Hot Best Seller

The Incal PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

The Incal

Availability: Ready to download

File Name: The Incal .pdf

How it works:

1. Register a free 1 month Trial Account.

2. Download as many books as you like (Personal use)

3. Cancel the membership at any time if not satisfied.


The Incal PDF, ePub eBook John Difool, a low-class detective in a degenerate dystopian world, finds his life turned upside down when he discovers an ancient, mystical artifact called "The Incal." Difool's adventures will bring him into conflict with the galaxy's greatest warrior, the Metabaron, and will pit him against the awesome powers of the Technopope. These encounters and many more make up a t John Difool, a low-class detective in a degenerate dystopian world, finds his life turned upside down when he discovers an ancient, mystical artifact called "The Incal." Difool's adventures will bring him into conflict with the galaxy's greatest warrior, the Metabaron, and will pit him against the awesome powers of the Technopope. These encounters and many more make up a tale of comic and cosmic proportions that has Difool fighting for not only his very survival, but also the survival of the entire universe.

30 review for The Incal

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    Down and out class R detective John DiFool has a powerful artifact, The Incal, fall into his grasp. But what is the Incal? And what will other people do to get it? Yeah, that's grossly oversimplifying it but The Incal throws so many concepts at you it's hard to simplify. Do I mention the far-future, near dystopian setting where most of humanity spends most of its time watching TV? Or the giant flying space jellyfish? Or the dark eggs? Or The Metabaron, the biggest bad ass in the galaxy? Or the Pr Down and out class R detective John DiFool has a powerful artifact, The Incal, fall into his grasp. But what is the Incal? And what will other people do to get it? Yeah, that's grossly oversimplifying it but The Incal throws so many concepts at you it's hard to simplify. Do I mention the far-future, near dystopian setting where most of humanity spends most of its time watching TV? Or the giant flying space jellyfish? Or the dark eggs? Or The Metabaron, the biggest bad ass in the galaxy? Or the Prezident and his hunchbacks? Or the conjoined twins that rule the empire, The Emperoress? The story starts at street level with John DiFool finding the Incal and scales up a few times until it's the ultimate battle between light and darkness with the entire universe at stake. Jodorowsky throws idea after idea at the reader without much breathing room.The story gets a little incoherent at times but it's best to hold on and pay attention as best you can. I have to think Grant Morrison borrows a lot from this. The art is by Moebius and is quintessential Moebius: an orgy of clean lines and minimalist but still intricate art. I'm a little saddened that it's taken me this long to discover Moebius but I'm glad I have a lot his comics ahead of me. The presentation, with the original colors on slick paper, is akin to the Dark Horse Moebius Library. It's built to last and I plan on putting it to the test. Things got really crazy toward the end. I'd say The Incal is more about the journey and the ideas along the way than the destination. While I enjoyed this quite a bit, I think I'll leave John DiFool's other adventures on the shelf. The poor bastard has been through enough! While I didn't like this one quite as much as World of Edena, I'll be tracking down more of Humanoids' Moebius titles some time soon. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I think that seeing the documentary Jodorowski's Dune helped prepare me for this book, since I knew what I was getting into. In a lot of ways, The Incal does what Jodorowski wasn't able to do with his film adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel. As far as I can tell, The Incal is about...proto-scientific neo-spiritual existentialism? That sounds about right. In a weird way, this story reminded me of C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy--not a connection I was expecting to make as I read this. My suggestion f I think that seeing the documentary Jodorowski's Dune helped prepare me for this book, since I knew what I was getting into. In a lot of ways, The Incal does what Jodorowski wasn't able to do with his film adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel. As far as I can tell, The Incal is about...proto-scientific neo-spiritual existentialism? That sounds about right. In a weird way, this story reminded me of C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy--not a connection I was expecting to make as I read this. My suggestion for tackling The Incal is to leave your expectations of traditional storytelling at the door. It starts weird, and gets weirder, so it's more important to just appreciate the unbridled creativity that Jodorowski and Moebius bring to life. If you spend time trying to find the threads of an actual narrative here, it'll just drive you nuts every time someone yells, "Oh no! The Necrodroid!" or "Quickly, Metabaron! We must stop the shadow egg from devouring the sun!" Just don't ask questions and you'll be fine.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sean Francisco Yau-Smith

