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Some 20 odd years ago I read a graphic novel and can't remember the title. Here's what I can remember:

  • It as a sci fi story, set in a future where humans had made contact with several alien races. I don't recall it being high in action, space battles or anything like that; I remember it being more about inter-personal conflicts
  • I'm 95% sure it wasn't produced by Marvel or DC. It definitely had more of an indie (possibly European) feel.
  • The artwork was black and white, and again had a vaguely European feel
  • The main protagonist was a white human male (surprisingly)
  • And finally, the feature I remember the most was that the lettering was quite distinctive: the dialog for each alien race was rendered in a different style/typeface. At the time I found this quite striking (remember this was back when most lettering was done by hand).

If anyone can provide any clues (title, writer, artist, characters or anything) that would be fantastic!

EDIT: I realise my question is a little light on details; unfortunately this is all I could remember from a book I last read when I was 15!

  • Do you remember any other details in the plot? – Bobo Sep 30 '14 at 23:00
  • Unfortunately not; as I mentioned I don't recall there being much in the way of drama or big action scenes, so nothing that really stuck in my memory. If anything I have a very fuzzy recollection of it being political/soap opera, with lots of dialogue (although might be more a case of me being fixated with the lettering than any indication of the actual story telling!) – Dre Sep 30 '14 at 23:04
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    Well there's not much to go by that seems unique, but could it be Valérian and Laureline? They had some English translations in B&W but here are a few color panels from the original French – 22nd Century Fza Oct 1 '14 at 3:52
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    It could also be something from the MARVEL Epic Imprint like Dreadstar or if it's actually not Marvel or DC book it could be something like Mike Grell's Starslayer which was originally published in B&W, and has always been a favorite of mine. – 22nd Century Fza Oct 1 '14 at 4:07
  • @22ndCenturyFza It wasn't Valérian and Laureline, but the look and feel are very similar. +1 for introducing it to me though, the artwork looks lovely! – Dre Oct 1 '14 at 8:42
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For some reason, this question just reminded me of the fantastic Buck Godot, Zap Gun For Hire series by Phil Foglio. The first two books are from 20 or so years ago, though I believe Phil keeps them in print - and they're readily available from Amazon.

While there is an occasional (rare) gun fight, the series is mostly about the space-private-eye Buck and the cases he is hired for. It's set in the far future when humans have met dozens of races, and most (though not all) of the alien race dialogue is lettered with different fonts. It's quite a humorous series, but based around actual mysteries/cases Buck has to solve. And the backstory of the universe is quite intriguing, as it gets revealed in the various books.

Buck certainly satisfies your list of requirements, but as you note they are a bit vague, so it's hard to say with certainty that he's your man.

It's a great series regardless, though.

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