingly abrupt and fast-paced, and the accompanying artwork is utterly beguiling. Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very Diverting Absurdist Fun 12 Dec 2007
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
First Second is a wonderful imprint that's been publishing some of the most interesting graphic storytelling of the last several years in beautifully produced editions. This slender story, a translation of a book that appeared ten years ago in France, is no exception. At 64 pages, with generally six panels a page, it's a quick read, albeit a pretty strange one. Sort of Monty Python meets Preston Sturges meets Tales From the Crypt -- or something like that.

There's no way to summarize the story and do it justice, all you need to know is that it involves a romance (of sorts) between the beautiful daughter of an Egyptologist and the decidedly animated mummy of Imhotep IV. A day out together turns into a madcap farce involving drunken disorder, poisoning, element, multiple kidnappings, a pirate mummy, a court scene, a soggy Queen Victoria, surreal dream sequences, and various other outlandish elements.

It all moves along at a cracking pace with abrupt shifts in the story, so much so that I had to stop a few times and make sure I hadn't missed some transitional page along the way. For the most part, the translation manages to hit the right sassy, snappy, silly tone, with only a few misfires here and there. The artwork is really excellent and unusual, lovely pencilwork and watercolors with a great sense of palette. Guibert captures the Victorian era and brings it to life while also creating engaging characters with relatively simple features. The lettering is slightly disappointing, a lame faux-handprinted font called "Felt Tip" that is resized throughout depending on space. This a minor quibble though, and the book is perfect for the reader looking for an absurd and witty diversion.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Amusing, But With Major Plot Holes 11 Jan 2011
By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) - Published on Amazon.com
The story is a weird but interesting one. I really enjoyed the beginning where the two of them walked the streets of London. Imhotep IV and Lillian bond over their marginalization and powerlessness in society. Both are loved by the professor, but more as possessions than as real people. They also both suffer from daddy issues.

After the opening though, I thought the story went downhill. The plot is a bit far-fetched, even for a fantasy story. The actions that the characters take at pretty much any point do not seem particularly likely. The perfect example of this is the kidnapping of Queen Victoria, which, while funny, serves absolutely no point. It is merely to be entertaining. The plot, such as it was, failed to wrap up in a way I found satisfying, as the big issue with the romance was entirely ignored.

I was also a bit bothered by the fact that the mummies were capable of just sloughing off their bandages and looking like real men again. If so, why wouldn't they just do that? Why live the life of a mummy, destined to be stuck under glass for a museum display, when you can just walk around like a normal man?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An entertaining bit of fluff to pass the time 19 Jan 2010
By Steven Warfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was one peculiar read, and if I had to sum it up in a one word feeling, that word would be "quaint."

The depecitions of London seemed nicely done, and it was interesting to see the flashbacks that Imoteph IV would have involving his children.
That people regularly accepted moving and speaking mummies as part of life (not once are there screams of alarm or expressions of disbelief as the two mummies go about their respective business) was a little hard to swallow, and parts of the plot took crazy turns that didn't seem all that necessary (the bit involving the Queen seemed particularly forced).

For being a translation the language was surprisingly intact and I didn't once feel as though someone was grasping for a word that wasn't quite in their reach.
The art was very well executed and the hues matched the tone of the story pretty much at any given time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Something Different. 26 Oct 2011
By Michelle Thatcher - Published on Amazon.com
Tired of reading stories about a strong willed yet delicate young girl who is the only person who could possibly understand the loneliness and immortality angst of a genteel vampire who just wants to be loved?

Do I have the graphic novel for you!

You should read: The Professor's Daughter. It is a funny, attractive, and smart tale of a strong willed yet delicate young girl who is the only person who could possibly understand the loneliness and immortality angst of a genteel mummy who just wants to be loved.

Plenty of moments of very French surrealism thrown in.
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