    When Jean Giraud or Moebius passed away, the international "comic book" or "graphic novel" lost the last of the 4 great giants who shaped the medium (the other three being Osamu Tezuka, Will Eisner and Jack Kirby)- geniuses who combined an innovative and unique look and feel, with a tremendous breadth of work. While American exposure to Moebius actual comic book work was limited- his overall effect in terms of design and mass media can't be understated - first through the translations of "Metal When Jean Giraud or Moebius passed away, the international "comic book" or "graphic novel" lost the last of the 4 great giants who shaped the medium (the other three being Osamu Tezuka, Will Eisner and Jack Kirby)- geniuses who combined an innovative and unique look and feel, with a tremendous breadth of work. While American exposure to Moebius actual comic book work was limited- his overall effect in terms of design and mass media can't be understated - first through the translations of "Metal Hurlant" into "Heavy Metal"- but then coming to full fruition as designer for "Alien", "Tron", Blade Runner" and "The Fifth Element". Arguably, while the techno-fetish side of cyber-punk was influenced by Japanese Manga (Otomo's "Akira")- Giraud gave it the "film-noir" aspect. And of course- cyber-punk went and informed everything else. To re-read The Incal- is to revisit and artist at his creative prime, working with his best life-long collaborator - Alejandro Jodorowsky. The result is a great visual jazz riff between the two. Moebius lays down sheet after of stunning visual layouts and details- while Jodorowsky's plot twists and turns keep you running with the momentum. Reading this now, 30 years after it's launch, a lot might seem familiar- the work influenced a lot of current science fiction - "the Fifth Element" and even the Matrix- but that's because this is the source material for what we see now. TBH- a feel this piece time-travels a lot better than "The Watchmen" or "Dark Knight"- it maintains a fresh, vital take on the world around it. Hopefully, more of Moebius work will finally make it to the US. In the meantime don't miss this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    Great art, awful writing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This book drips in pure sci-fi creativity. It seems like every page has a new, cool concept put forth; all within a cohesive narrative. (I won't give any examples, as I think that would take away from the enjoyment of reading this book). Moebius's art is fantastic. The new reprinted of The Incal respectfully retains the original coloring (which is especially nice since many reprints seem to replace the original color with some awful modern rendering). I see so many artists that I love within Moeb This book drips in pure sci-fi creativity. It seems like every page has a new, cool concept put forth; all within a cohesive narrative. (I won't give any examples, as I think that would take away from the enjoyment of reading this book). Moebius's art is fantastic. The new reprinted of The Incal respectfully retains the original coloring (which is especially nice since many reprints seem to replace the original color with some awful modern rendering). I see so many artists that I love within Moebius. I imagine those artists reading the same pages that I was and falling in love with the style and later adopting it into their own. The story-telling is a bit dated, and I usually hate saying that something is worth a read for its supposed historical importance (as if I would have any conception of which books are historically important); but I can't help but see so many elements here that were used by latter creators like P. Craig Russell, Paul Pope, Frank Miller, and numerous sci-fi films, and would recommend a read on that basis alone. Brian Michael Bendis wrote a forward to the new edition which consists mostly of him getting angry at people ripping off The Incal. He claims, rightfully, that people should be inspired by the creative impulse that possessed Jodorowsky and Moebius to create this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Jose

    I loved this book a little too much that I will refrain myself from reviewing it. This is Kilger Trout in graphic novel format with one of the most unique and most amazing artwork ever.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Blake Ellis

    Moebius: Great at art. Genius of western comics. Jodorowsky: Great concepts, but has the biggest, dumbest lead foot when it comes to execution. At the very least, can someone call a cease-fire to his out of control use of exclamation points? If you expect character development, coherent plot, robust and convincing dialogue, and any respect for subtlety at all, apply elsewhere. In fairness to Jodo - his films are amazing when any pretense of these elements of storytelling are bypassed completely. Moebius: Great at art. Genius of western comics. Jodorowsky: Great concepts, but has the biggest, dumbest lead foot when it comes to execution. At the very least, can someone call a cease-fire to his out of control use of exclamation points? If you expect character development, coherent plot, robust and convincing dialogue, and any respect for subtlety at all, apply elsewhere. In fairness to Jodo - his films are amazing when any pretense of these elements of storytelling are bypassed completely. Surreal audiovisual experiences. But when you have something that resembles a plot, and you have enticing character concepts, and you have constant dialogue, and you have to spend more than two hours with it, it clearly kind of falls apart here. I have to admit, I'd probably be more forgiving if everything Jodorowsky releases here in the states wasn't prefaced by some hyperbolic statements to the tune of "the books the form was made for." I wonder if these people read that much? Science fiction, comics, or otherwise?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Max

    Wild, expansive, profoundly weird space opera fairy tale replete with Dune-like bits. Lots of union-of-genders-mystic-tantra stuff here, too—definitely bears the mark of being written in the 80s. Amazing art, vivid, fast-moving action. As Brian Michael Bendis points out in his forward, it's painfully obvious that some people have spent their whole careers ripping this off, I mean, creating vivid homages.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Jackson

    ***1/2 stars. I can see why this epic has inspired so many other sci-fi and comix creators - it's spilling over with fascinating ideas about media and technology, compelling adventure scenes and detailed cityscapes, and Moebius's eye-popping graphics. It was a fun read though also a bit clinical. The characters are all one-dimensional archetypes, there's no emotion generated, and the scenes about convincing entire galaxies to meditate had an awkward New Age feel to them. But if you're a fan of M ***1/2 stars. I can see why this epic has inspired so many other sci-fi and comix creators - it's spilling over with fascinating ideas about media and technology, compelling adventure scenes and detailed cityscapes, and Moebius's eye-popping graphics. It was a fun read though also a bit clinical. The characters are all one-dimensional archetypes, there's no emotion generated, and the scenes about convincing entire galaxies to meditate had an awkward New Age feel to them. But if you're a fan of Moebius and/or Jodorowsky, this is well worth your time.

  10. 5 out of 5

    S.A. Hunter

    I kept picking up this graphic novel, reading a few pages, only to then put it down again. I could never get into it. The story zooms everywhere and is very epic, but the characters are not really developed and the dialogue is at times kind of preachy. I don't know if it all reads better in the original French or not. This story is heavy in metaphysics, and it felt like a lot of the supposed profundity of the text whizzed over my head, or maybe Jodorowsky tried to jam too much into this one stor I kept picking up this graphic novel, reading a few pages, only to then put it down again. I could never get into it. The story zooms everywhere and is very epic, but the characters are not really developed and the dialogue is at times kind of preachy. I don't know if it all reads better in the original French or not. This story is heavy in metaphysics, and it felt like a lot of the supposed profundity of the text whizzed over my head, or maybe Jodorowsky tried to jam too much into this one story. Like I don't understand why he felt the need to introduce the five humors of John Difool, portrayed as funny little cartoon imps, when they didn't seem to add anything to the story or maybe that whizzed over my head, too. But there is a lot going on in this book and stuff is introduced on the fly that seems to be really big, but we don't get to spend any time on it. I thought maybe I wasn't really reading the first in a series and some of the characters were developed in previous stories, but though Jodorowsky wrote some prequels, this was supposed to be a standalone story. There are so many characters that we don't get to know any of them, except possibly Difool, and he just barely. Though I felt like I wasn't getting much of the story, I persevered because I'd never read a work drawn by Moebius and wanted to keep looking at his artwork, and I had to read to understand what the artwork was portraying. The introduction to this book was by Brian Michael Bendis, which consists of him beseeching the reader not to rip off this book. I admit many of the elements in this story were familiar from other stories, notably The Fifth Element. Jodorowsky and Moebius sued the director Luc Besson for copyright infringement. They didn't win their case, but I think they had plenty of cause, and I think Jodorowsky and Moebius' estate may want to take a hard look at the past series of Dr. Who because there are a lot of things that are very similar. I recognized the microscopic spaceship and possibly the protoqueen/the flesh as being from this book. I'm sure there are more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    I should have known that this would be weird knowing that it is written by Jodorowsky. It was nice to see the art by Moebius. I just didn't like this.

