Yoko Tsuno: The Devil’s Organ.
That cover has something really special about it, the expression on Yoko’s face such a delight, that despite not having felt the urge to review any Yoko Tsuno volumes before this I felt I had to at least explore inside a little. I’m rather glad I did.
Come on, you’ve got to admit, that expression…. pretty good yes? And the weird knight? just makes it intriguing doesn’t it? As I say, previous volumes didn’t really appeal, something about them that didn’t quite tick the boxes, art okay, story looked a little ho-hum, that sort of thing.
Once inside I was actually rather glad I read on. It’s not stunning, but it’s certainly good fun, typically paced Ligne Claire work, lots of expositionary dialogue breaking the flow of the art, but art that looks rather wonderful at times.
What we have here is a really strong female lead; Yoko Tsuno’s a Japanese ‘electronics engineer’ living in Belgium, but travelling the world having loads of adventures with her friends and film crew; Vic Video and Pol Pitron.
That’s the trio above, enjoying the beautiful sights of the Rhine.
This particular adventure begins with two strangely helmeted men battling atop a cliff, one eventually falling to his death, and continues onboard a river cruiser where the crying young woman in the background above takes a plunge into the famous river, only to be rescued by Pol and Yoko about to find themselves plunged into a particularly devilish adventure of their own, this time involving ancient plans, devilish intent, and yes, a giant organ.
I’ve got to admit to a slight teenage giggle about the title. But I’m not alone… Mrs Bruton did exactly the same, and she’s far more mature than I am, so I don’t feel too bad.
This is a really neatly done thing, classic Euro feel, sort of a lesser Tintin, with a really impressive lead, smart, capable and strong in every way it matters. Oh, for more of this sort of female role model to present to the children at school. The clever mix of Tsuno’s science background and the more fantastical parts of the plot works a treat as well. Art is lovely as well, whether it’s the detailed realism of the locations or the mild exaggeration of the characters. But the absolute best in Yoko Tsuno is how Leloup captures the action sequences; beautifully drawn and genuinely thrilling at times.
Yoko Tsuno may not be the greatest bit of Ligne claire I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly fun.