A tree frog in autumn (and more…) – By Linnea Sterte – (…) – ActuaBD

This second album translated into French, follows In-Humusalready published by Éditions de la Cerise in 2018. An ecological science fiction story, it was awarded the Artemisia Drawing Prize in 2019, tied with the breathtaking Bezimena of Nina Bunjevac (Ed. Here). Another one of those comics, Stages of rotationhas brilliantly succeeded in her transatlantic crossing until being nominated for the Eisner Awards in 2018, just that!

A more than promising start for the young artist, who now needs to be confirmed in order to be able to register for the long term. And don’t make you languish dear readers, it’s done with this tree frog.

A tree frog in autumn (and more…) – By Linnea Sterte – Éditions de la Cerise
© Cherry Editions

Young and ingenuous, the main protagonist is the eponymous little batrachian of the album. The tree frog lives peacefully with a frog, a wise old man four years older than her, fiercely anchored in her hut and its surroundings that the experience of elsewhere does not attract for a penny. As they collect gourds at the approach of winter, two wandering toads come to meet them.

It is in contact with them that the little frog who is not yet a year old, and marvels at the environmental changes linked to the passage of the seasons, realizes the immensity of the world. Curious and eager for new discoveries, she will not resist the breath of adventure when, without warning, the two travelers resume their journey towards the tropics, pilfering some provisions on the way.

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© Cherry Editions

Here is our tree frog, in the middle of autumn, off on the roads with two thieves for companions whose benevolence towards him is conditioned only by the satisfaction of their own interests. It would be a question for her of not delaying too long to return because, the tree frog knows it, although she has not yet experienced it herself, winter is approaching with giant strides, an unstoppable colossus whose shadow plane and the arrival will sound, like the death knell, the stopping of time, at least for a moment.

And time, precisely, threads all along this path whose Italian format contributes to the impression of distance covered. Nature invades the pages and moves as the reader progresses through this road trip tinged with fantasy imagined by Linnea Sterte. After the mutation of an ecosystem following the irruption of a disturbing element (a dead whale) in In-Humus, the Swedish artist continues her representation of change, this time focusing on the inevitable natural cycle. By taking an interest in long time, that of the seasons, it is the instant that the artist chooses to image.

Characteristic elements of this type of story, numerous encounters punctuate the journey of the frog and punctuate the narration. Those of trees, for example, punctuate the story. They communicate with each other and seem to watch over her. They too are personified and take the form of young humanoids whose characterization relates to the species of tree in question.

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© Cherry Editions

Mystical, these trees, like other encounters made by the tree frog, the turtle in pants in particular, are the occasion for rich exchanges. If these dialogues highlight our character’s innocence and ignorance of the world, they testify at the same time to his inextinguishable thirst for learning and to the relativity of natural time.

This last point makes our tree frog nostalgic, even sad, from the first boards of the comic strip when she:

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© Cherry Editions
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© Cherry Editions
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© Cherry Editions

Thus, the benevolence of the atmosphere is counterbalanced by the attitudes of the characters and the harshness of the revelations made to the tree frog.

Fine and elegant, precise and controlled, Linnea Sterte’s line shines throughout this epic. Each page has its box, A tree frog in autumn (and more…) could almost be read in a continuous horizontal procession, like a webtoon reversed. However, this is not the case, and we must once again salute the care taken in the design of the object by Éditions de la Cerise which sublimates the boards all in shades of speckled blue, inspired by Japanese prints. and traditional Chinese painting.

A tree frog in autumn (and more…) therefore sees the subject of Linnea Sterte evolved compared to In-Humus. An evolution made of micro-breaks that we will call continuity. The latter is carried by the coherence of an artistic reflection on the living that began several years ago. Is this the culmination of a creative cycle devoted to the poetry of the living or the new part of an even greater work? Like the seasons, only time will give us an answer.

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A tree frog in autumn (and more…) – By Linnea Sterte – (…) – ActuaBD

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