tragedy and dystopia

Tragedy and dystopia


In diametrically opposed tones, here are two flagship albums of the seasonal production carried by immense cartoonists at the height of their careers. 

Nothing can prepare for reading the album Le petit frères by Jean-Louis Tripp. After the publication of the two parts of Extases, the author puts another stone in his biographical project which he erects with devotion, while he recounts this time the death of Gilles, his younger brother. 

” My job is to explore what builds us, each time approaching a different angle,” says the artist, who divides his time between France and Montreal. 

” J'entaille with a scalpel a lifeline, extracting certain pieces from it to better explore them. »

One evening in August 1976 in Brittany, when the family took the holiday route aboard trailers pulled by horses, death invites itself. 

Gilles, a whimsical young boy, tries to get out of the wrong side of the cart. His hand, which his older brother Jean-Louis was holding, was torn from him when he was hit by a car. He died a few hours later in hospital. This is how Jean-Louis begins his adult life: a fragment of soul less, filled with a feeling of guilt. 

A reading that takes you to the guts< /strong>

Those who abhor the biographical genre will reconsider their position when reading hard-hitting stories. Because if Tripp probes the intimate, it is the universal that he reaches here. The artist has since changed his working technique. 

“Since I have been doing autobiography, I no longer do scripts or cutouts beforehand. I advance both in the text and the drawing. This is where the interest of the genre lies, in my opinion: how to share the right emotion at the right time. ”

Anyone who has experienced the mourning of a loved one has necessarily experienced this bewildering dull pain, and the impression that time has stopped. With disconcerting accuracy, the old-timer of the comic strip conveys this maddening feeling of emptiness on paper. 

His mastery of the medium is such that he proves that it is through it that this story had to be told. The 9th art is, after all, the most intimate of artistic forms by its solitary consumption, but also by its proximity, grafting itself onto our hands and our retinas. 

If reading Little Brother turns out to be overwhelming, the author assures us that the album was not made in pain. 

“ Quite the opposite , it was sweet to spend two years with my little brother. » 

Chaining the TV shows, the radios and the signing sessions since the release of the album in France, he admits to being overwhelmed by the reception of the book. 

“I tried to make the best book, as always. I did not expect that. Many readers have told me their story, and what my book has aroused in them.

He who found it difficult to live the family omerta around the death of his brother for so many years has finally broken this silence.

Although Gilles' hand slipped from that of Jean-Louis on that disastrous August evening, the latter, through this poignant album , offers him immortality. And to us, his greatest work.

The year 2113. A first generation of wealthy people is connected to the DataBrain Center, a server allowing them to download all of human knowledge and experience, via a simple implant. 

Can we consider the constant updating of the “assisted” man as the next stage of evolution? After The End and Paris 2022, Zep offers us a serious third album, rooted in philosophical questions. While Paris 2022is interested in the tipping point in the digital world, What we are plunges us into the next world, where the hero is forced to leave. Where did the idea come from? 

“It is a current scientific project Blue Brain Project, which inspired me. It's about modeling a human brain, making a digital replica of it,” says the creator of the hit children's series Titeuf“I sought to find out more and met Professor Pierre Magistretti who worked on this incredible project. We talked throughout the making of the album. I bombarded him with scientific questions. Even if the story is more a fable than a scientific work, I need it to seem believable… It's a hypothesis, a possible future. » 

Technophilosophical thriller

The album opens with a sequence that evokes Moby Dickby Herman Melville. An allegory that asks the question: has man ever lost to technology today? 

“I think I'm pretty optimistic. The augmented man that technology promises us is more like an assisted, and therefore diminished, man. We are increasingly delegating our lives to machines. This gives us an illusion of evolution, but man has not evolved. We live in a hypertechnology that only a few master. As a fiction writer, this fascinates me, but, as a human, it terrifies me. We have taken directions over the past centuries (and even millennia) that have brought us here. Today, we are in what looks like the end of civilization. We need to find a new project for humanity. That of being ultra-assisted and spending our days in the metaverse does not seem very ambitious to me. I think you can find better… »

Constant, the assisted hero, is the victim of a computer bug. He loses consciousness in the middle of the street. Taken in by a former DataBrain Center employee living with several outcasts in the forest, the off-line young man tries to reconnect with the real world.

While Titeuf is camped in the world (not too) innocent of childhood, Zep truncates the humorous tone of its “adult ” production for philosophical questions. 

« Titeuf has always been preoccupied and, in a way, asks philosophical questions. This is the role of fiction: to tell stories, to make us laugh or cry, to make us move forward. I don't like entertainment that only serves to pass the time and make us forget who we are. » 

Impossible to look away from the world that awaits us in < em>Who we are. Like the greatest authors of the genre, Zep shakes us up, raises our awareness, reconnects us to our humanity. A necessary reading offering us a last exit before the announced disaster.