vehlmann

Graphic Novel Recommendation-

Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët

Beautiful Darkness is the story of the little people that live inside a little girl.  When the girl dies, the little people are uprooted from their homes and have to learn to survive in the forest.  

Kerascoët’s and Fabien Vehlmann’s unsettling and gorgeous anti-fairy tale is a searing condemnation of our vast capacity for evil writ tiny. Join princess Aurora and her friends as they journey to civilization’s heart of darkness in a bleak allegory about surviving the human experience. The sweet faces and bright leaves of Kerascoët’s delicate watercolors serve to highlight the evil that dwells beneath Vehlmann’s story as pettiness, greed, and jealousy take over. Beautiful Darkness is a harrowing look behind the routine politeness and meaningless kindness of civilized society.

A hypothesis about Yoann and Vehlmann’s Spirou albums

Do you notice something about all four of the covers of the Spirou albums of Yoann and Vehlmann? Their first album (51) has a blue background, the second a red one, the third is blue and the fourth red again. So, my hypothesis is that Yoann and Vehlmann alternate blue with red covers, and album no 55 (in which the Marsupilami will return), has a blue cover again. An explanation for the colours is that red is the colour of Spirou and blue is Fantasio’s colour. It’s not true that Fantasio is more the main character in the blue albums. But maybe I’m imagining this and it’s just coincedence.

 <Spoilers from here>

Vehlmann does more of that kind of funny things in the stories: he also makes a reference at the end of each album to the next album. At the end of book 51: Alerte aux Zorkons, Zorglub is going to the moon. In tome 52: La face cachée du Z, someone from Viper Corp is talking about wanting to buy Spirou and in comic book 53: Dans les Griffes de la Vipère, Vito Cortizone is talking about asking Spirou a ‘favour in return’.

This is very clever, because it not only makes the reader curious and more likely to buy the next album, it also forces Dupuis to renew their contracts forever, or else it would end with a fake forward reference.

In really like the footnotes and references in the latest albums. For example, in BD 52 Fantasio is talking about the latex Gaston, and at the end of the album Vehlmann is breaking the fouth wall by the footnote 'Don’t worry, Pacôme, Zorglub won’t return in the upcoming albums.’

I also noticed Fantasio is acting a bit naïve, maybe even somewhat childish in the last albums. It seems like his character is influenced by the Fantasio in the Spirou cartoon.

Leïla from Seuls, jumping. I tried to use the ‘graphic style’ of a white drawing with a black background.

Seuls is a comic by Fabien Vehlmann (the current Spirou scenarist!) and Bruno Gazzotti about five children who are alone (Seuls being French for alone) in their homecity. Everyone else seem to have dissapeared. They try to survive and to find out what happened.

Not much Seuls-fandom can be found on Tumblr, I don’t know why because it’s a really good comic and, in opposite to Spirou et Fantasio, being translated to English in the right order, so far two are done yet.

Spirou, c'est mon héros d'enfance. Je n'achètes pas tous les tomes (je suis plutôt à un rythme d'un sur 3) et j'ai du mal à retrouver des histoires vraiment explosives depuis le départ de Tome et Janry. Ah punaise, si Machine qui rêve avait pu avoir le succès qu'il mérite…

Je découvre cette nouvelle équipe créative, et j'ai vraiment l'impression que pour les créateurs, le personnage est assez fort pour se passer de toute notion de scénario. Pourtant le pitch de départ est excellent ! Mais rien, on rend hommage à un héros formidable sans plus de contenant ou d'aboutissant.
L'album nous crie à la gueule que Spirou est un chic type, et il faut s'en contenter ; si seulement la narration était moins hachée… Un déroulé stupide, une fin ridicule qui contredit le reste de l'épisode: ce n'est vraiment pas bon.
Je suis devenu avec le temps un lecteur plus attaché au comics : il y a un moment où il faut maltraiter un peu les personnage icônes, ne pas lais laisser en mode automatique. Peut-être que 52 page “début-milieu-fin” ne suffit pas, ou que Dupuis s'adresse à un public plus enfantin : c'est juste chiant.

La partie graphique par contre est très chouette, même si il faut s'attacher au faît que les personnages bondissent plus qu'ils ne marchent et que je ne suis pas très fan du Spip quasi humanoïde. A l'inverse, Seccotine est super chouette !

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Bref, largement oubliable.

Machine qui rêve et la dernière planche de Tome & Janry sur Spirou, c'était ça : 


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