For this ninth and last delivery of books and comics to devour this summer, you will find, as far as comics are concerned, the amazement of a failed writer who finds himself a superhero overnight, a beautiful love story against a backdrop of puzzles and records, short stories of alien invasions that don’t go as planned, the crazy humor of B-Gnet that rewrites the classics of literature and the second volume of Jérémy’s ambitious fantasy series , Vesper. On the literature side, an exotic short novel (Chile and Iceland) by a Catalan author published by Verdier, a great novel by Hugo Boris plunging the reader into the heart of the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy and the icy and phantasmagoric novel by Franck Bouysse, The Populated Man.
Comic: Heroic Fate
How would you react if superpowers come across you? This is the question that Nathan, a failed 30-year-old writer, will have to answer. Burdened with debt, he is forced to return to the small town of his childhood and live with his parents again.
Yet one night, he is hit by a kind of mini-black hole and finds himself endowed with extraordinary powers. This comic by Higgins and Costa recounts the cases of conscience when one is propelled overnight as a Superhero. And it’s not just happiness!
“Radiant Black” (volume 1), Delcourt, €15.95
Comic: Love in Pieces
Beautiful positive story that this graphic novel written by Félix and Legeard (behind which hides Lidwine, brilliant designer of The Last Wolf of Oz) and drawn by Janolle. Basically, this project served as a script for a film about the making of a puzzle in a small seaside village.
Quite a challenge for a widower who tries to take over the animation of the village after the premature death of his wife.
The comic also tells of the thwarted love affairs of a pretty babysitter whose heart swings between a long-distance sailor and a nice teacher.
“These little things that change everything”, Bamboo, €16.90
Comics: Disturbing Future
In this second delivery of Space Login, El Diablo and Baudy offer only three complete stories. Three copious novellas, a little more detailed than the stories in volume 1. There is still talk of encounters between extraterrestrials and humans.
The interest lies in the diversity, not of the aliens, but of the people who find themselves, overnight, confronted with the unimaginable. From the beaten child to the visionary scientist, passing through the thugs in the service of a drug cartel, the reactions are sometimes diametrically opposed. The kid who lives through hell in a house in the Canadian forest, saving a deer battered by the violent father, does not suspect that he has actually just allowed an alien to survive.
The latter will be so grateful to him that he will allow him to take his revenge on the torturer. In the South American jungle, too, extraterrestrials are a great opportunity for amateur dealers. But ultimately, they will make the choice of reason: preserve the market and opt for mass extermination.
Stories that are sometimes violent but always political and which, under the guise of SF, deliver universal messages.
“Space Connection” (volume 2), Glénat, €15.50
Literary return: Intransigent woman
New voice of Catalan literature, Eva Baltasar offers for this literary season the French translation of her second novel Boulder.
After Permafrost, the novelist from Barcelona offers a new journey far from the sun of the Iberian Peninsula. The narrator, a cook in a merchant ship which skirts the Pacific coast of South America indefinitely, is fiercely attached to her independence, her solitude. She is satisfied with ephemeral mistresses met in the small ports.
Until Samsa. She becomes attached, resigns herself to following her to Iceland. A life together, almost normal, then appears in Samsa a desire for a child. From then on love will give way to another emergency in which the narrator no longer finds her place. “ Life is now a downward slope. A breath of air that pushes me towards her, as soon as I get up. I sink into the days like an explorer in a territory already surveyed, in an apathetic way, without taking precautions. »
Radical novel on non-consensual themes – (homosexuality, refusal of motherhood), Boulder is a mineral text, like these isolated rocks in the middle of the landscape.
“Boulder” by Eva Baltasar, Verdier, €18.50
Comics: Classics Revisited
There is a bit of Daniel Goossens’ madness in this collection of stories published in Fluide Glacial and signed B-Gnet. If the title says The pen is mightier than the sword, the drawing on the cover unfortunately proves the contrary in fact. B-Gnet knows its classics, from Cyrano to Hamlet to the most popular Robin Hood. It is in this world that he finds the most inspiration.
He leaves the protector of the poor a bit to focus on the Sheriff of Nottingham. The latter turns into “Inspector Nottingham”, a sort of parody of Derrick with Sherwood forest sauce. A rarely effective inspector, always off the mark and who can go from being a good friend in a tavern to a cruel torturer in damp jails. All with a derision, a way of behaving between stupidity and nonsense that will delight all those who like abstruse stories that constantly play on references.
We also appreciate Cyrano’s version, which only seems to be due to a typing error, the hero becoming Tyrano de Bergerac and taking on the appearance of a tyrannosaur ashamed of his little arms as Rostand’s hero hated his nose.
“The pen is mightier than the sword”, Fluide Glacial, €13.90
Literary return: Hugo Boris arrives
The beginning of a novel is always essential. The first 40 pages of Land by Hugo Boris are a model of the genre. Yet he speaks of an event seen and reviewed for decades: the Allied landing on the beaches of Normandy. He manages with his direct style without downtime to plunge the reader into the heart of the action, forcing him to read this passage in apnea, like the protagonists including Andrew, a young American paralyzed by the stakes. The crash, death, fear, desire burst into the shameful memories of this veteran who will be found years later on these Normandy beaches, a sort of sanctuary of courage.
Horror too. Because once disembarked, nothing goes as planned for Andrew. He feels like “ every explosion is aimed at him, every shot is aimed at him personally. Pieces of iron want to penetrate his flesh. His fear knows no pause. […] He crawls backwards, throws himself back into the sea, beats a retreat. »
And finally he rocks on its back, plays dead to stay alive, nostrils throbbing, arms outstretched, ears submerged to stifle the cries. A very great novel about another form of resilience.
“Disembarking” by Hugo Boris, Grasset, €18.50
Comic: Nightmares of Vesper
A virtuoso draughtsman with a bountiful imagination, Jérémy was content for a long time to illustrate the inventions of others. By imagining Vesper, heroine of this series derived from the world of the Final Fantasy game, he gives himself the opportunity to go even further in breathtaking graphic discoveries. Vesper is a hybrid, half human, half chimera.
She tried to save Crimson, leader of the Knights of Nyx in the first book. In vain. She returns to battle in the second volume, and to have a little more chance of defeating Murgeis, she will summon the Archmerist, a superior entity who pays dearly when disturbed.
The story is complex, worthy of the best fantasy stories. But the interest of the album resides essentially in the graphic realization of this enchanted universe. There is so much virtuosity that each board, each drawing, each detail deserves attention.
“Vesper” (volume 2), Dargaud, €15
Literary return: Face-to-face icy
Among the novels of the new school year, L’homme populé by Franck Bouysse will make a lasting impression on its readers. An indirect face-to-face between Harry, a writer in need of inspiration, and Caleb, a taciturn peasant. The first, after a first successful text, finds himself stuck in front of the blank page. He decides to buy an old farm in the state (with the furniture of the former owners) lost in the French countryside and tries to find inspiration in this new environment.
In parallel with his discovery of this cold and uninviting place, we discover how Caleb, a sheep breeder in the neighboring building sees the arrival of this stranger. Caleb, lonely, rejected by everyone because he has a gift for healing. But for the villagers, he is a dangerous wizard. This very literary text, written with a formal classicism, alternates the two points of view.
Two radically different men, who avoid each other but who are connected by the employee of the village grocery store, Emma, who ultimately plays a central role in the plot. Between psychological thriller, fantastic tale and philosophical reflection on inspiration and exclusion, The populated man is a strong and multiple novel not to be missed.
“Populated Man” by Franck Bouysse, Albin Michel, €21.90