The Extraordinary Part, Book One: Orsay’s Hands

Fantagraphics. Feb. 2023. 156p. tr. from French by M.B. Valente. ISBN 9781683966845. $29.99. SF
Mulot and Ruppert (Olympia) present the first chapter in a two-part science-fiction epic set in a world where humans live alongside large, luminous, amoeba-like creatures called whols. No one knows what they are or where they come from; they just appeared all of a sudden, all over the planet, a few years ago. The protagonist is Orsay, a 19-year-old landscaper in Northeast France. As whols tend to do little more than drift around, apparently aimlessly, people in Orsay’s village ignore them. He’s shocked when one suddenly turns vicious and attacks him without provocation. Even more shocking is that, in the aftermath of the attack, Orsay’s arms are transformed into amorphous, shapeshifting tentacles. After learning of a specialist in Paris who may be able to reverse, or at least explain this bizarre mutation, Orsay heads to the city. Upon arriving, he discovers that many Parisians regard the whols as a nuisance and support a movement to have them exterminated. He falls in with an activist group determined to prevent that from happening.
VERDICT A fast-paced, unpredictable, and utterly original story rendered in delicate linework and vibrant color.
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