vendredi, août 09, 2013

LA PIEUVRE - un chef d'oeuvre Anti-mafia


C'est mon ami Roger Lecomte, Auteur du Faux conte médiéval: http://www.lulu.com/shop/roger-le-conte/le-faux-conte-medieval/ebook/product-17393527.html qui m'avait envoyé quelques photocopies de pages extraites de "La pieuvre".

Ayant appris que m'intéresse à Aldo Moro, il pensait que cet ouvrage pouvait également attirer mon attention, vu que Moro y apparaît. En effet, ces premières pages me fascinaient tout de suite. Je me suis acheté "La pieuvre" et depuis, ce livre ne me lâche plus.

"la pieuvre" raconte l'histoire de la lutte contre la Mafia entre 1978, l'année de l'enlèvement et de la mort d'Aldo Moro,  et 1992  l'année des attentats contre Giovanni Falcone et Paolo Borselino.
L'ouvrage met en scène les principaux acteurs de cette période, avec une précision historique époustouflante.
Giovanni Falcone (à gauche)
 Le scénariste Manfredi Giffone n'a pas oublié le moindre détail. C'est  un travail titanesque de recherche et documentation que lui et ses deux collaborateurs ont  réalisés, avec une passion qui se ressent tout au long de la lecture.
 Mais Le tout n'est pas juste une BD documentaire et surtout pas une du genre des "belles histoires de l'Oncle Paul".

Les auteurs ont eu l'idée de faire raconter l'histoire sous forme d'un jeu de théâtre de poupées animaliers, animées par le conteur Mimmo Cuticchio. Ce dernier nous prend par la main et nous emmène dans le monde de ses marionnettes. On se croirait plongé dans un conte ancien, surréaliste, et pourtant - tout est vrai. Ce mélange de poésie  et de réalité -  réalité abominable -  crée un effet fascinant et terrible à la fois !

Les belles aquarelles et lavis d'Alessandro Parodi  et Fabrizio Longo  donnent la vie aux "jeu" des marionnettes et à la narration de Cuticchio. Tout est fait à la main. Souvent, on voit les crayonnées et la couleur qui déborde des cases - un festin pour tous les yeux excédés par le graphisme numérique.
Les Animaux ont été choisis avec grand soin, cela se voit. On reconnait les personnages historiques du premier coup, malgré leurs traits de bêtes. Giuliano Andreotti par exemple: Il est une Chauve-souris:  Avec son regard  glacial et son petit sourire dégoûtant, il est démasqué comme un homme du pouvoir sans scrupules.
Le juge Giovanni Falcone, un des personnalités à qui cet ouvrage est dédié et à qui il rend hommage, est un matou joufflu qui séduit avec son regard expressif. Borselino, son compagnon de toujours, est un chien genre terrier écossais.
Aldo Moro en captivité.

Aldo Moro est un Blaireau. 
Une charmante idée, car les couleurs de son pelage correspondent bien à celle de sa chevelure humaine, avec la fameuse mèche blanche sur la tête.
A l'heure de la mort de Moro, à la place d'une scène meurtrière, les auteurs le montrent (sa poupée) dans les mains du narrateur qui le porte doucement vers le coffre de la Renault, comme pour le coucher au repos, tandis que les tristes paroles d'Aldo, issues de ses lettres écrites en captivité,  continuent le récit. Personnellement, j'ai trouvé cela infiniment attendrissant. Une manière sensible et innovatrice de traiter le sujet.
Mais ce n'est pourtant pas pour autant que les scènes des violences nous sont épargnées: les meurtres, les tueries à en plus finir de la Mafia  cognent dans l'estomac. Souvent des personnages apparaissent - rien que pour être assassinés quelques cases plus tard. Cela rend la lecture, la compréhension de l'ensemble parfois difficile, car  il manque le temps de se familiariser avec les personnages et leur rôles. 

