Legendary artist Caza's "Arkadi and the Lost Titan' finally sees English release

Humanoids, the Franco-American publisher known for being home to legendary creators like Mœbius and Alejandro Jodorowsky, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a groundbreaking new release. For the first time, the classic French sci-fi masterwork Arkadi and the Lost Titan by the legendary artist Caza will be published in English. This seminal comic will be funded through Humanoids' inaugural Kickstarter campaign, aligning with both the company's milestone anniversary and the 35th anniversary of the French release of Arkadi: Book 1.

Philippe Cazaumayou, aka Caza, known for his otherworldly illustrations and contributions to Heavy Metal magazine and Humanoids' acclaimed Métal Hurlant, has been developing Arkadi and the Lost Titan over two decades. This epic tale, spanning over 500 pages, features colors by Scarlett Smulkowski and Caza himself. The story unfolds through stunning tableaux that blend imaginative landscapes with intricate detail, combining classic sci-fi adventure with spiritual and metaphysical explorations.

Set in Earth year 10,000 of the Mass era, the story takes place on an Earth that has ceased rotating. Half the world is frozen in eternal night, while the other half is scorched by endless sunlight. Humanity clings to life along the border between these extreme worlds. The protagonist, Arkadi, the son of a warrior and a sorceress, embarks on his Trial of Purification. His quest soon transforms into a mission to locate a missing Titan cyborg essential for the planet's survival, unveiling a grander, deadlier world than he ever imagined.

Humanoids publisher Fabrice Giger describes the project as "a thrill to introduce this seminal work to a wider audience in the States." The original negatives have been carefully restored, scanned, and digitized, ensuring that this magnum opus is presented in all its glory.

Caza was kind enough to share his thoughts with Boing Boing on the power of mythology and its influences upon Arkadi: "The deepest knowledge endures on the one hand through primitive life and its basic constraints: eating, having children, surviving…and, on the other, through myths. For me, myth is the moment when we pass from nature to culture–in other words, from animal to human. In every time and place in the world, we find archetypes, parallel myths that are very similar. In Arkadi, I've obviously taken on many elements of Greek, Germanic, biblical, alchemist, and Kabbalist mythology, as well as African tales, all with modern elements: superheroes are the mythology of the 20th century! It's no coincidence that Or-Phe resembles the Silver Surfer! In Dis, these 'titans'–cyborgs and robots who participate in the city life (Or-Phe, Pro-Me)–have been endowed with mythical personalities and superhero looks, based on the idea that humans need to dream…need myths to survive. It's really part of my beliefs about who we are."

The Kickstarter campaign offers standard and deluxe editions of the 528-page book, including exclusive Caza prints and a collector's edition with a signed print. The translation into English is being handled by award-winning translator Montana Kane.

Industry heavyweights have already singing the book's praises. Mark Waid (The Flash, Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright) calls it "some of the most beautiful, most affecting storytelling ever done in this medium," while Ibrahim Moustafa says, "Opening it for the first time is akin to unearthing a treasure." Mark Russell calls Arkadi "Epic, but primal…the sort of imagination-bending science fiction comic you rarely see, which makes it even more sorely needed."

Boing Boing was lucky enough to get some sneak peeks at the pages of Arkadi and the Lost Titan (see below).

Self-portrait of Caza.

Exclusive peeks for Boing Boing readers: