Comics: ten good reasons to love this back to school

We still have sand between our toes, sun in our eyes but we have to face the facts, the holidays are over. Back to work for some, to school for others. Despite everything, the start of the new school year has its good sides, starting with the flood of new comic books flooding our favorite bookstores. Here are already ten that we particularly appreciated…

The Employee of the Month always does a good job. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be Employee of the Month. This time with an album co-published with the small publishing house here and there, which is also doing a good job. And this album, in novel format with the most beautiful rounded corners, is called Keeping two which could be translated as… as you please. Because what is important is inside, 320 pages of a beautiful love story that speaks from beginning to end of the fear of the death of the other. Seen like that, it’s not very cheerful, but the author, Jordan Crane, who is presented as one of the leaders of American independent comics, wanted to talk about this Comics ten good reasons to love this back to schoolfeeling that one inevitably experiences after a moment of living together. And he does it with a lot of originality in the narration, intelligence in the writing, tenderness in the characters, all carried by a refined graphic design in a color palette limited to two shades of green. The color of hope? This graphic novel will have taken 20 years to see the light of day, the author regularly returning to his writing between two other albums, 20 years of work and a little gem on arrival, to be tasted without fear! (Keeping two, by Jordan Crane. The Employee of the Month / here and there. 24€)

Direction Italy for a thriller all in smoky atmospheres. Gauloises, that’s its name, narrates the meeting between two men that nothing brings closer except that they don’t both have the faces of angels. The first is called Ciro, he’s a ruthless Neapolitan hitman, the type to work overtime, a big smoker of Gauloises with a little something of Robert de Niro. The second, Aldo, is a Sardinian boxer who is not really tender. Ciro is Comics ten good reasons to love this back to schoolaccused of killing the protege of a local godfather. Will he pay for this crime? It is in Milan that the two men will meet and that the affair will be decided. At the helm, two Italian authors who need no introduction, Andrea Serio (Rhapsody in blue…) and Igort (5 is the perfect number, The Ukrainian Notebooks…), an obvious collaboration as the economy of words desired by the screenwriter blends perfectly with the atmospheres created with colored pencils by the designer. A comic book to read and contemplate… (Gauloises, by Serio and Igort. Futuropolis. 17€)

Let’s not be afraid of words, Xavier Coste is a monster, a monster of the ninth art, a complete author who does not hesitate to step out of his comfort zone for each of his projects, both in terms of the theme addressed and the graphical approach. After the very noticed and remarkable adaptation of 1984 by George Orwell, Prix Uderzo for the best contribution to the 9th art and Prix BD Fnac France Inter, the author offers us precisely for this return to school a little gem around monsters, the real ones, the freaks, those who moved the crowds in the Comics ten good reasons to love this back to schoolfairground stalls and circuses before the appearance of the cinema. The Man with the Lion’s Head tells the story of one of them, a man with invasive facial hair. Hector Bibrowski, that’s his name, started out in circuses in Europe before crossing the Atlantic and becoming a star alongside sisters conjoined twins, trunk men, giants, bearded women and other curiosities. Half-man, half-wild, Hector is a scholar and if he adapts to his condition, it is with the hope of one day becoming an artist recognized for his art. In the meantime, onlookers come to feel his hair… A magnificent album in square format of more than 200 pages with plates and in particular beautiful full-page drawings, a use of frames that enhances the general atmosphere and a captivating character, who existed in real life as Stephan Bibrowski. Luminous ! (The Man with the Lion’s Head, by Coste. Sarbacane. 29€)

Even if all is not well in the village, life is rather peaceful for Merel. In his forties, single without children, Merel divides his time between his duck farm, the local football club and his articles for a regional newspaper. A peaceful life until the day when, following one of her jokes, the women of the village begin to suspect her of sleeping with all the men. Gossip after gossip,Comics ten good reasons to love this back to school the mechanics of rumor are set in motion. From a free woman, Merel becomes a light woman, a tease, a villain… maybe even a witch. Merel becomes the scapegoat of the entire village. Men, women, children, no one spares it. We mock her, we turn our backs on her, we harass her, we slash her tires, we light a fire on her doorstep. Enough to turn his life into hell. First graphic novel of the author and first graphic novel of the new collection Les Ondes Marcinelle, Merel tells us about people, the real ones, capable of the best as well as the worst. A beautiful writing, a good pencil stroke, a beautiful discovery. (Merel, by Clara Lodewick. Dupuis. 24€)

Moving story but oh so positive and full of hope, Sakura Spring takes us to the land of the rising sun, Sakura is a little girl born to a French father and a Japanese mother who died in a traffic accident when she was only 5 years old. Since then, she lives alone with her father and often goes to her grandparents in France for the holidays. But a move Comics ten good reasons to love this back to schoolprofessional obliges the father to entrust Sakura to her maternal grandmother whom she knows little. For one spring, she discovers this old woman full of love, she also discovers Japanese culture, its refinement, its poetry, its gastronomy… and the Kamis, these spirits which for the Japanese are in every being, every object. . A delicious album to read and contemplate for the beauty of the plates and the decorations. Beautiful as a cherry blossom! (Sakura Spring, by Jaffredo. West winds. 19€)

