A story of the mixture of genres: superheroes, polar, humor and slice of life

animator relates the adventures of a bald man with a mustache who shares his life with an anthropomorphic frog. Her name ? Frances. His power ? Transform into an animal of your choice. This talent, he uses it for his profession – veterinarian – and helps in the resolution of criminal investigations.

In this colorful universe where everything seems sanitized, Animan conceals his true identity from his frog companion, Fabienne. Identity under which he must face his worst enemy: Objecto. His power ? Metamorphose into the object of your choice. Their oppositions, which punctuate the story, give way from time to time to boards from the daily life of Francis and Fabienne. Light, funny, almost poetic moments.

Animan - by Anouk Ricard - Ed.  Copy
The first page of the album and the short story that made Anouk Ricard want to exploit the full potential of Animan’s idea © Éditions Exemplaire

A graphic design of naivety dynamited like a puzzle by the narration

Anouk Ricard is a multi-talented artist. If her career led her to explore illustration and to be confined for years to children’s works, the past decade tends, not to make her turn back for an adult career, but to offer her cross roads. A bridge between the two worlds.

Its strength lies in a deceptively naive graphic design. With her bright tints of color and her “nice” heroes who give us the idea of ​​a smooth and uneven world, Anouk Ricard develops scenarios that trample on our preconceptions. She makes the so-called adult with the so-called childish.

animator addresses subjects as diverse as harassment, the relationship to otherness, murder, revenge or love. One would expect all these themes to be less serious from the prism of its graphics. Certainly, at first, it numbs our feelings. Then our childish graphic vision is electrified, violated by the monstrosity of the situations. This back and forth between content and form is a great success that can be found in several of his comics.

Strip by Anouk Ricard for the crowdfunding of Animan © Éditions Exemplaire

The adventure of crowdfunding at Exemplaire and Instagram editions

For animatorAnouk Ricard opted for the editions Copy. An editorial structure founded by Lisa Mandel which relies on a different distribution of income, in particular in favor of authors, and editorial tasks than in traditional publishing. Initially, Anouk Ricard was inspired by Manimal, an American television series that she likes, and creates digital illustrations that she publishes on Instagram. For this, she imagined a paper Gérard Jugnot. In September 2021, on the social network, for the first time, the character appears under the name Animan. Then a crowdfunding is announced. For the occasion, she is developing a humorous video – we don’t change! – with a puppet that presents the project and the rewards.

© Éditions Gallimard in the Bayou collection

An author-admiral of the vessel of independent and original comics

While Anouk Ricard has obviously worked for major publishing houses, a substantial part of her work is published by alternative publishing. Editions Cornelius to editions Sarbacanethrough the editions 2024 Where Articho. It will also be present at the Angoulême Festival 2023 on the stand of the 2024 editions.

This career in the absurd and the step aside gave rise, in 2006, to some discoveries for the animated series Have you ever seen … ? where the narration is provided by the actor Alain Chabat. Alongside him are names from current comics like Chloe Cruchaudet to animation or Fabien Vehlmann to the scenario. Still in animation, she directed, in 2007, a short film Anna and Froga (from his eponymous comic book series) in the form of stop-motion. In 2021, France Télévisions will draw 78 episodes from this series in 3D under the title Anna and her friends.

© Sarbacane Editions

In 2008, she published her first adult cataloged comic strip: Commissioner Toumi: the crime was almost not done. The title sets the tone. A thriller parody with quirky dialogues. In 2011, Anouk Ricard published Couscous Bouzon to editions Gallimard in collection Bayou (Directed by Joann Sfar). A multi-award winning success. She approaches the business world in a satirical way. A gallery of crazy characters where extravagant humor once again has the main role.

In 2013, she published ass plan to editions Hammerhead Sharksin the collection bdass. In the end, a hilarious pornographic comic that explodes in our mouths with humor, nonsense and a lot of audacity. How to produce so many mind-blowing scenes of disgust and craziness with such a “harmless” design? A must-have in the collection.

This particular and fertile spirit was rewarded with the Schlingo Prize for all of her work at the time, in 2018. What if Angoulême rewarded her with a new award?

The television series to which Anouk Ricard pays tribute with Animan

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Animan – by Anouk Ricard – Ed. Copy – ActuaBD