The World of Edena
reviewed by Travis Johnson
Two spaceship repairmen get whisked off to the seemingly idyllic garden planet of Edena, in this vividly illustrated comic-book epic by French artist Moebius. In the copious notes to this book, the artist explains that he had to resist the urge to make his illustrations too “cluttered.”
The truth is, for comic book art (and especially in comparison to the average American superhero comic book art), the illustrations are unusually detailed and clear; and the world is thoroughly imagined, with the vast sci-fi landscapes and the figures within depicted believably. In terms of the plot line, Moebius gives free range to his imagination, with the plot taking improvisatory twists and turns, reflecting his interest in dream states. While this might seem like a drawback, the plot keeps a strong forward momentum which is only halted by the slightly confusing concluding chapter of the book (it should be noted that the work was created in several installments over a number of years, with breaks in between).
Moebius apparently eventually wrote a coda which explained the ending more thoroughly. If a specific weakness of the work were to be highlighted, it would probably Moebius’s writing of his female characters. One of the female characters more or less devolves into a feminine archetype MacGuffin, although Moebius’s treatment of her is in keeping with the mystical New Age aesthetic of the work as a whole. All in all, your enjoyment of this work will probably depend on your willingness to accept Moebius on his own terms. Recommended for anybody with any interest in French cartooning.
Check availability on a copy of The World of Edena:
About the reviewer: Travis can be found at the circulation desks, both upstairs and down at TPL. He is a music and plant lover who takes care of all the greenery inside Tredyffrin Public Library.