Frederic Brremaud and Federico Bertolucci‘s LOVE series marks its 10th anniversary this year, and the latest volume, Love: The Mastiff will be out in June. Published in the US by Magnetic Press, this is one of the most gorgeous graphic novel series of the decade, showing nature at its most spectacular.
Writer Brremaud and artist Bertolucci have collaborated on five books in this series, starting with Love: The Tiger and moving on to Love: The Fox, Love: The Lion and Love: The Dinosaur. Each story is entirely wordless, swept on by Bertolucci’s jaw-droppingly gorgeous art as the title animal survives a day in their natural world. The world is beautiful but equally dangerous and cruel: these books contain some of the most dramatic fight scenes you will ever find.
I’ve always been a sucker for wildlife comics, and the Love series is some of the best comics about nature ever. The art has a Disney-like quality – Bertolucci worked for Walt Disney Italia for many years – but Brremaud’s stories are intense, and Bertolucci captures the ferocity along with the tranquility. And as detailed and researched as the art is, the books don’t anthropomorphize the motivations: these are animals, but their need for food, shelter and even companionship reminds us of our own place in the circle of life. That’s where the love part comes in.
I’m not alone in loving this series: it’s been nominated for multiple Eisner Awards and won the Gold Medal for Best Graphic Novel from the Independent Publishers Awards. Brremaud and Bertolucci have also been lauded for their Little Tails series, intended for younger readers. This latest volume had a successful Kickstarter campaign, but will be available for purchase through bookstores and comic shops.
Love: The Mastiff won’t be out until June, but we’re pleased to present a preview of it here. The story is a classic “incredible journey” tale: after his master is bitten by a poisonous snake, a loyal Australian hunting dog has to cross the outback to find his way home alone. Along the way we learn about platypus nests, kangaroo joeys, and dingo hunting packs.
LOVE THE MASTIFF
Written & Illustrated by: Frederic Brremaud
Published by: Magnetic Press
ISBN: 9781951719173 | Price: $17.99
Ages: 10+ | Format: Hardcover | Pages: 88
On Sale: June 15, 2021