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Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Titan Books
Film Pulse Score: 8/10

Before director Joon-ho Bong adapted it for the big screen, the story of Snowpiercer was originally a French graphic novel written by Jacques Lob.  With artwork by Jean-Marc Rochette, Snowpiercer tells the story of a future world ravaged by a never-ending winter. Humanities last survivors are stationed in a giant train called the Snowpiercer, making a perpetual trip across the globe.  While originally released in France in 1984, the full series is now available in English via Titan Books and as with all their releases, this one is worth checking out.

Volume 1 of this two volume series comes to us with an extremely nice hardcover finish, and features 110 pages of high quality black and white gloss.  Like most graphic novels, it’s a fairly quick read, but the compelling story and excellent noir-style artwork makes it easily worth the $19.99 msrp. 

As for the story itself, Snowpiercer is a science fiction tale that certainly stands the test of time, despite being written three decades ago.  Oddly, there’s a line in the book about catching Star Wars VII in the theater car, which in addition to this polar vortex business, makes it feel more contemporary than ever.

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The idea of all of civilization stuck on a train forever is an interesting concept in and of itself, but adding in the class division elements makes it all the more intriguing. Without giving too much away, the plot revolves a man sneaking into one of the middle cars from the tail- an area of the train locked off from the rest, where all the low class stay.  Public officials and lawmen have no idea what’s happening back there so they initially feign curiosity to the man, but their real intentions are much more nefarious.

The book proves to be much more complex than that, but to speak more about the plot it may give away certain details that people don’t want spoiled for the film.  Don’t worry though, there’s plenty of action, romance, and politics to keep nearly everyone happy.

Regardless of the film version, which happens to be one of my most anticipated movies of the year, checking out the graphic novel is highly recommended.  Even though I’ve only read volume 1, I will definitely be coming back for part 2, however I will be waiting till that after the film for that one.  More than just an interesting story though, this book has made me want to actively seek out some of the other stories by Lob and Rochette.

Snowpiercer Volume 2 will be in stores and online February 25, 2014, and the film doesn’t currently have a release date.

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