The Ogre Gods (Les Ogres-Dieux) is a a French Fantasy/Horror graphic novel series written by Hubert Boulard and illustrated in black-and-white by Bertrand Gatignol, with the tone and aesthetic of a dark and gruesome Fairy Tale, telling the saga of an aristocratic dynasty of giants ruling tyrannically over a kingdom of humans.
From a titanic castle situated on a mountain overlooking a great valley reign the Ogre Gods, a monstrous clan of giants served by armies of humans whom they kill and devour with impunity. The giant's rule is weakening however, as centuries of inbreeding has resulted in a physical and moral decline, with each generation becoming smaller than the last, as well as increasingly brutal and depraved, and obsessed with restoring their former glory. When the Ogre King's youngest son is born scarcely larger than a human his father wants him killed as an embarassment, but his mother sees in him the possible regeneration of the family, as he alone can mate with humans to breed new, healthy giants and break the destructive cycle of inbreeding.
The story is told across multiple time periods, with the present day being interespersed with passages from in-universe history books detailling the history of the giants and their kingdom. Four volumes have been released, although the future of the series is uncertain due to Hubert Boulard's death in February 2020.
- Petit (2014)
- Half-Blood (2016)
- The Great Man (2018)
- First Born (2020)
The Ogre Gods provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Petit's father is so disgusted by his human-like size he demands his death seconds after he was born.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: The royal giants are almost exclusively brutal tyrants with zero regard for the lives of their human subjects, and since the days of the god-king they dine on feasts of human flesh on a daily basis.
- Book 2 reveals that the corrupt and backstabbing human nobility are barely any better, for while they don't eat people themselves they're quite content to administrate the giant's empire and treat the peasants like slaves and livestock to feed to their masters.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: To be expected from an extensive, massively inbred aristocracy of cannibals.
- The Caligula: King Gabaal is cruel, depraved and selfish, with more interest in indulging his various appetites and literally feasting on his subjects than doing any actual ruling. For that matter, most of the ogre kings (with one exception) were similarly oppressive and with no regard for humans as anything other than labour and food.
- A God Am I: The God King believed himself to be a perfect, divine, immortal entity, and while he was far longer lived than the rest of his family to the point of outlasting his own grandchildren, he ultimately died of old age. Despite this, his successors copied his example and started calling the entire royal bloodline gods.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Downplayed only slightly with Queen Emione. While her love for her son makes her somewhat sympathetic, she's still as cruel and callous towards humans as any other giant, and her ultimate goal is to restore her family's dynasty to their former glory and ensure their tyrannical rule lasts forever.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Although they consider themselves a separate species, and later as divine entities, all known giants (except possibly the Founder) are descended from human-giant couplings and have some amount of human ancestry, making their flesh-eating cannibalism to boot.
- I Have No Son!: Petit's father disowns him the instant he's born, dismissing him as an "aberration" to be killed at once.
- Large and in Charge: Par for the course in a kingdom of humans ruled by giants. Most of the ogre kings appear to be the largest of their respective generations, with the God-King being the single biggest giant on record.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: The comics are essentially a treatise on man-eating fairytale giants and how they might operate, and their declining size is the main focus of the story. The Founder was a giant of mysterious origin who was only slightly larger than most humans, but the children he had with human women all grew huge, with each subsequent generation growing larger than the last until they peaked in size with the God-King, after which each generation grew smaller until the birth of Petit, likewise human-sized. The queen hopes for Petit to breed with humans to produce a new generation of healthy giants and break the cycle of inbreeding causing their decline.
- Our Ogres Are Hungrier: The species is mostly referred to as "giants", but "ogre" is used interchangeably rather than denoting a separate species. Although the youngest generations of smaller, increasingly deformed giants more closely resemble stereotypical ogres compared to their ancestors, who looked indistinguishable from humans apart from their great size.
- People Farms: A massive human farm is built into the side of the Castle Mountain to provide the giants with a food supply.
- Pretentious Latin Motto: For the royal family of giants: Mundus Nostrum Catillum Est ("The World is our Plate"). For the chamberlains: Manus Deorum ("Hands of the Gods").
- Royal Inbreeding: After the Founder's children proved too large to feasibly breed with humans, and due to an apparent lack of other giant families anywhere in the known world, the only way the giants saw to preserve the family was through extensive inbreeding, which eventually led to...
- Royally Screwed Up: The royal family's constant inbreeding resulted in a physical and moral decline, growing gradually smaller, more deformed, and with shorter lifespans, even as they became increasingly cruel, brutal and depraved.
- The Good King: King Eliabaal, known as the Philanthropist King, was the only giant king to actually try to improve the lives of his subjects and work towards a common good and create a fair society rather than have his subjects toil endlessly to feed the royal family, instituting just reforms and banning the consumption of human flesh. Naturally, the other giants think he's insane and overthrow him, reverse all his reforms and leave him to starve in a dungeon.
- To Serve Man: The giant's diet consists almost exclusively of humans, to the point of having a huge farm installed beneath their castle. This practice is actually relatively recent, as the generations prior to the God-King didn't eat humans, but as he considered himself divine he believed that mundane food wasn't good enough, and all other giants followed his example until it became their main diet.
- Villainous Incest: Every generation of the family since the Founder wed brothers to sisters as well as cousins, more due to the impossible mechanics of mating with humans than anything else.