Lone Sloane: Gail

Writer / Artist
Lone Sloane: Gail
Lone Sloane Gail review
  • UK publisher / ISBN: Titan Comics - 978-1-7858-6420-9
  • Volume No.: 4
  • Release date: 1978
  • English language release date: 2018
  • UPC: 9781785864209
  • Contains adult content?: yes
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

Philippe Druillet’s creative urges were such that he was never going to be constrained by a single character or situation, even if that character was someone who could be slipped into pretty well any science fiction or fantasy scenario. After three years of assorted short stories and the initially serialised Delirius, Druillet began Gail, then discarded it to work on other projects (see recommendations). However, in 1977 he returned to his story of a giant planet inhabited by robots powerful enough to threaten Imperator Shaan himself.

In Delirius Druillet tamed his artistic instincts slightly in order to follow the necessities of a plot supplied by Jacques Lob, but Gail is back to pure unfettered Druillet. The slimmest of plots connects his fantastic illustrations, many of them now spreads, and as seen by the sample art, Druillet is becoming ever more ambitious in constructing them.

What plot there is has Lone Sloane identified on a shipment of slaves, intriguing the tyrant who rules Gail because Sloane’s been so troublesome to Shaan in the past. However, he hasn’t reckoned with Sloane’s sheer willpower and capabilities.

The attraction of Lone Sloane is always Druillet’s art, but collaborating with Lob fuses it to a proper story. It was obviously too restricting for Druillet, and while Gail is slightly more coherent than Druillet’s earlier solo The 6 Voyages of Lone Sloane, it still reads as something Druillet added words to in a hurry after completing the illustrations. Those visuals are so amazingly creative and imaginative that they’re worth seeing with or without accompanying plot, but anyone who expects a story to their comics doesn’t get much of one here.

Gail is packaged along with the two previous Lone Sloane outings as The Lone Sloane Boxed Set.

Having picked up Lone Sloane again, Druillet embarked on his most ambitious story, three volumes combined as Salammbô.