  12. 5 out of 5

    C. Varn

    Jodorowsky's "The Incal" is a decidedly unique hard book to write about because it is an experience that is deeply engaging, profoundly uneven, narratively frustrating, and dripping with Jodorowsky's almost maniac and gonzo ideas. Jodorowsky's comics are as enigmatic as his films but often with less subtly in its symbolism. While certain characters do have some narrative consistency such as the Metabaron and John DiFool, most the characters seem to have total personality changes depending on th Jodorowsky's "The Incal" is a decidedly unique hard book to write about because it is an experience that is deeply engaging, profoundly uneven, narratively frustrating, and dripping with Jodorowsky's almost maniac and gonzo ideas. Jodorowsky's comics are as enigmatic as his films but often with less subtly in its symbolism. While certain characters do have some narrative consistency such as the Metabaron and John DiFool, most the characters seem to have total personality changes depending on the plot. The parameters of the universe are also vague--alternately like a space opera and a Platonic dimensions of geometry. The dialogue is often terrible and borders on a blend of spiritual and techno-jargon. Still, in this comic, one can see the vision that launched a thousand ships. The epic strangeness is unique. If one is not already familiar with Jodorowsky, I strongly suggest starting with the 2014 documentary, Jodorowsky's Dune, and one can see clearly where the maniac genius of "The Incal" was born. The spiritual allegories are also rife in this work in ways that may be somewhat alien to people not familiar with Jodorowsky. Moebius's art as well as the original color work remains and really adds depth of character and interest to Jodorowsky's vision. I strongly suggest reading this even if I will freely admit that it is a far from perfect work.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Monsour

    So this what they call the contender to be "For the best comicbook in medias history" huh Its alright actually. Pretty good Incal is not you're average Sci-Fi, hell you cant even call this a Sci-fi at all. More like a weed trip in space actually. Its basically Space Opera(means technology logic don't apply on this as much) part spiritual journey(means hipster people will love this) and also a littlebit of satire(like your employer have sex with a werewolf/you're bird becomes a prophet/fighting a So this what they call the contender to be "For the best comicbook in medias history" huh Its alright actually. Pretty good Incal is not you're average Sci-Fi, hell you cant even call this a Sci-fi at all. More like a weed trip in space actually. Its basically Space Opera(means technology logic don't apply on this as much) part spiritual journey(means hipster people will love this) and also a littlebit of satire(like your employer have sex with a werewolf/you're bird becomes a prophet/fighting a giant scorpion naked/teaming up with other hipster friends/meeting god kind of satire). THAT'S A LOT ACTUALLY IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wes Benchoff

    Sci-fi mysticism, visualized LSD, tarot symbolism, and nudity

  15. 4 out of 5

    Doyle

    This would have been better as a silent art book. Moebius's art is astounding, but Jodorowsky's story is trash.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brandon St Mark

    Finished this a couple of days ago but apperently I forgot to add that to goodreads. Anyway, really enjoyed this, althought it feel like there were 4 different endings to this book but Jodo kept going "and now THIS!". Which I suppose my be okay for some people, but it got to the point where I really identified with John Difool about being tired of it all lol. But there were a lot of great elements in this book that make up for it. Would definitely say to check it out!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Byron Georgalas

    I am sorry, but I couldn't like "The Incal" as much as I wanted. Its art is what an epic space opera should be. Colossal scale but with attention to detail, really beautiful exotic environments with the necessary disregard of physics and it succeeded in immersing you in that degenerate galaxy. Being true to the sci-fi genre, it also dealt with pressing social subjects, like the indifference of the individual and the media manipulation by the leading elite, which allowed (in my view) the Darkness I am sorry, but I couldn't like "The Incal" as much as I wanted. Its art is what an epic space opera should be. Colossal scale but with attention to detail, really beautiful exotic environments with the necessary disregard of physics and it succeeded in immersing you in that degenerate galaxy. Being true to the sci-fi genre, it also dealt with pressing social subjects, like the indifference of the individual and the media manipulation by the leading elite, which allowed (in my view) the Darkness to creep. It was then, as I mentioned, a story of epic proportions, but the storytelling was lacking. The characters seemed to accept very easily every absurd idea that the Incal had, losing their individuality and, one could say, their own free will. The only one who revolted was John Difool, but in an incoherent, chaotic and seemingly unjustified way. Further, the pacing seemed rushed and there were many times where large jumps were made within the same page. For last, I left the dialogues who seemed for the most part quite uninspired and bland. Perhaps that was due to the translation from French, but unfortunately, unless I dedicate four years of my life to achieve mastery over that language, I will not learn first-hand if the quality in the dialogues was literally lost in translation. To sum it up, I enjoyed it, but it fell short. The three stars are for the general story, the universe and the artwork. Perhaps it was my high initial expectations. Perhaps I wasn't careful enough when I was reading it. Perhaps...I don't know. What I know is that I will certainly give it another chance. PS. In this particular edition, the typed text seemed too poor in oversized bubbles that were designed for the original (French) letters. Please, be more careful the next time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Vikram

