Thursday, December 4, 2008

Philippe Druillet's and Moebius' Approche Sur Centauri - Coda






1., 2. Moebius' high tech, clean, controlled environment ("Approche sur Centauri"'s first page) contrasts with Druillet's monsters ("Approche sur Centauri"'s fifth page); as Alan Moore put it in his character William Gull's mouth (From Hell volume 7, April 1995): "With all your shimmering numbers and your lights, think not to be inured to history. It's black root succours you. it is inside you." Druillet's and Moebius' character confronts an irrational, dark, world inside himself;
3., 4. in "Cauchemar blanc" another confrontation occurs, between a dream (the nightmare of a racist: him and his pals try to kill an Arab and fail miserably because people do the right thing)...;
5. ...and reality (in which they don't fail and people act cowardly).
The title in white over black mirrors the paradox that's the story's subtext: it's reality that is nightmarish, not the dream world (the nightmare of a racist can only be a good thing: a white nightmare). In Métal Hurlant # 4 (October, 1975) Moebius said (my translation): "there's no reason why a story has to be like a house, with a door to go in, windows to look at the trees outside and a chimney to let smoke out... We can imagine a story like an elephant, like a wheat field or the flame of a match." "Cauchemar blanc" has the form of a möbius strip.
Finally: I have some reservations about the reading order of the inserts in number four: how come we see Barjout with a gun in his hand before seeing him picking it up from the glove compartment?
All images as published in Moebius, Oeuvres completes tome 1, Le Bandard fou, John Watercolor, Cauchemar blanc (Les Humanoïdes Associés, June, 1980).

"Cauchemar blanc," with its contemporary setting and "fait divers" content, is an anomaly in this sci-fi author's oeuvre (a mix of the EC tradition and the underground, according to Bruno Lecigne and Jean-Pierre Tamine: Fac-simile, 1983, Futuropolis: 59). Nonetheless it was highly influential during the seventies in France. It inspired Jacques Tardi, for instance. For that alone it deserves a place in comics history.


Anonymous said...

Caro Domingos,

Não conhecia o seu blog, parabéns!


Isabelinho said...

Caro Marco: obrigado!