This week in our Comic Book/Graphic Novel Highlight we bring you the 56-page graphic novel Isle of 100,000 Graves illustrated by Jason (simply) and authored by Fabien Vehlmann, published by Fantagraphics. L’Île aux 100000 Morts (Isle of 100000 Graves) originally published in French is now coming out in an English version.
Five years ago, little Gwenny’s father found, a map inside a bottle with instructions on how to reach the mysterious (and titular) Isle of 100,000 Graves and its legendary treasures – and then he vanished. Now Gwenny, having stumbled across another bottle-shipped map, enlists the dubious help of a shipful of pirates and sets out to find the island and her long-lost dad.
Little does she realize that the Isle comes by its ominous name honestly, as the location of a secret school for executioners and torturers, where apple-cheeked youngsters are taught the finer points of extracting information from prisoners … and then putting an end to their lives in a wide variety of gruesome ways. And they’ve reached the point in their studies where theory should ideally give way to practice, so an influx of uninvited visitors comes as a blessing to the faculty.
This story is a comedy, albeit a dark one.
Here is the original French cover: