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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 49

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert’s The Professor’s Daughter


The Professor’s Daughter is a lot stranger of a book than even the concept might suggest.

The main concept behind the book is that a mummy, Imhotep IV, comes to life in Victorian England and promptly falls in love with the daughter of the professor who excavated him (hence the title of the book).

So for a good portion of the book, the story is a fanciful one about the romance between a Victorian young woman and a mummy. They get into all sorts of hijinx.

Here is a number of pages of this aspect of the book (notice Guibert’s bee-you-tee-full watercolor artwork)…

But then the book changed – it got icky.

Murders are committed, but the book’s tone really doesn’t change. It’s pretty weird. It has a madcap “falsely accused people on the run” feel to it – except the lady on the run actually DID kill people!

It’s an odd feel, but I suppose we just have to completely buy into Sfar’s plot. If he gives us the impression that it’s not a big deal, then I guess it isn’t a big deal.

And luckily, Sfar keeps things moving fast enough that there really isn’t all THAT much time to think, “Hey, this is kind of dark, isn’t it?”

Guibert’s art is amazing, and I’m especially impressed by how well he does facial expressions with a mummy, who is not exactly the best person for showing facial expressions, ya know?

So if you take the story in the lighthearted way that Sfar clearly intends it (without dwelling on the odd dark parts), then you have a quick-paced, often charming tale with great artwork.

The book was translated into English and released by First Second Books. Here is their page for the book, including a lot more sample pages!


Looks like a fun book. I love the fact that no one seems to care that he’s an ancient mummy.

For some reason this brought Polly and the Pirates to mind as another great possibility for this column.

Wait a minute – Sfar is a man? Go figure.

Wait a minute – Sfar is a man? Go figure.

To quote a wise man named Greg Burgas:

As was pointed out to me when I made the same mistake a few years ago, Joann Sfar is a man.


I was hoping your computer brain remembered that!

bee-you-tee-full watercolor artwork indeed!

“Professor’s Daughter” is simply brilliant – whimsical, touching and, yes, dark, and pure fun all the way through.
It really highlights something that I think is a singular talent of Sfar’s: he uses this humorous, almost child-like storytelling form to render often weighty or serious “adult” themes.

I do believe that it’s not the first time Sfar’s work has shown up on this list either.

I love how the artwork appears Victorian.
I’ve never heard of this before, but I love the parts you show here. The murder stuff sounds like it would completely change the feel of the story, though.

looks good

need to see what those darker elements are like though…

Yay, mainstream european comic!

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

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