Brutal, Evocative, & Sad: Michael Moorcock’s Elric the Dreaming City by Julien Blondel, Jean-Luc Cano, and Julien Telo

Brutal, Evocative, & Sad: Michael Moorcock’s Elric the Dreaming City by Julien Blondel, Jean-Luc Cano, and Julien Telo

Michael Moorcock’s Elric Vol. 4: The Dreaming City
(Titan Comics, April 5, 2022). Art by Julien Telo

Elric of Melniboné, the White Wolf, is exiled from his home and cursed to walk the land under the influence of Arioch, the Lord of Chaos. With his soul-eating sword, Stormbringer, Elric must find his way to the Dreaming City – the mysterious ancient birthplace of his ancestors. Hoping to unlock the secrets of his destiny, Elric is unaware he is being hunted by his long-lost love, Cymoril, who has only one sinister agenda: vengeance.

I must admit, when I first saw Titan Comics advertising this hardcover graphic novel, Elric: The Dreaming City, I was skeptical.

How could this be worth my shelf space when I already have the same Michael Moorcock story adapted in 1982 by the great Roy Thomas, with art by the legendary P. Craig Russell? That is what I asked myself. The bar was set rather high.

But after picking this up and more recently perusing it, I’ve concluded that this adaptation by Blondel and Cano, with art by Telo, is indeed a worthy addition to any Elric fan’s collection. It is brutal, evocative, sad, and violent – all the hallmarks of a tragically epic Elric story.

[Click the images to dream of bigger versions.]

Interior pages from Elric The Dreaming City. Art by Julien Telo

If you’ve never read Elric, it can be confusing where to start.

In fact, even a seasoned Moorcock reader can get a bit confused. You might, for example, wish to start with the internal chronology of the character’s life; or, you might prefer the published order, which would take you on jumps back and forth through Elric’s life.

If you are interested in the latter, The Dreaming City is where you would begin, the very first Elric story written by Mr. Moorcock, and this adaptation is fantastic.

See Black Gate‘s previous coverage of this series here.

Jeffrey P. Talanian’s last article for Black Gate was Science is Sorcery, a detailed look at science fiction in classic role playing. He is the creator and publisher of the Hyperborea sword-and-sorcery and weird science-fantasy RPG from North Wind Adventures. He was the co-author, with E. Gary Gygax, of the Castle Zagyg releases, including several Yggsburgh city supplements, Castle Zagyg: The East Mark Gazetteer, and Castle Zagyg: The Upper Works. Read Gabe Gybing’s interview with Jeffrey here, and follow his latest projects on Facebook and at

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I recently bought the collected 1-4 and they are beautifully illustrated. I highly recommend them to any S&S fan.


An awesome adaptation. I like how to reinterpred Cymoril in this story.

Joe H.

Yeah, these were all pretty great.


Not too into this iteration of Elric. I honestly liked “The balance lost” and “making of a sorcerer” better. Elric proper and most of Moorcock’s core champions were done almost perfect in the 80s era via P. Craig Russel, IMO. He (Russel) was almost Sidney Sime to Dunsany on those.

“One Man’s Opinion” – I’m not “Bashing” the solid professional Euro BD artwork but I think the earlier ones were so on spot its diminishment redoing them and Moorcock has piles of other works. Having said that better than 99% of other things out there.

Also I love what Titan comics has otherwise done – reprinting tons of 70s era things most Americans only knew chopped up in Heavy Metal issues. The works of Phillipe Druilliet from Lone Sloane to Vuzz, Bilal/Enki’s “Exterminatior 17” and all saddle stitched, large format, archival quality for $20-$30 range. Beats $300 from ebay for a plastic glue spined crumbling Paper Tiger in a language I’m not fluent in.

Last edited 3 months ago by greengestalt

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