Comic strip: Hiroshima shelled | JDQ

“You haven’t seen anything in Hiroshima. »This reply addressed to the narrator of the film Hiroshima my love by novelist Marguerite Duras and director Alain Renais, particularly resonates when reading the breathtaking album The bomb, screenwriters Didier Alcante and Laurent-Frédéric Bollée and Quebec illustrator Denis Rodier.

However, far from centering their extraordinary tale on the horror engendered by the airdrop of Little Boy on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 – which the manga Gen Hiroshima by Keiji Nakaza-wa accomplishes admirably – the authors rather lift the veil on the genesis of the fatal invention by going back to the dawn of time, all narrated by uranium, an essential component of the bomb. A daring bias that allows the remarkable unfolding of the story. “We quickly felt the need to have a binder on this 456-page story,” says co-writer Bollée. This allowed us to develop a character with a sententious tone that appears literally, but also to teach a few lessons about humanity and the race it has undertaken to harness an unsuspected force. ”

If the events took place 75 years ago, the idea of The bomb It dates back to around 40 years, when Didier Alcante meets a new classmate fresh from Japan. The two grade three boys – and their respective families – immediately befriended. “A few years later, we went to see them in Japan. In particular, I visited the Hiroshima Museum, which left a strong impression on me. I knew then that one day I was going to tell this story, remembers Didier Alcante. I needed the right designer, capable of carrying this dense story. “This is Denis Rodier, referred by his Quebec colleague Djief Bergeron, with whom Alcante had collaborated in Spirou, who inherited the awesome task, which he performs brilliantly.

Having started his career with our neighbors to the south in the mid-1980s – he is one of the architects of Superman’s death in 1992, as an inker -, Rodier captivated by his grandiose black and white plates, his undeniable mastery of light and rhythm, his compositions which bordered on that of Wally Wood. A titanic job, which he took three years to accomplish. “It’s a stupid question of discipline, which I have acquired over the years, especially working for the American monthly magazines, and which makes it not a chore to draw a screenplay the quality of The bomb Says the artist, whose creation of plates turned at his drawing board and posted on social media can be admired. A work of goldsmith, which arouses admiration.

Colossal work where nothing is left to chance, The bomb is positioned as a necessary duty of memory, which is sadly echoed in the news, at a time when our world is going through a great period of geopolitical instability.

Let’s never see Hiroshima again.

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Another back-to-school punch album, You destroyed the beauty of the world is the fruit of a collaboration between two historians and a sociologist seeking to compose a typology of suicide in Quebec since the founding of the Coroner’s Office in 1763. Competing in daring and driven by the desire to reach a vast readership, they confided the fruit of their research to distinguished comic book author Christian Quesnel, instead of opting for the traditional – and confidential – academic essay.

One of the many astounding discoveries of this fascinating investigative work, which focuses on the staging of the act, is that at the beginning of the last century, hotel rooms in the port metropolises of Montreal and Quebec welcomed dozens of foreigners from all over the world who came there to deliberately end their lives. This is particularly the case of a Hungarian traveler who had invested his last crowns in new clothes before committing the irreparable thing.

Quesnel, who in previous works has spoken eloquently about Ludwig van Beethoven and Félix Leclerc, outdoes himself in this overwhelming documentary comic. He infuses this body of research with a humanity, a sensitivity and a graphic and narrative inventiveness that subjugates and moves. The power of its cutting, the chromatic subtlety of its plates, the mix of techniques and the superposition of images and extracts from archives make it a unique, necessary work. While there is no question of suicide prevention, reading You destroyed the beauty of the world will undoubtedly generate reflections and discussions. Because beyond its consecrated annual day, the act that directly or indirectly affects each of us deserves our attention. Art, the great – like the one Quesnel practices – is capable of changing the world.

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