    Jodorowsky - i started reading only because of this name and what an excruciating pain it is to finish reading. If sci-fi is all about writing mumbo jumbo technical words, then anyone can write too. This is bible meets edge of tomorrow/ source code. The only positive thing about reading this graphic novel is the illustrations and the color. So imaginative and vivid it is. Should think twice from now on before picking anything from hyped up writers. Phew!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tamahome

    EDIT: Getting it for Christmas! Proposed animated movie trailer, very good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4Vkyz... Saw this in 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die. Holy crap.

  20. 4 out of 5

    David Gallin-Parisi

    The legendary, always-mentioned-but-rarely-seen, influential, and illustrious Mobius and Jodorowsky work is a must read for anybody interested in the following things. Bear with me, this is a long list. Check this out if you find yourself in any of these listings: fantasy lover, sci-fi dreamer, trip-mode druggy adventure, video games, Star Wars, art comics like Ben Jones' or CF's contemporary works, comics like X-Men or X-Whatever, desert dystopias, blade runner dystopias, rainbow industrial par The legendary, always-mentioned-but-rarely-seen, influential, and illustrious Mobius and Jodorowsky work is a must read for anybody interested in the following things. Bear with me, this is a long list. Check this out if you find yourself in any of these listings: fantasy lover, sci-fi dreamer, trip-mode druggy adventure, video games, Star Wars, art comics like Ben Jones' or CF's contemporary works, comics like X-Men or X-Whatever, desert dystopias, blade runner dystopias, rainbow industrial parks, moldy aliens, outer space, inner space, detective noir-ish characters, loners, goddesses, spiritual awakenings, and more. If you like ANY of the above, you've probably already seen parts of this work. This work has been so massive to so many writers, artists, film makers, and designers that much of The Incal seems already appeared; re-done, re-realized, appropriated, and re-inserted into so many mediums. Let's just say that after reading this I gained much new found admiration for Jodorowsky and Mobius, and lost even more respect for George Lucas. All that said, The Incal is rad in the farthest reaches of the work. This work is entirely pleasurable and immersive. The original colors have been restored and feel like a luscious strip of candy dots, saturated with sugar and color, placed on your tongue for each page turned. Jodorowsky's writing keeps taking the story up and beyond to some next level shit, to paraphrase the dorks that will devour this. Video game lovers story progression. Plus all the gorgeous and intense tripped-out art. If you see this anywhere, buy on sight. Or check it out immediately from your library. Electric, heavy, streamlined, deep adventure.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    The complete collection of the Jodorowsky/Mœbius classic recounts the extraordinary (mis)adventures of the inept private investigator John DiFool. He seemingly stumbles upon the Incal, an entity of immense power. Through bizarre and often metaphysical means, DiFool finds himself as the most important being in the universe. Jodorowsky and Mœbius include several fascinating companions as DiFool follows his unwanted destiny: Deepo, a sentient concrete bird; The Metabaron, the most powerful fighter The complete collection of the Jodorowsky/Mœbius classic recounts the extraordinary (mis)adventures of the inept private investigator John DiFool. He seemingly stumbles upon the Incal, an entity of immense power. Through bizarre and often metaphysical means, DiFool finds himself as the most important being in the universe. Jodorowsky and Mœbius include several fascinating companions as DiFool follows his unwanted destiny: Deepo, a sentient concrete bird; The Metabaron, the most powerful fighter in the universe; Solune, The Metabaron's son of questionable origin; Wolfhead, hellbent on revenge; Animah, the beautiful rat queen and possible Goddess; and Tanatah, Animah's sister and Queen of the Amoks. This unlikely team defends the universe from near destruction while ushering DiFool to his improbable, predetermined fate. The magnificent Incal, beautifully rendered by Mœbius and perfectly written by Jodorowksy, ranks among some of the finest graphic novels of all time. It should be required reading by all comics and science fiction fans.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    An absolute riot of art and Scifi adventure. The story is good but it's Mœbius's stunning art that makes it so interesting. Just what I needed to take my mind off of a sprained neck and shoulder. This is actually six volumes in one formatted and translated into English.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Relstuart

