Lastman (comic book)

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Lastman
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Publication information
Publisher Casterman
Format Limited series
Genre action, adventure
Publication date March 2013
No. of issues 9
Creative team
Written by Bastien Vivès, Balak
Artist(s) Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville

Lastman is a French comics series written by Bastien Vivès and Balak and drawn by Bastien Vivès and Michaël Sanlaville. It has been published since March 2013 by Casterman in the collection KSTЯ.[1] In 2016, an adult animation telling the genesis of the main character started being aired on the public French TV channel France 4.

Synopsis[edit]

In the "Valley of Kings", a world where magic is acknowledged as reality, an annual grand tournament sponsored by the King and Queen is being prepared. Young Adrian Velba works all year in the combat school of Master Jansen to participate. Sadly, Adrian’s partner suddenly falls ill and deserts. Since it is a duo tournament, the young boy is forced to give up his dream… until Richard Aldana, a hunk with bearish manners comes out of nowhere to unexpectedly ally himself with Adrian.

Characters[edit]

Main Characters[edit]

  • Richard Aldana
  • Adrian Velba
  • Marianne Velba

Characters of "the Valley of Kings"[edit]

  • Master Jansen
  • Cristo Canyon
  • Lord Ignacio Cudna
  • King Virgil
  • Queen Efira
  • Francis Sullivan
  • Elorna Morgan
  • Gregorio Lempkin
  • Madame Sakova

"Paxtown" characters[edit]

  • Tomie Katana
  • Milo Zotis
  • "H"
  • Peter Verkaik
  • Banus
  • Fiona Merry

Presentation[edit]

The series was initially pre-published on delitoon.com, a free website for the publication of comic books on the web.[2] It is depicted as a "French-style manga", by Bastien Vivès : " We use the format and some codes of the manga but we’re not playing at imitating Japanese culture". Vivès also mentions as other influences Disney movies and blockbusters from the 80’s and 90’s (some of them by Steven Spielberg ).[3]

To keep up with the exacting publication rhythm of 20 sheets per week, the authors have well-defined tasks : "Bastien [Vivès] imagines the story in its main arcs, the intentions of the characters, the way the action will evolve, then talks about with the other two: Balak is in charge of the storyboard, cuts the album into episodes, in the way of a TV series season […] Finally, Michaël [Sanlaville] draws 20 sheets weekly with Bastien, and everyone checks everyone else’s sheet".[4] The narration rhythm is based on that of a TV series’ : "We try to adapt to the rhythm of quickly fast produced and aired TV series, like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones’s adaptations. And as for this, we really have to bow down to Balak, who rapidly creates and storyboards without losing anything of his quality".[5]

The first Lastman cycle was concluded after the six first volumes. The second one should also count six numbers.

Volumes List[edit]

  • Tome 1, March 2013 (ISBN 978-2-203-04773-0)
  • Tome 2, June 2013 (ISBN 978-2-203-06880-3)
  • Tome 3, November 2013 (ISBN 978-2-203-07404-0)
  • Tome 4, March 2014 (ISBN 978-2-203-07848-2)
  • Tome 5, June 2014 (ISBN 978-2-203-07849-9)
  • Tome 6, October 2014 (ISBN 978-2-203-08359-2)
  • Tome 7, August 2015 (ISBN 978-2-203-09094-1)
  • Tome 8, January 2016 (ISBN 978-2-203-09095-8)
  • Tome 9, October 2016 (ISBN 978-2-203-10285-9)
  • Tome 10, August 2017 (ISBN 978-2-203-12620-6)

Hors-série[edit]

Reception[edit]

The series has received mixed review from both generalist and specialised press. Du9, who considers that the series is a success from a formal point of view, especially thanks to the "charm of Vivès’s typical feminine characters, whose beauty is sometimes only shown by a few strokes of the pencil", also thinks that it "would be less likely that the series trigger the massive adhesion of children and pre-teen readers", the authors addressing "rather young adults or, more likely, geeks nostalgic of Japanese series and/or being receptive to "fan service"[6]". Télérama finds "the story efficient and funny, clearly inspired by Dragon Ball of Akira Toriyama [4]". The Huffington Post points out that "Vivès uses the classical codes of martial arts tournament manga only to crush them more efficiently with his bearish and ruthless Aldana".[7]

The series has met with quite a success in Europe with nearly 100 000 volumes sold abroad, especially in Italy, Spain and Germany. 10 000 copies were distributed in USA in March 2015.

Adaptation[edit]

Adult animation (series)[edit]

An adult animation, prequel to the comic book, was produced thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign in the summer of 2016.[8] The episodes were all aired on France 4, on Tuesday evenings, from November 22 to December 14, 2016. The show is currently on the VRV streaming service exclusively.

Video game[edit]

A video game, Lastfight, developed by the independent publisher Piranaking, came out on September, 20th 2016.[9]

Exhibition[edit]

Distinction[edit]

Nominations[edit]

Prizes and awards[edit]

Work consulted[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Hatheway, Cameron (2015-03-17). "Last Man Volume 1: The Stranger Packs A Fierce, Charming Punch". Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  2. ^ "Lastman, fin d'un premier cycle "hyper musclé"". www.20minutes.fr (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  3. ^ Brunner, Vincent (2014-05-01). "Les Inrocks - "Lastman", le manga remixé french touch". Les Inrocks. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  4. ^ a b "BD : "Lastman", un manga à la française de Vivès, Balak et Sanlaville". 29 May 2013. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  5. ^ "Rencontre avec Michaël Sanlaville – dessinateur de Lastman – Bulle d'Encre - L'actu BD en un clic !". Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  6. ^ "Lastman". www.du9.org (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  7. ^ "Lastman: Bastien Vivès rencontre Dragon Ball". Le Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  8. ^ "Rencontre avec Balak, coauteur de Lastman – Bulle d'Encre - L'actu BD en un clic !". Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  9. ^ "LASTFIGHT : l'adaptation du comics LastMan s'annonce en vidéo". Gameblog (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-01.

External links[edit]