cover image The Grande Odalisque

The Grande Odalisque

Bastien Vivès, Florent Ruppert, and Jérôme Mulot, trans. from the French by Montana Kane. Fantagraphics, $24.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-68396-402-5

Parisian burglars Carole and Alex are in high demand in this elegantly drawn heist. Their successful theft from Le Musée d’Orsay has led crime boss Durieux to call on them for their biggest job yet, stealing Ingres’s La Grande Odalisque from the Louvre in broad daylight. The collaboration of Vivès (the Last Man series) with Ruppert and Mulot (Barrel of Monkeys), who are known for more experimental work, sets a tone that’s both deadpan and lighthearted, complemented by loose, spare art that manages to be both suave and efficient. While thrilling action set pieces abound—battles with a Mexican drug cartel and a motorcycle chase through the Louvre among them—the comic’s heart is the relationship between the characters. Carole is a no-nonsense former gymnast who usually takes lead; Alex is a bit more erratic—she nearly botches their getaway while arguing with her ex boyfriend on the phone. Carole also brings in accomplice Sam, a female motocross and “chessboxing” champion. Mixing top-notch thrills with introspective character study, this adventure never takes itself too seriously. It’s a delicious caper with all the trimmings. (Feb.)