    First read of this book. I've heard of it over the years and had it described as a classic. The first issues were published in 1981 so it's been around for a while. Having read it I do have an understanding of why people call it a classic in the sense that ideas from this book have been replicated in some form or another in many sci-fi stories. The 5th element came to mind a few times and the story does borrow some elements from Dune, one of the greatest sci-fi books of the 2oth century. Many of First read of this book. I've heard of it over the years and had it described as a classic. The first issues were published in 1981 so it's been around for a while. Having read it I do have an understanding of why people call it a classic in the sense that ideas from this book have been replicated in some form or another in many sci-fi stories. The 5th element came to mind a few times and the story does borrow some elements from Dune, one of the greatest sci-fi books of the 2oth century. Many of the ideas feel familiar. There is a lot of philosophy tucked into the story. I liked the comment from another reviewer, that it seemed to contain/portray "proto-scientific neo-spiritual existentialism." The main character (John DiFool) has little character progression though the story staying a fairly selfish individual seeking his own pleasure. Probably a lesson there. The art is well done and the slipcase version of the book is very well put together.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lukas Sumper

    This is kind of a must read. I know that phrase is overused but for this book it just holds true... this pretty much is the best sci-fi graphic novel I've read (by far) and I don't see that its gonna be topped, just because of its crazy cultural importance across multiple mediums! I mean the list of people that got influenced by this book is staggering and they are no unknowns, George Lucas, Ridley Scott, Luc Besson etc. and you can see why, this is one awe Inspiring book. The first half I though This is kind of a must read. I know that phrase is overused but for this book it just holds true... this pretty much is the best sci-fi graphic novel I've read (by far) and I don't see that its gonna be topped, just because of its crazy cultural importance across multiple mediums! I mean the list of people that got influenced by this book is staggering and they are no unknowns, George Lucas, Ridley Scott, Luc Besson etc. and you can see why, this is one awe Inspiring book. The first half I thought, plays out like a good original Sci-Fi story altho you'd guess where its going .. wrong, the second half throws that out of the window, and does things I haven't seen in any other si-fi story, pretty great considering how many facettes of this book already have been copied since (for the lack of a better word). And the art? Well I would buy the book just for the art alone, enough said. Sure you can see and also read the 70s shining through a bit, but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment I had reading this wonderful crazy story. 5 out of 5 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Konstantine Paradias

    The definition of sexy sleazy space opera, the Incal is what every rubbery sf book should be. A hell of a thrill ride from start to finish, even if it does suffer from inconsistencies.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mykle

    I've been trying to get into the comics of Jodorowsky, because I seem to only want to read comics these days, and I do so adore his insane, beautiful, eyeball-exploding movies. And who doesn't love the rapturous SF landscapes of Moebius? So I finally got around to reading this classic. It starts out gritty and fascinating and funny, detailing the woes of John Difool, a low-budget private detective who's only trying to get paid and laid and not entirely killed, in a future fantasy world even more I've been trying to get into the comics of Jodorowsky, because I seem to only want to read comics these days, and I do so adore his insane, beautiful, eyeball-exploding movies. And who doesn't love the rapturous SF landscapes of Moebius? So I finally got around to reading this classic. It starts out gritty and fascinating and funny, detailing the woes of John Difool, a low-budget private detective who's only trying to get paid and laid and not entirely killed, in a future fantasy world even more gorgeous and unfair than our own. At first it's basic hardboiled SF-pulp: some astro-heavies throw him off an astro-balcony, some astro-cops hassle him, he shoots a dog-person he shouldn't have shot ... but then, in the process of running after and/or away from one or several of those guys, John Difool stumbles quite randomly upon a tiny jewel containing a mystical God-like sentient plot device called "The Incal". From there the story grows increasingly wilder and more epic ... a cavalcade of superhuman metabeings wander onstage, enacting dastardly interstellar plots from the cockpits of their insanely cool spaceships ... soon the fate of the universe hangs in the balance, and The Incal is the thing everybody wants, needs, or insists upon destroying. Jodorowsky's visual imagination runs at full-throttle here, and Moebius brings it all to life magnificently, adding humanizing details and awesome levitating techno-architecture throughout, but much to my own surprise, about halfway through the story it all started to get tedious and boring. Because characters and plot complications and cool spaceships ... they just keep coming! The Emperoress! The Necrodroid! The Metabaron! Jodorowsky keeps adding more and more of these mega-powerful proper nouns, any one of which could have rated its own comic. Eventually the "protagonist" as such becomes a crowded interspecies talk-therapy encounter group of about a dozen characters, all visually amazing yet behaviorally indistinct badass-types who spend the second half of the book thoroughly disempowered, just going along with whatever The Incal tells them to, because The Incal is good and all powerful and knows everything and has a plan. (Although that plan makes no sense at all, because The All-Knowing Benevolent Mystic Being called "The Incal" is really just The All-Knowing Benevolent Mystic Being called "Alejandro Jodorowsky" in mumbo-jumbo mystic mode, muttering his semi-coherent theories of personal development and pyramid power while lecturing all of humanity on its inability to grow up. ) Meanwhile, the ostensible hero of the book, John Difool, exhibits exactly one character trait: whining about everything. He doesn't ever change -- he's always arguing with The Incal, he's always wrong to do so, he never learns, nor does he ever get killed, beautiful brainless heroines fall in love with him anyway ... and he's the most interesting character. Near the end of the story we meet a whole planet full of him, a million whiny and unchanging clones. He saves the universe (again? or for the first time? tl;dr) by convincing them all to take a nap. Which isn't like him, or like them, and makes no sense anyway ... but by that point I was just excited about finally reaching the ending. (Spoiler: there isn't one.) I'm pretty sure Jodorowsky shuffled a tarot deck and drew a card every time he wasn't sure what to write next. And in a way that worked brilliantly for him. But it's not enough; it's a font of ideas, but it's not a story in itself. His film THE HOLY MOUNTAIN had exactly the same problem, probably due to the same writing technique. Both works are undeniably cool in their sheer visual and symbolic power. Neither work ends up containing more than that. But in Holy Mountain, any expectation of a comprehensible plot is gone in the first ten minutes or so. After that, if you're still watching, it's because your dealer gave you really good acid. Whereas The Incal starts out with a promise of hot, meaty storytelling, but then slowly, agonizingly changes its mind, wimps out, and serves up only a taco salad of New-Agey SF -- cold, meatless, lacking even the tofu of a happy ending.