This is the story of a man who had everything and lost it all before losing himself in the maze of life. And when I say everything, I say the essentials, the man lost his daughter, Wendy, dead before he could grow up, died before he could become a father Over time, he ended up forgetting his face and to think that he could completely forget her terrifies him. Until the day he receives a phone call from… Wendy. At least he is convinced of it. And go looking for him through the city…Comics ten good reasons to love this back to school At the helm of the story, Canadian Jeff Lemire, whose talent we have already seen on this side of the Atlantic in Essex County, winter road or The Nobody. With The Unfinished Labyrinth, he unravels the thread of a life marked by tragedy on the streets of Toronto. A story that will appeal to fans of Lynch and Murakami, his two great inspirations. (The Unfinished Labyrinth, by Jeff Lemire. Futuropolis. 27€)

This is an autobiography that should bring back a lot of memories to students who have gone through the box of the teaching assistant, the pawn to make it simpler. Timothée Ostermann is one of them. The author, who had already shared with us his experience in a Leclerc supermarket through a graphic novel entitled Gondola triptakes up here the pen and the brushes to plunge us into the universe of a professional high school located somewhere in Moselle, Comics ten good reasons to love this back to schoola high school that one can easily guess in a rather underprivileged district. One would be tempted to laugh at first listening to and seeing the gang of teenagers who animate the corridors, thinking that Timothée Ostermann has deliberately enlarged the line and caricatured daily life in this establishment. But ultimately, the album is deeper than that and shows how part of the population is left on the side of the road with, to help them get out of it, young people from another background but everything also precarious, like Timothée Ostermann, then a part-time artist. Do not panic, we still have the right to laugh. An author to follow very closely, especially for his very personal graphics and his sense of narration. (The part-time artist, by Timothée Ostermann. Sarbacane. 28€)

Madame Owl is back! We were able to discover this character in the album My neighbor is Indonesian published in early 2021 by the same publisher, she returns here to offer us her vision of France but also of her country in a series of sketches pre-published on the author’s Instagram account. And everything goes: from the way French women carry handbags to gastronomy, passing by the quasi-ritual Comics ten good reasons to love this back to schoolFrench who is to consult the weather before going out, the styles of clothing, the relationship of the French to work, the snow or the crowded café terraces, all in the sumptuous setting of the Norman capital, Rouen, little represented in the end in comic strips . And for having walked the streets up and down in my youth, I can tell you that it would be believed, Emmanuel Lemaire lives there, so nothing surprising. A good little book to see our country from another angle! (France as seen by Madame Hibou, by Lemaire. Delcourt. 17,95€)

We know that legacy stories can change a life. This is the case for Tulip and Rowan, two brothers who were vegetating with their mother in Scotland until the day when a notary arrives at their house to announce bad news and good news, in order the death in an accident of their aunt and her husband, whom they rarely saw, and their new status as heirs to a large house with land located a few miles north of London. Comics ten good reasons to love this back to schoolWhat awaken in them the wildest dreams to trade by creating a vegetable garden on their new land and an organic restaurant in the English capital. But of course, not everything goes as planned. The world of gastronomy is ruthless and the two brothers will owe their salvation to the discovery of a most delicious mushroom. Family history, love of good food and good products, all sprinkled with a good little crime, here is a beautiful recipe imagined by the Scotsman James Albon already responsible and guilty of the album It’s dead Darling published by Sarbacane editions in 2018. (Family recipe, by James Albon. Glenat. 27€)

So, of course, there will always be those who will not accept the resumption of the adventures of Corto Maltese, who will cry out all their lives at scandal, at sacrilege, who will tell anyone who wants to hear them, or listen to them, that it has nothing to do, that the drawing is this, that the script is that, that there is no longer the same poetry… in short, Corto died at the same time as his parent Hugo Pratt in 1995. But the fact is that Corto still has great adventures ahead of it, as Bastien Vivès and Martin Quenehen recently proved to us by revisiting Comics ten good reasons to love this back to schoolthe universe with a hero immersed in the context of our contemporary era (Black Ocean, Casterman), as also proven for 7 years now Díaz Canales and Rubén Pellejero with albums that are certainly more faithful to the spirit instilled by the master even if they bring their own signature to it. Berlin nights is their fourth album in the series which now has 16 volumes. We find our adventurous sailor in the Berlin of 1924 between Weimar Republic and rise of Nazism, in search of the murderer of his friend Steiner whom he was to find here. “Are you Jewish? »asks a German commissioner. “SSaturday only », answers Corto Maltese. Unstoppable! (Berlin Nocturnes, Corto Maltese tome 16, by Díaz Canales and Rubén Pellejero Casterman. 17€)

Eric Guillaud

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Comics: ten good reasons to love this back to school

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