Restent les principaux acteurs du Pool Anti-mafia - Falcone et Borselino. Leur combat est raconté de manière passionnante.
La violence dans cet ouvrage n'est pourtant jamais gratuite. Le thème n'était pas juste un prétexte  pour créer une BD sanguinaire. la bestialité montrée est d'autant plus poignante.
Elle connaît son apogée émotionnelle dans les meurtres de Falcone et de ses compagnons (dont sa femme). Le lecteur qui a accompagné sur de longues pages sa lutte acharnée, ses victoires, ses échecs et sa solitude de "mort en sursis" devra assister à la fin horrible d'un héros -  un vrai. Borselino le survivra d'un mois. Une periode entre le deuil et la poursuite du combat, que le livre nous fait vivre avec une tristesse infinie, une pesanteur à peine supportable. Le récit se termine avec les images de l'hécatombe de la bombe à la Via Mariano D’Amelio. Une fin sans espoir, si elle n'était pas suivie des images évocatrices d'enfants jouant au ballon dans la rue. Tout comme jadis le petit Giovanni et soin ami Paolo...
Violence sans pitié.

Même si peut avoir spontanément envie de caresser ces animaux-poupées - du moins les rares "bons", La pieuvre n'est pas une BD anthromorphique au sens classique. Fort heureusement! Que ceux qui ont horreur des "furries",  parce que les peluches dans des situations adultes, ça  les perturbe, soient rassurés: La pieuvre est tout sauf du kitch en fourrure.

Les auteurs ont tout fait pour rendre accessible cet ouvrage même à un public non avisé en la matière. Les personnages sont bien présentées et expliquées dans leur contexte historique. Mais je reconnais que  ceux qui ne se sont jamais préoccupés de la matière auront peut-être un peu de peine à "rentrer" dans ce qui semble être un affaire purement italienne. Ce ne l'est pas. N'oublions pas que la dénommée pieuvre a ancrée ses tentacules partout en Europe et aux USA. Et les thèmes comme Gladio, la loge P2, les affaires financières louches d'un certain Sindona sont internationales et nous concernent tous.
Donc même si à priori, le sujet en soi  - la Mafia sicilienne, l'Italie des années 70-80, ne vous dit pas grand chose, lancez vous à l'aventure de la lecture de cet ouvrage unique en son genre.
La pieuvre, fruit de 7 ans de travail est un chef d'œuvre et déjà un grand classique du roman graphique. Un magnifique hommage artistique aux hommes courageux qui se sont opposées à la Mafia, au mépris de leur vie.

La pieuvre, sur Amazon: 

Version originale en italien: "Un fatto umano"


samedi, juillet 27, 2013

Tisser Du Lien en Mode Vosgien

Et le voilà sorti, le fruit de 8 mois de travail en équipe !

Je vous présente fièrement :  "Tisser du Lien en Mode Vosgien".


De la création de Qwertz, le petit extra-terrestre en passant par nos voyages à travers les Vosges hivernales, à la rencontre des divers associations qui nous accordaient un entretien - ce fut une merveilleuse aventure.  Le résultat est un portrait non-exhaustif de la vie solidaire et associative dans les Vosges - garni avec beaucoup d'humour, parfois même tout à fait audacieux.
En annexe il y a même des pages de jeux. 

C'est un ouvrage unique en son genre. Pour l'obtenir, il suffit d'utiliser le bouton paypal ci-bas. Le livre en soit est gratuit, vous payerez  juste 4,00 pour les frais d'envoi. Donc pour le commander, c'est ici:


mardi, mai 14, 2013

Kennedys Vendetta Deutsch

Since this entry is about a German Book, I will make it in German ;-)


So, nach einiger Zeit ist nun auch die deutsche Version von Kennedys Vendetta erschienen. Es war deutkich mühseliger als die französische, immer wieder fand ich Fehler, zwei mal musste ich das PDF korrigieren, als es schon beim Drucker war. Es haben sich deutliche Ermüdungserscheinungen bei der Arbeit an diesem Projekt gezeigt. Ich werde einen Weg finden müssen, dieses Phänomen  beim Nachfolgeband irgendwie zu umgehen.


Das ist das Cover. Es unterscheidet sich von der französischen Ausgabe, da ich mal eine andere Ästhetik ausprobieren wollte. Aber der Inhalt ist der selbe, nur halt auf Deutsch.

Inhaltlich ist es sicher eines meiner reifsten Werke.

Wer es sich gönnen will, kann auf diese Seite gehen: http://www.john-f-kennedy.eu/allemand/vendetta.htm

Dort gibt es einen Link zu Previews, also mit Leseproben.






jeudi, mai 09, 2013

May 9, 1978


*Warning* Sentimental content. ;-)

I'm traditionally doing this for JFK, so I'm doing it for him, too:   
Mentioning his birth- and death day observances in this blog -  along with some personal thoughts.

Aldo Moro  died today, 35 years ago, on may 9, 1978.
He was killed by the gunfire of his kidnapper.

I was 12 years old back then. It was a difficult time in my life, for I was in the middle of puberty which I hated and which I felt did came much too early. 
My eyes opened toward the world and what they saw was ugly and frightening. It was the time of the left-extremist terrorism and  the time of ongoing, reckless destruction of Nature .
I was a shy child and didn't talk much about my inner feelings that time.

I also remained mostly silent when the magazines and newspapers displayed the Photos of abducted Aldo Moro, 
First, those showing him  in captivity. There was this one where he still tries to smile:



I then thought in my silly mind that the whole thing was not that bad, that they (the terrorists)  will treat him well. Would he smile otherwise?
I was deeply moved by his gentle face. How could  you do any harm to this man?  I was somehow confident they will release him, for life is just and would not permit any other outcome than Aldo Moro being free and happy for the rest of his days.
Then I saw the photo where he looks sore and traumatized  and I understood that he was truly suffering.  
And then in May, came the  last one where he lays dead in the trunk of the car, surrounded by the people.

Magazines didn't bother about notions of  decency back then. They would print double paged color photos of bleeding corpses after a terrorist shooting.  Compared to that, the photo of dead Aldo was even pretty "harmless", for its not a "bloody" picture. The man seems to sleep. But it was everything but harmless to me. 

Italy had played a big role in my childhood. We were often there. I knew that there were a lot of ugly things in Italian reality (Mafia, poverty, injustice...) but Italy was always something like a piece of paradise to me.

I remember my mother sighing: "Oh no, they killed Aldo Moro, he was such a good man. He cared for the poor." 
I didn't had the words that would match my feelings. To the outside, I must have given the impression as if the whole affair  was none of my concerns. That was wrong.

I went to realize that the world is a big pile of Crap.  It's just not true that the good will always win. Cruelty and injustice  win.
I know that if I've told my mother or my friends about my  feelings, they would  have comforted me. But I couldn't.  I was speechless.



Today,  35 years later, Aldo Moro is mostly forgotten outside Italy. And I am recovering from being speechless.
The enchanted Italy of my childhood died together with Aldo Moro, that day. 
Now, so many years later, every time I look at photos of him, It's as if I could see a faraway glow from that lost paradise, deep in his eyes.  A sad greeting from a vanished world. This may be the reason why I try so hard to catch it with my pencils and colors.

...But just as the song says, I may as well as try to catch the wind.

mardi, avril 23, 2013

Contract reloaded


My Job will finish Next Monday. And well, I have almost the half of the illustrations still to do. Of course, I would not put down my pencils just because the contract has expired. Its a project and I'd work on it until it is finished.

But now...Our Boss asked the Vosgian Government (who pays us) if we could expand the contract. Today we got the answer: YES! I will have that Job for another 6 months!

It will give me a bit more time, for the deadline of the printer ends in 3 weeks, so we get additional time -  with none to waste, of course. Other that, Our Job will consist in distributing our book and plan a new one!

I am happy beyond description!!

I also got the dates of my thermal cure: July 4 until July 24 







jeudi, avril 18, 2013

New Cure!

Today I got the letter from my health insurance: The Thermal cure for this year has been aproved!

Remember last year, I had my very first thermal cure. And I was pretty sceptical if it would actually do more than exhausting me. Well, it did. This was the first winter with little or even no back pain.

So I can't wait to start this years cure, especially since experienced curists  say that you have to go trough  that 3 years in a row to fully benefit from the effect.

This year I will also get additinal treatment for heart problems. I am really happy about this.



lundi, avril 15, 2013

First Encounter


It has been a long time since I haven't wrote about my dreams here. But the one from last night certainly deserve it.
I dreamt of Aldo Moro - for  the very first time.
Yes, although the initial inspiration came last November, all the "connections" and inspirations went to me trough JFK, who was the "mediator". I sometimes saw Moro standing behind JFK. Often I had dreams with mysterious symbols and feelings where Aldo communicated in a way that can't be explained. There were visual impressions and emotions and deeply strange visions.

Last night, He finally managed to talk to me "normally" and in a clear  manner.
I was in his house. There  were a lot of his family members, too. I had offered them a drawing and I saw that they hanged it up on a wall, in the middle of two other pictures. There was a big black and white drawing showing an owl and a snake that they had made and that they intended to offer me in return. 
A young woman showed me a drawing she made(?) of a starry sky where demons and knights fight each other. It was a strange but beautiful picture.

Finally Aldo came to me and said that when drawing him, I make a mistake in the upper eye area. He explained what and showed me what I should change. It was not a harsh critique, but a set of kind advices. 

You can be assured that I will work hard to get Aldos instructions into practice.

The experience  reminds me of the earlier days when I learned to draw JFK and was so desperate about me failing at it. I then also had a dream where JFK told me how to manage the problem.

And now, this! what a dream!
The dream was somehow announced by another phenomenon: Remember when I wrote that I can't render Moros special language? Yesterday evening, when I wrote on the "Ballad" script, I suddenly had the inspiration for a phrase he says in the Story and of which I spontaneously thought: "well, that's him. That's truly the way he would say this.

So I think that the inspirational flow has evolved onto a higher level now. I feel like I gained more of his trust. He who has lost it all, according to what JFK says.
My sincere wish toward the universe or any instance that is managing this: May he send me more of his typical phrases and reflections if he feels like communicating them and may he not hesitate to correct me, if I don't draw him like I should.

samedi, avril 06, 2013

Vendetta finished

Yesterday I finished the last panel of "Kennedys Vendetta".
Another story done, and I am pretty happy about it. The French version will be the first going to the printer followed by the German Version shortly after.

I started that story in November last year and went trough it from first draft and ideas up to the finished book within 5 months. That is pretty fast. It was a wonderful time, for there were  a lot of new and thrilling aspects for me to discover.



Everytime when I finish a work, I have a sort of depression, which is the dark side of the deal. This time, all while I do feel a bit sore, its not that strong. This is probably due to the fact that I am already working on the Sequel of "Vendetta":  the "Ballad of John and Aldo." Yes, the title is a little irony on the Beatles Song title "The Ballad of John and Yoko" ;-)

The main challenge in "Vendetta" was to make it halfway plausible why JFK looses himself this deeply in his revenge trip.To be true, this doesn't really fit his personality. He was an emotional man, but could control his feelings very well, up to a point that he even appeared to be a little cold, sometimes. In this story, he surrenders to very basic and elementary emotions of hate and desperation.

The challenge in "The ballad of John and Aldo"  will be to portray Aldo Moro. In "Vendetta" Aldo is merely a memory and does not act by himself. In "Ballad" he does. Moro had a very unique language, a way to express himself trough poetic and sometimes cryptic phrases. I am afraid I could not copy that. Also because the reader has to understand what he says. So I just let him speak in a very distinctive and gentle way, with no gross words ;-)

Of course, I will share the whole creative process of that story here, too.


But meanwhile, I celeberate the soon release of "Kennedys Vendetta". The two pics in this post are out of  "Vendetta".





mercredi, mars 20, 2013

Nude

Daily Aldo:

It may come as a surprise for those who know how naughty I am, ;-) but it's the very first time I drew him naked.
While there are plenty of Photos depicting JFK shirtless or just with a bathing short, I didn't see one Photo of Aldo Moro that isn't a model of chastity yet : Not even a single button left open. It may sound odd, but I feel a bit like a rapist for forcing him to show in the nude. But then, that's art for you: Merciless. Lusty.
At least I left him a little hanky to cover the essentials. We will go on gently.
One would think that his anatomy can just be guessed because of the available photograph pool I mentioned. Well, not exactly. There is a very accurate and "scientific" drawing of his corpse on the autopsy table.

Believe me, I really would have preferred a nude picture of him being alive and kicking.

It's very clear he didn't had the body of a young man anymore. Very thin legs and arms and a bit more rounded torso. The typical shape of old Gentlemen. But the skinny body parts, such as the extremely thin hands and fingers may also have been a symptom of the maligner tumor that was discovered inside him at the autopsy.

dimanche, mars 17, 2013

Hopes


One of the most precious things my job brought to me, aside of the cool project, the two best colleagues I ever had in my life and a little more money, are the countless contacts I made. I met an art and festival society whose chief really enjoys my work. Yesterday we went together and made plans all for marketing "Kennedys Vendetta" when it will be out. 

And not only him. I met a lot of Journalists, Art Directors and others who are willing to help me and my work. So this Book will get on the market with a very different start than all previous ones I made.

If there wouldn't be such a hard economic crisis here, I'd probably  really make it now...



mercredi, mars 13, 2013

Chiara



I am progessing with "Kennedys Vendetta". I am in the last quarter of the Story, the most dramatic one, and therefore the most interesting for me to draw.

The above pic shows a memory, therefore I used a slightly different technique: No ink outlines, just color pencil and Ecolines.

It is a crucial scenery, both in historical reality as in the fiction of "Kennedys Vendetta". 

At a given moment, some members of the Terrorist Group started to fraternize with Aldo Moro, questionning the sense and legitimacy of their action. Especially one woman had more and more difficulties to bear Moro's suffering and tried to comfort him, even suggested to let him go. 
This Woman was also the model for the character "Chiara" in the fictonal / fantasy Film "Bongiorno Notte", which draws possible alternative outcomings of the Aldo Moro Affair.

In "Kennedys Vendetta" this aspect is just a side note, even tough it is surely an interesting thing.

mardi, mars 12, 2013

End of Graphic Smash

Yesterday I got an email from Joe Manley, creator of the Moderntales family of Webcomics Sites.

Graphic Smash, their action related departement, where Antique White House is hosted  will shut down, which is very, very sad. 
I will consider a Webcomicsnation account. And I also applied at Emanata, which provides Comics for Tablett Computers, such as the Ipad and others. 
Application was accepted, so there will be soon the possibility to read AWH on your tablett. 

I will keep you informed.

vendredi, mars 01, 2013

Eating disorder



Please do not ask me what's going on here. I just don't know. It was a "pencil: On. Brain: Off" experiment. Featuring: Aldo Moro (left) and John F. Kennedy (right) and some unseapkable person in the background.
Forget it. Better.

mercredi, février 27, 2013

Apulian Delicacies


Managed at least today to do the "Daily Aldo". Just a doodle, but that's better than nothing.

Its the very first time I drew him on horse. 
About time -  in the world of Antique White House you better know how to ride. I don't know if the real Aldo Moro did, but since most of the men of his generation and social status learned how to stay in saddle, its probable.

Anyway. What certainly would spook him, is the hype made on the Beef-Lasgange that "whinny". 

