Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Aristophane's Les soeurs Zabîme - Coda










1. Jun and Edith (aka Reggae-Sweeky) on Aristophane's first book's cover: Logorrhée (Le Lézard, 1993 [drawn in 1988, 1989]),
2. Loghorrée's first page cites Little Nemo by Winsor McCay (even if it isn't a bad book at all Logorrhée is far from hinting at what would come next...);
3. the first episode of Aristophane's "Le vieux Samson" (old Samson; Le cheval sans tête - first series - # 3, September, 1994); a similar process happened to Aristophane's drawing style and Edmond Baudoin's: both loosened their ways using brushes only; in this story Aristophane uses washes, but they appeared too dark in Le cheval sans tête's pages...;
4. ...maybe that's why he gave up the aforementioned washes to create his distinctive black and white impressionist technique: "Le vieux Samson Crow" (the old Samson Crow; Le cheval sans tête - first series - # 5, 1995); Samson Crow's daily life stories remind Robert Crumb's musicians' bios;
5. Aristophane revisits Logorrhée in his new style already; Jun and Edith are Quiaozhen and Mouna, now: "La mauvaise odeur" (the bad smell), Bananas # 3 (Summer, 1995);
6. "At dusk the bodies dress in warm colors." / "The sun bids them good-bye in a pompous way, wishing them a good rest." / "They will greet it at dawn in a new set, in a new warmness." / "But some who are tired of greetings lay on the ground and never see the sunrise again." / "That's how old myths die.": Faune by Aristophane, Amok, 1995;
7. page from Conte démoniaque (L'Association, 1996); it's in this epic story that Jack Kirby's influence is detectable in Aristophane's oeuvre; some panels quote Kirby's famous machinery, but, here, what's being quoted is Kirby's igneous matter; the ecstatic hate, to quote one of the book's chapters ("Haine extatique"), reaches its logical conclusion: total destruction (the human form is Leviathan; Aristophane inverts the goat, Marduk, instead of inverting the pentacle);
8. Les soeurs Zabîme's frontispiece illustration and book dedication: "This modest work is dedicated to the divine / to the only one whose substance is the whole / and is in all of us. / As a sign of my devotion." (Ego comme x, 1996); Aristophane's work is one of the few in comics to seriously address religious matters;
9. page from Les soeurs Zabîme: by varying the brush strokes' thickness Aristophane got visual contrasts, defocusing effects, and chronochromatisms (cf.: last panel); the body language of his characters is always remarkable.

PS Hail, hail, the gang’s all here:


Contact said...

You can read here a lot of others comics by Aristophane :

Isabelinho said...

The new Ego Comme X site is great. Thanks!...