The Professor’s Daughter

Created by: Joann Sfar, Emmanuel Guibert

Published by: First Second

ISBN: 159643130X (Amazon)

Pages: 80

Genre: Comedy

Sample Pages

The Professor’s Daughter

I don’t often review comedies for the simple reason that I have a ridiculously hard time trying to figure out what to say about them. I might be able to explore an interesting path if a comedy tries to use its sense of humour to disarm or ratify some idea or other, but apart from that I’m left with little to do but express whether I found its humour to be worth my time. Critiquing books whose aim is little higher than simply providing the reader with a brief period of entertainment is a task I find entirely daunting.

The Professor's Daughter by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert

Not that there’s anything wrong with point-blank entertainment. I mean, I practically adore the stuff. It’s just… there’s only so many times you can say “I laughed my socks off” before it all starts to sound a bit hollow. And maybe that’s a good place to start.

While reading The Professor’s Daughter, my clothing remained perfectly disheveled—exactly its state before I cracked its cover. No article of clothing moved in any particular direction due the influence of Sfar and Guibert’s slim book. In fact, I may not have ever laughed once.

The Professor's Daughter by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert

Which is not to say The Professor’s Daughter wasn’t either enjoyable or entertaining—it was both. This ranging tale of a mummy and his slight romance with the titular daughter of the titular professor isn’t probably meant to be a generator of guffaws. Or even chortles, snickers, giggles, or smirks. It’s more just an amusing kind of absurdity. One may be permitted to smile occasionally while reading, but shouldn’t probably expect anything more exaggerated than an inner feeling of goodwill and something on the less expensive side of cheer.

When I describe The Professor’s Daughter as absurd, I don’t mean that in any deeply fractured fashion. Imhotep IV, the mummy, doesn’t answer the phone only to turn into a banana and ride off on the shoulders of an infant Hitler while your face melts and reforges twelvety-four piñata sauce Michael. More, it’s just madcap shenanigans built off a dialogical verve that one would find at home in Kathryn and Stuart Immonen’s Never as Bad as You Think (and somewhat present in Moving Pictures). What a friend of mine would mistakenly call “random.”

The Professor's Daughter by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel GuibertThat right there is Queen Victoria

Fortunately, it all works pretty well and even despite all the death and mayhem, the average reader will probably come away in high spirits. Or at least spirits that are not unduly tarnished.

 

Good Ok Bad features reviews of comics, graphic novels, manga, et cetera using a rare and auspicious three-star rating system. Point systems are notoriously fiddly, so here it's been pared down to three simple possibilities:

3 Stars = Good
2 Stars = Ok
1 Star = Bad

I am Seth T. Hahne and these are my reviews.

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