Parijs Zien…Deel 1: De Nacht van de Vallende Sterren – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Written by: Benoit Peeters
Illustrations: François Schuiten
Publisher: Casterman

Parijs Zien…Deel 1: De Nacht van de Vallende Sterren – Comic Book Review

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Good: Recognizable and estranging at the same time
Bad: Nothing worth mentioning
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

When going on a city trip, it’s always interesting to see how cities like London or Paris combine beautiful heritage with hypermodern buildings. These cities have so much history already, but just imagine what they would look like in the future. The buildings we now call hypermodern will also have their part of history to tell, while new skyscrapers will probably define a new skyline. ‘Parijs Zien’ is situated in the future, and while it is not such a distant future, things have already changed very much.

Parijs zien 1

Kârinh is a young woman who grew up in the ark, a manufactured world mankind sent into space after the situation on earth slowly became unbearable. While at the ark, nature is simulated to be just like on earth, it’s only a small community that lives there, and Kârinh has always dreamt of going to earth, away from it all, and see Paris. That’s why she joined a mission to earth when the wise men of the ark decided to send one. The mission didn’t go as planned though, and Kârinh is the only one making it to earth alive. Now she’s being questioned by a group of intelligence officers nearby Paris, as they are not so sure that Kârinh and the others came in peace. Kârinh keeps insisting that she doesn’t know anything about the true intentions of the mission, and lucky for her, she manages to escape after a few days of interrogation.

After walking a few hours to Paris, the city she always wanted to see, she is joined by Matthias, who was among the interrogators, but only seems to have good intentions nonetheless. Once they arrive in Paris, he shows her around, and it soon becomes clear that Paris isn’t the city we know now anymore, even though people tried very hard to make it look like it is. Paris is covered by a glass dome, where climate is regulated by man, protected from the outside world. The city still looks very recognizable, but behind the façades, lies a darker truth. Modern and desolate at the same time, that’s how the city feels, but it doesn’t stop Kârinh from taking it all in eagerly.

François Schuiten and Benoit Peeters sketch a world that looks so much like the world we know, or at least the Paris we know, yet is so immensely different at the same time. The world has suffered a third world war, and Paris is protected by a dome. The buildings we now know as old, beautiful heritage, are only copies of the originals, nothing is real anymore. Hints are dropped here and there as to how it all came to be like this, but it takes quite some time to put the pieces together. At the same time, the oddly peaceful atmosphere might be a sign that peace is far from certain. All of this makes for a story that is intriguing and exciting, while at the same time estranging and frightening, an odd feeling we did like nonetheless.

The illustrations all look more like pencil sketches, be them quite detailed. Everything looks very fragile, with fine lines and always the same gray color scheme, with a pink undertone. Also the coloring seems to be done using pencils, which gives the whole a soft but drowsy look, which adds to the weirdly quiet atmosphere.


Parijs Zien… Deel1: De Nacht van de Vallende Sterren treats us to a story that is quite odd, as it has so many recognizable things in it, yet is also very different than what we know. While this first issue is quite a long one, there are still quite some pieces of the puzzle missing, which keeps the story fresh and interesting. The illustrations have a different style than your average comic book, but suit the story well. This first issue certainly makes us hungry for more.

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Parijs Zien…Deel 1: De Nacht van de Vallende Sterren - Comic Book Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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