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Pistelli

    This classic 1980s science fiction graphic novel is the tale of John DiFool (i.e., the fool of the Tarot, representing humanity's freedom and stupidity) and his journey to save the cosmos in the company of his sometime lover Animah (i.e., his Jungian anima, or female aspect) and some other probably allegorical figures on behalf and with the aid of the titular Incal, a device incarnating the animating spirit of the universe. Rising from the ruins of Jodorowsky's abortive Dune adaptation, The Inca This classic 1980s science fiction graphic novel is the tale of John DiFool (i.e., the fool of the Tarot, representing humanity's freedom and stupidity) and his journey to save the cosmos in the company of his sometime lover Animah (i.e., his Jungian anima, or female aspect) and some other probably allegorical figures on behalf and with the aid of the titular Incal, a device incarnating the animating spirit of the universe. Rising from the ruins of Jodorowsky's abortive Dune adaptation, The Incal is both ludicrous and sublime as a half-satirical and all-visionary tour of variously cosmic locales, from dystopian noir pit-cities to sea planets patrolled by giant jellyfish. Moebius's art weaves intricate grounds with cartoonish figures into a dense texture that accomplishes for the novel what the sometimes thin writing cannot—the creation of a world, or, in this case, a universe. Moebius is a giant, and I would not disparage him casually, but I would say that he is perhaps—in contrast to someone like Eisner or Tezuka—a great comics artist without necessarily being a great comics storyteller; his layouts here are often more muddled than delirious, and he even once resorts to arrows to lead the reader's eye across the confusingly arrayed panels. The writing often has a similarly counterproductive effect. I actually appreciate Jodorowsky's casually imaginative "never explain, never apologize" approach to his settings, which I prefer to elaborate expository "world building," but the characters are just as sketchy, some of them not even rising to the level of caricature or symbol. Given the length and complexity of the saga, the indifference bred by his approach to the characters sometimes makes it difficult to want to pick the book up again for any other reason than Moebius's delineation of the settings. Jodorowsky, like some other writers who want to communicate occult or magical beliefs (I would also point to Grant Morrison), too often substitutes archetypes for characters. But it easier to have a visionary experience with a work of fiction, in whatever medium, if we can inhabit the narrative by having a convincingly intersubjective relation to the fictional figures. We should come to care about the metaphysics because we care about the characters or narrative, not the other way around—as Dante understood. (My citation of Dante aside, Jodorowsky would no doubt regard my criticism as weak, bourgeois, American sentimentalism: "I shit on the United States of America!" he declares in the BBC Moebius documentary, referring in particular to American comics's need for heroes and their pathos.) Finally, I am puzzled by Jodorowsky's metaphysics as such. Over and over again, the novel invokes the union of opposites—dark and light, masculine and feminine—yet at the conclusion we meet a great-bearded father God. (Perhaps no surprise, given this book's treatment of sex and gender.) The possibility of progress and evolution is held out, but eventually we discern a bitter cycle in which The Fool cannot move forward. Finally, what are these characters' journeys even worth intrinsically if they have been so aided and motivated by the deus ex machina of The Incal? The grandeur of this book makes all my carping and caviling look petty, though. The Incal has been enormously influential on the science fiction and fantasy of our time. Even if I am right that it is lacking in certain particulars (characterization, philosophy), its landscapes and seascapes and spacescapes and psychescapes are so indelible, its mingled tone of scabrous misanthropy and visionary hope so distinctive (this is the basis, I assume, for Pascal Ory's comparison, in his afterword, of the book to Don Quixote), that The Incal will remain a classic.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    I really wanted to like The Incal, and there are parts I really like! The artwork is amazing, and it keeps getting better as the story progresses. Some of the ideas were really creative and fun. There was a lot here that made me think. But I can't give more than two stars for the way they treat John Difool. The entire plot consists of everyone doing whatever the Incal says, John complains about it, and then either a) John decides to help because the girl he likes tricks him into it, b) the girl h I really wanted to like The Incal, and there are parts I really like! The artwork is amazing, and it keeps getting better as the story progresses. Some of the ideas were really creative and fun. There was a lot here that made me think. But I can't give more than two stars for the way they treat John Difool. The entire plot consists of everyone doing whatever the Incal says, John complains about it, and then either a) John decides to help because the girl he likes tricks him into it, b) the girl he likes says she will sleep with him if he does it, d) the Incal takes over his body and makes him do heroic things, rendering him completely passive, or c) he doesn't do anything and things just seem to work out on their own without him doing anything. I understand that this is the point, with the allegory and the tarot symbolism, etc. But come on! Boring characters make a boring story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    180816: difficult to rate, i understand this is classic band-desinee from france, that this is 'adult', that this inspired an entirely different and more mature sort of 'comic book', but i had read of this, heard of this, so was primed to be disappointed. as others note, the artwork by moebius is great, the story by jodorowsky not. i could call this a three but i am judging more by aspiration, by dream, of what can be given in the medium of graphics, than all of the story. maybe if i had read th 180816: difficult to rate, i understand this is classic band-desinee from france, that this is 'adult', that this inspired an entirely different and more mature sort of 'comic book', but i had read of this, heard of this, so was primed to be disappointed. as others note, the artwork by moebius is great, the story by jodorowsky not. i could call this a three but i am judging more by aspiration, by dream, of what can be given in the medium of graphics, than all of the story. maybe if i had read this as a teen i would be blown away, now not so much. some great images, some satire, some visualized spiritism. this goes more or less parallel in influence with 'akira' for japanese graphic or ‘watchmen' for anglo-american...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Don

    I'll be honest, I finally got around to reading this classic only after having seen Frank Pavich's documentary Jodorowsky's Dune. I'd heard of Jodo and his El Topo, and you can't be any kind of comics fan without having at least heard the name Mœbius. Still, I came late to this particular party. It's absolutely true what people have said--you can literally pick out the bits that have been used in any number of sci-fi films over the past 30 years. I'd never read The Incal, but every one of Mœbius I'll be honest, I finally got around to reading this classic only after having seen Frank Pavich's documentary Jodorowsky's Dune. I'd heard of Jodo and his El Topo, and you can't be any kind of comics fan without having at least heard the name Mœbius. Still, I came late to this particular party. It's absolutely true what people have said--you can literally pick out the bits that have been used in any number of sci-fi films over the past 30 years. I'd never read The Incal, but every one of Mœbius's meticulously drawn panels seemed familiar. Jodo's writing didn't disappoint either--it's a good example of a writer weaving his beliefs into a story while avoiding, IMO, turning the work into a tract.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.