Finally done, halleluhjah.

The Incal Vol. 6: The Fifth Essence - Planet DiFoolThe Incal Vol. 6: The Fifth Essence – Planet DiFool by Alejandro Jodorowsky
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am pretty ambivalent about the whole experience and glad to be done with it. I think I do not like John DiFool much. I pretty much agree with those 78 million…. What a wanker.

The twist at the end was neat and there were some nice panels towards the end.

But mostly I felt very meh and couldn‘t wait to get to the end. The resolution of the storyline was underwhelming. This felt a bit like smoking too much weed and listening to Ravi Shankar‘s Best Of.

Definitely not picking up more of this. Yes, it‘s a classic. And if you are a completionist, have a look at it for the sake of rounding off your experience of European graphic novels. Other than that maybe read the first volume and don‘t bother with the rest.

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To dream is to live

The Incal Vol. 5: The Fifth Essence - The Dreaming GalaxyThe Incal Vol. 5: The Fifth Essence – The Dreaming Galaxy by Alejandro Jodorowsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To dream is to live.

John Difool has had it. After that whole impregnating thing in the last volume he wants a vacation and go somewhere nice with Animah. But first he has to infiltrate the Death Star War Star…

Red Alert! Subspace! Space Battle! I like the battle action in this a lot. Star Wars and Dune, right? Very much so. And some Eastern mysticism.

This one has really nice artwork! More homogenous than the previous ones. The layouts taking most or all of the page are really great. Still knocking off one star for unsatisfying plotting and story telling.

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Incal continued…

The Incal Vol. 4: What is AboveThe Incal Vol. 4: What is Above by Alejandro Jodorowsky
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Took me a bit to get back into the plot. Probably because the plot is a mess. In the first half of this volume I was mostly scratching my head. In the second half a story emerged that made sense and that I even enjoyed. Considering that this is considered the best comic series ever by some, I have to assume that I am not smart enough or that I am reading this wrong.

Three POVs, which is a bit confusing at first. I mostly continue reading, because I bought this first set of six comics in one go. Was the first volume great and then the story just fizzled out or is there something I am not getting? Why is this series so famous?

Ok, the crazy ovulation battle thing up the cone was funny… and the climax very, very weird.

Have I mentioned strong Star Wars and Dune vibes? Dune is a bit of a given, as Jodorowsky had been planned to direct the movie adaptation. I do wonder how that would have looked. Better than David Lynch‘s version? Probably crazier. Anyway…

Sometimes amazing colours and good page layout. At times great visuals. There has to be something that accounts for the fame of this series, right?

After having read these first 4 volumes of the Incal, I am not very happy with the way he portrays women and how he utilizes sexual inuendo. I did a little online research about him and I think I probably would not like him much, if I met him in real life. Difficult to say.

The Incal on Wikipedia:…

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Weird and not in a good way…

The Incal Vol. 3: What Lies BeneathThe Incal Vol. 3: What Lies Beneath by Alejandro Jodorowsky
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The plot is allover the place. John Difool inexplicably uses powers he didn‘t have in the previous volume. Behold the penis-shaped starship in the middle of this one. Wow, this story makes no sense. And the characters have no emotional depth. Upsettings things happen and they don‘t react or self-reflect at all. Pretty chaotic. Not my favourite.

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Is it really luminous?

The Incal Vol. 2: The Luminous IncalThe Incal Vol. 2: The Luminous Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I might have read this volume before, 30 or so years ago. I didn’t think so, but there were some panels that felt very familiar. Also, many of the images ring a bell. Perhaps because many of them have inspired other works…?

Crazy, contrasting colours on the same page. The artwork at times looks dated and then again amazing, flat and then dynamic.

Women are mostly bimbos in this, which is a bit annoying. Definitely not passing the Bechdel test. I am willing to cut it some slack, considering it was first published in 1982.

John DiFool does not make much of an impact. He is in the sidelines for much of it and when he does become involved, he is little more than a hand puppet.

Bottom line I am undecided if I really like it and if I think it‘s meh or genius. 3.75 wishy-washy stars…

Blast from the past

The Black IncalThe Black Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

„Who is the real John Difool?“

My second re-read and my first buddy read for all six volumes of the main story of this classic comic series.

The colouring is wild and unusual, despite this comic being over 30 years old. Excellently done, how the colour sweeps across the page and the whole layout is arranged across the page. Very smart.

Looking forward to the next volumes.

Review of first re-read at the end of 2017, around 30 years after reading it for the first time…

First published in 1981. I probably read it shortly thereafter, as a teenager, branching out from Tintin, wanting something more artistic and with a deeper storyline. I could still kick myself that I didn’t keep those early editions.

I like everything about it, the story, the humour, the line art, the colouring. A lot of running, shooting, blowing stuff up, sci fi geek madness, The Fifth Element absurdness and it is as good as I remember.