Apulia, his native country, is famous for its beautiful horses, the Cavallo Pugliesi - but also for real fine Horsemeat Dishes. And no - In my stories, I will not adapt that aspect to the Nutritional-Correct Zeitgeist that mistakes a horse a pet.
A civilization so much relied on horses would be pretty stupid to raise beef for food, using space and ressources, all while thousands of horses are worked to death and then left to rott.
Seen that way, one will understand why especially horsemen-cultures such as the mongols, tatars, huns and native Indians all ate horsemeat.

Back to the  actual Horsemeat Scandal. Don't get me wrong: false labelling of food is inacceptable. It's criminal and should be punished in a severe way. Everyone has the right to eat what he/she wants without getting deceived over the true nature of composants. 

But the general offense seems to go much farther than just over false labels. I doubt that there would be the same scandal if Chicken had been labelled as turkey. The different standards we apply on animals are frightnening sometimes. 
Okay, I admit that most meat-eaters will not eat everything - I stop at cats, too. Being selective is okay in my eyes, even if its specizist. But the difference made between two huge hoofed, grass-eating farm animals like a cow and a horse is bizarre, nevertheless. 

However. If you like Horsemeat, I recommend you this tasty apulian receipe: 

Use Google translation if you don't speak italian.

But I recommend you also to buy regular meat at your local Horsemeat Shop rather than  washing out the meat from some lasgane ;-)



mercredi, février 20, 2013

On the Road again

Our Boss rented a car, so I don't have to use mine when we visit the people we are interviewing.  We try to make most of our Interviews within the period while we have that car. So Vosgian State will not pay the rent fo a car parked at my house.

This means that we are now fully involved in travelling. Today was finally a day I could rest a bit. Tomorrow we will drive to a faraway town for new visits and interviews. I am pretty exhausted. I am not even able to ensure the deadlines of my customers order. Let alone my own work. And I wanted so hard to draw at least one Aldo each day, to train his rendering. Shit!
Today was the first day in ages I could do that.
So "daily Aldo" is now "weekly Aldo" at its best.

Don't get me wrong: I still enjoy my job very much. Its an unique and fascinating project. But it is also very challenging.

jeudi, janvier 31, 2013

Busy

Boy, the job is exhausting me ! ;-)
We are actually in a stage of the project where we have to travel a lot, write a lot and talk a lot. And draw a lot (me)
This is why I am doing so little updates here. I barely can catch up with my other projects.


Once all the Interwiews are done, it will probably all calm down.

mercredi, janvier 16, 2013

Historical Heroes on Deviantart


Who inspires artists? I tried a little research on DeviantArt, Internets biggest Art Community with Millions of Artwork. Done this Morning.

I typed :

* John F Kennedy: 1989 results.

* Aldo Moro: 55 results. From these, 31 that don't represent the actual man, but are mostly or completly unrelated shit. The remaining 24 results contain 22 work from...well, from me.

* Dag Hammarskjöld : 7 results. 4 unrelated.

* Adolf Hitler: 48338 results.




I let everyone make her / his conclusions about these results.

mercredi, janvier 02, 2013

Into the new year

Another year is on and I hope you all had a good New years eve Holiday.

Have you any New Year Resolutions? Me not. I think I was on a good way last year so I will just go on with that path in 2013.

Since it's somehow mandatory a quick overview on my 2012:

Best Thing happened: Found a Job, found a Film Producer.
Best Thing acquired : Ipad, new Identity Card, New German Bankaccount.
Best thing I got rid of: Excessive Skin at my belly (Surgery in February 2012)
Best artistic / Spiritual experience: Aldo Moro

Worst thing happened: Lightning stroke Neighbors house and destroyed my electric infrastructure and lots of devices.
Worst thing acquired: A cheap Tablett Computer from easyPix. Did not last 3 Months.
Worst loss: Some Data on my PC after the Lightning impact.
Worst artistic experience: Comic Festival in Arlon. 

Wish you all a great 2013!