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Siegfried Volume 1 Hardcover – 15 Jun 2012

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Product Description

About the Author

Born in 1974, Alex Alice possessed a passion for comics and animation from an early age. He began to develop graphic novel projects while at l Ecole Superieure de Commerce in Paris. In 1993, he met Xavier Dorison, with whom he began to collaborate on Le Troisieme Testament (the Third Testament), a story of adventure and esoteric investigation across Europe in the Middle Ages influenced by the likes of Umberto Eco. The first volume of that series came out in 1997, published by Glenat. In addition to that series, Alice began developing Siegfried, a retelling of Norse myths as a graphic novel trilogy."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant adaptation. 20 Nov. 2013
By Benjamin McCormack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There isn't a single page in this book that I wouldn't be comfortable blowing up, framing, and hanging on my wall. These are some of the best illustrations I have ever seen. Period.

If you're here, you're probably here because you know Wagner's Ring cycle. If that's the case, then here's my recommendation:

If you're looking for a creative adaptation combining bits of the Norse mythology, bits of Wagner's adaptation, and bits of creative license, then this is worth your money.

If you're looking for a blow-by-blow adaptation of the operas, then I recommend P. Craig Russell's adaptation, which is practically a transcription from Wagner's stage directions.

Alex Alice adds flourishes that couldn't possibly make sense in a stage version and are perhaps a little too specific and personable for Norse myth. In this, Siegfried, neglected by Mime, is partially raised as the friend of a family of wolves. This idea adds a lot of life to the story, as well as a stunning - and wordless - touch of darkness.

Speaking of wordless, that's another interesting and wonderful thing about this book - there is no narration. The pictures tell the stories, and believe me, they do more than enough.

So if you like what I said here... well, buy it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely gorgeous. 30 Jun. 2012
By Sarah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't say much about how the story was adapted because I'm not as familiar with Wagner's version of this story versus the Norse story it's based off of, but this is one of the most beautiful graphic novels I've seen in a very long time. It's given a terrific treatment and a reader can spend hours looking at the art inside several times over. The length of the book might be misleading, since there is a large chunk that is devoted to an interview with Alex Alice describing the development of the comic as well as the animated version.

Story-wise I think it's nicely paced, with interesting layouts, and even if you're unfamiliar with Wagner's Ring saga you won't be left confused about who's who and what's what. All the characters have appealing designs, and did I mention how gorgeous the art is? Well, it's gorgeous. The second volume can't come soon enough.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible 19 Dec. 2012
By Lars Kingbeard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
French comics have not yet made much of a splash in the us, which is a shame because they are some of the most unique and beautifully drawn comics in the world. Siegfried is an excellent example of the french approach to the craft. In france, it is the norm for an artist to produce one album a year - a large format hardcover of about 50 pages or so- and this luxuriant pace allows for a much higher level of quality. The sense of composition, mood, and the level of detail is far beyond what one would see in an american book. The backgrounds are breathtaking - twisted oaks and vast windswept banks of snow, truly a magical backdrop for this mythic tale. Everywhere, Alice's linework shines - playful, lyrical and commanding. It is a uniquely french style of line - similar in some ways to Disney animation, but with a heightened sense of refinement and delicacy, yet at the same time it is bold, slashing, without a trace of hesitation. One can almost hear the thunderous and majestic music of the ring cycle echoing through the pages. If you like this book, I also recommend the work of Mathieu Lauffray, who has a similar genius for line and several of whose books are also available in english.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heroic myth 30 Oct. 2012
By Joel Sanet - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Warning: If you are looking for a graphic novel that is faithful to Wagner's 4-opera Der Ring des Niebelungen cycle, this isn't it. Your needs will be better met by P. Craig Russell's The Ring of the Niebelung. This first volume in a projected 3-volume series incorporates and compresses the material in the first and third operas, Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold) and Siegfried. No doubt, the missing parts of Siegfried will appear in the next volume. It was never the intention of author/artist Alex Alice to be faithful to Wagner. After all, Wagner wasn't faithful to the source materials so why should he be faithful to Wagner? He took the source materials, the Nordic Volsunga Saga and the Germanic Niebelungenlied, added some but not all of Wagner's changes, then added quite a few changes of his own. As a result, he has told the heroic myth that he wanted to tell, not someone else's version. The core of the story is the same but the details are different. For example, in Wagner Siegfried is the child of incest between the humans Sieglinde and her brother Siegmund. In this story he is the child of a different kind of forbidden love, between the Valkyrie Sieglinde and an unnamed human. Siegfried is the viewpoint character so most of it unfolds as he sees it. The plot is straightforward. A man runs through the woods carrying his pregnant lover, fleeing the wrath of Wotan, chief of the Norse gods (who is never actually named in the book). When confronted, the man attacks the god. His sword is shattered and he is killed. Wotan rips out Sieglinde's heart for the crime of forbidden love as another valkyrie dressed all in white on a white horse looks on. This is all in a 9-page prolog without dialog. The scene shifts to a valkyrie all in white asking a niebelung volva (shamaness) to tell her of Siegfried's past. The rest of the story recounts how he grew up and reforged his father's sword without understanding who the previous owner was.

The previous two reviewers seem to be split on the quality of the artwork. One was unimpressed, the other called it gorgeous. I'm somewhere in between. The backgrounds are frequently beautifully done and the icy beauty of the valkyrie staring at Siegfried while he sleeps on P. 42 in certainly esthetically pleasing but the characters in general have a more cartoony look than most Americans are used to in graphic novels. It is, however, common practice in French bande dessine which is what this work is.

The story is followed by supplemental material which for me at least was entertaining as well as informative. It is an interview of Alex Alice liberally illustrated with pictures from the book, the movie it is based on, the 1924 Fritz Lang movie Die Niebelungen, and related artwork by such disparate painters as Arthur Rackham and Shishkin. In it he discusses those who have influenced his approach to fantasy which among others includes Tolkien, Disney, Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal, and John Boorman's wonderful movie Excalibur. He also talks about the sources, the sagas, mythology in general, and the reasons he had for making the changes he did. It's a detailed look at the creative process.

The bottom line: Is the book worth it's cost? For me the answer is yes. I eagerly await Volume 2.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY AWESOME! 26 Mar. 2013
By LORD OF THE FLIES - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Get this book. It's a great escapism if you're into fantasy stories about long ago, about the mythical gods and stuff in that nature. If you like Lord of the Rings and the Narnia series, I'd give this volume and later volumes a chance. The art is very easy to follow and the dialogues translated very well from the original texts.
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