The Orient and Dark Russia come together in this delightful comic album about the aging carpet dealer Fedor, who travels through the vastness of a country that modern times have not stopped at. The modern age has moved into homes in the form of parquet and wooden floors – a development that is slowly making carpets that protect against the cold of stone or clay floors obsolete.
But Fedor is even more worried: he feels his age and is worried that he has no successor for his profession. Then young Danil runs in front of his sleigh while fleeing from the henchmen of the boyar Nazar Alymoff. Because he has killed the ruler’s favorite greyhound, the death penalty is awaiting him. Fedor reacts instinctively, prepares a flying carpet and escapes with Danil – leaving his other carpets behind.
Thus begins the apprenticeship of Danil, who is trained by Fedor to become a master of the carpets and learns the art of skillfully controlling these magical carpets and making them. And since the boyar does not want to give up in his revenge, Danil has to pass some adventures.
With 26 pages, the large-format book is relatively short for a comic book, but offers a craft sheet from which one can make a popup map of the town with the carpet weaving workshop.
The scenario of the story was created by Olivier Bleys, masterfully executed by Alexis Nesme. The drawings are reminiscent of Russian fairy tale books, which with a lot of color and detailed drawings depict idealized and snow-covered landscapes from the vastness of the country.
The volume was already published in French by Delcourt in 2016, but I only just got hold of it. The album costs €14,50.