Thrown into another dimension by a dark space entity called ‘He Who Seeks’, Lone Sloane finds himself gifted with strange powers. Adrift and hunted, Sloane becomes an outlaw and space pirate. A living thorn in the side of Imperator Shaan, the ruthless and bloody ruler of ‘all galaxies’. And that’s just the beginning of Lone Sloane: Delirius by Jacques Lob and Philippe Druillet!
In todays must read graphic novel, our blood-eyed ‘neo-human’ is tracked down by the priests of the Red Redemption. A charming outfit from the pleasure planet Delirius. The Red Redemption believes that the universe will be cleansed by fire and blood. Eagerly demonstrating that vision in any pleasure den whose owner doesn’t cough up protection money.
And it is for money and power that the red priest have tracked down Sloane.
Delirius is the Empires planetary sin city. Any pleasure, vice and perversion that you can think of can be had here, at a price. As a result it is one of the Imperator’s main sources of tax.
So the Red Redemption makes Sloane and offer. Help them infiltrate and steal the huge monthly tax tribute for the Imperator. Right out of Governor Kadenborgs impregnable vaults.
The Redemption claims it wants to undermine the governor in order to seize power on Delirius and ‘save it’ from its sins. The treasure, say the priests, will be shared equally with Sloane.
Smelling a rat but drawn by adventure and treasure, Sloane and his trusted lieutenant Yearl set of for Delirius. And then their troubles begin…
Lovecraft in Space with a Touch of Silver Surfer and Farscape
Philippe Druillet is a French graphic fiction artist and visual innovator.
His Lone Sloane character is legendary, as it was one of the early Franco-Belgian novels to be published in the US (in the 70s).
Actually Druillet is said to have influenced American graphic novel legend Jack Kirby and vice versa. Both Kirby and Druillet created wonderful, grand and disturbing alien architecture and landscapes.
Lone Sloane: Delirius feels like somebody took a H. P. Lovecraft horror story and used it as a visual template for an epic space adventure. Sloane, like the Silver Surfer, roams the galaxy –beholden to a cosmic power beyond him, with nowhere to call home.
There are also elements that it shares with the ‘cult classic’ sci-fi show Farscape.
Like John Crichton, Sloane is cast out of the world he knows because of a space ship ‘accident’. Wandering the universe, he quickly makes enemies and becomes a hunted man on a ship full of fugitives.
But unlike Crichton, who just wants to get home. Lone Sloane, can’t go home. So he does what he does best –raise hell for his persecutors.
Be warned: Lone Sloane: Delirius, like Blueberry 1 –Chihuahua Pearl, is a rare Franco-Belgian gem in the English-speaking graphic fiction world. It’s very collectable and you will have to look around to get yourself a copy. It will cost you. But it’s so worth it!
Back to the story…
Everything That Can Go Wrong…
Delirius is everything Yearl told Sloane it would be. Wild, wicked and lusty. But before our heroes can enjoy any of the local sights they need to get through planetary security.
Sloane and Yearl are connected through a discreet telepathic relay. An edge they will soon need.
The priests of the Red Redemption, give Lone Sloane contact lenses to hide his blood-red eyes and ask him and Yearl to put on the robes of acolytes in order to get through security.
They assure our friends that everything is going to be ok and will work out just fine. Only to promptly betray them to Imperial security at the spaceport terminal.
Sloane wakes up naked and beaten to a bloody pulp in a cell. A strange voice in his head tells him that what passes for the local cops has detained him. It also tells him that he has to get ready. An opportunity to escape will present itself shortly. When a bunch of cops come into the cell, because their commander wants to have a bit of sport with the prisoners. Sloane takes the initiative.
Leaving a bloody trail of dead, and dying guards, Sloan and Yearl bust out of prison. They manage to hijack a flying craft and loose themselves in the waste of Delirius.
Here they meet the dregs of the planet. People who came to Delirius lost it all and weren’t fast, smart and ruthless enough to take it back. Shaking off Imperial security, Sloane and Yearl are picked up by a garbage scow.
Their mysterious benefactors seem to want them back in town.
Fever Dream –A Delirious Planet of Pleasure and Sin
But Sloane and Yearl have a better idea. They take control of the ship, get the crews clothing and decide to go check out the local scene.
Walking through the planet wide city, that sits on Delirius’ only continent –they soon see why the world is infamous. Anything goes! There is no law and everything is legal. Those who come here without weapons and the will to use them are prey for the hungry mob.
Needing money, Yearl and Sloane ‘borrow’ cash from a bystander and win big at the slot machines. After discouraging their guard from interfering with their laser pistols. Sharing their haul with the bystander, he invites our heroes to go out and party.
After drinking and making friendly with the ladies in a local brothel they head out to explore Delirius and it is here where we see the horrors and wonders that it has to offer. From the cruel, perverse games of the arena to the wonders of the Escher garden.
But their little tour is soon shattered by the Redemption. The priests capture Sloane and Yealr and insist that the heist is still on.
Will Sloane be able to break into an unbreakable fortress to steal a treasure like no other in the universe? Will our heroes survive the gentle attention of the Red Redemption and the anger of the Empire?
Read Lone Sloane: Delirious to find out!
The Art and Writing of Lone Sloane: Delirius
This volume of Lone Sloane was written by Jacques Lob. The story is exciting, solid and well-paced.
What starts our as a ‘simple’ heist story soon turns into a grand exploration of what happens when hedonism is given free reign.
It’s a very cynical and apt look at how those who live in comfort with no purpose find their tastes and appetites getting blunted. So to compensate their desires and vices become more and more extreme. Imagine modern consumer culture meet the decadence of the Roman Empire mixed with the callousness, apathy and desensitization of the reality-TV generation.
Delirius is also a damming take on individual greed, people’s complicity in the power plays and chaos of politics and how easy it is for law and order breakdown.
Druillets art is stunning! I often found myself getting lost in his might architecture and detailed background. The familiarity of Jack Kirby’s bold and solid art style is definitely present.
But Druillet is his own artist in every right. He has such power over facial expressions and character emotions that you can clearly read them even on the faces of the most alien creatures.
Reading Lone Sloane: Delirius is like going on a visual safari into an extraordinary world beyond comprehension and reality.
Simple, stunning… breathtaking. Lone Sloane is a collector’s item for its art alone!
Lone Sloane: Delirius is an epic tale of corruption, adventure and treasure –in a cold, ruthless universe.
It’s a great introduction to the series and the work of Philippe Druillet. If you like Franco-Belgian graphic fiction, emjoyed our Silver Surfer: In Thy Name review or simply just love gorgeous art, this is a must read graphic novel for you!
Get it, it’s so worth it!
PS: Lone Sloane: Delirius is a true collector’s item, it will cost you to get a copy. Click here to order your copy today!