“Bridge between comics and art”

By going under the Dome with you, don’t comics run the risk of becoming “academic” art?

Academia carries its weight. One thinks of “academicism” as referring to a fixed, stable manner. But when you get into it, you realize that it works almost like a big toolbox, comparing it to fellow engraver Pierre Collin. This is not a closed club at all. Inside, everything moves, everything is alive. This company is like an art search: its mission is both to preserve heritage – it is important not to be destroyed, we need the classics to be exalted – and to encourage young creativity through residencies, grants…

The first woman to join the team of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, you are 42 years old, the youngest academic. Does it affect you?

I met the team for the first time Charlie Hebdo, I was 21 – 25 years old, I was hired permanently. I was horrified. Although full of humor and kindness, these brilliant designers radiated a very impressive force. I’m definitely less scared now that I’m older. And because I met intellectual people for whom innovation is important, a girl on the editorial board of a newspaper, the youngest academician of the Institut de France. Once you enter Charlie Hebdo or the Academy, you work. That’s all that matters.

You went from press cartoons to comics. How do they differ?

These are two very different professions. The nose of the press cartoonist is at the helm of the news. The comic reminds me more of the rides, which gives me time to daydream. It occurred to me to come up with ideas for comic strips while walking, to unravel script knots in this way. The great outdoors Where The girl and the sea. Titles, sentences come, are built. It’s pretty magical. Being alone in nature.

Your academic sword has a fox, an agate, a palm, and four feathers on it. What do these symbols say?

The four feathers are by Blutch, Luz, Claire Bretécher and Quentin Blake, designers I admire. As for the fox, he has accompanied me since childhood. I could watch him as a child in the country. It’s a pleasure to shoot, long, with all its gorgeous colors. He always accidentally found himself in my paws. since Renart’s novel As a child, I listened to a book CD narrated by the actor Philippe Noiret – we remember a story told by this extraordinary voice all our lives! to Tales of La Fontaine I did an illustration recently. He invited himself to my first comics my writerslike a troubadour telling a literary story.

Here’s a fox on your sword…

This fox comes from the tapestry The unicorn lady, is in the Cluny Museum in Paris. It creates a connection between comics, art and museums. The latter feature heavily in my albums as spaces of discovery, encounter, surprise, emotion and knowledge. This little fox sitting on this big tapestry doesn’t seem to touch it. It suits me very well.

What about agate?

Minerals, gems, fossils fascinate me. Nature has appeared before people and offers us its creative power, which never fails to inspire us. The house my parents rebuilt in Deux-Sèvres is full of fossils. A date is engraved on the door, 1784, which appears on my sword.

When you were 7 years old, your parents chose to raise you in the countryside of Niortaise. Why?

My parents were born in the village, my father in Meuse, my mother in Deux-Sèvres. They lived in the city to study and find work. But very quickly they wanted to return to the nature they knew.

When did you realize it was luck?

With drawing The great outdoors. This album, in which I describe my childhood, is attached to the previous album, La Légité, which the reader should not necessarily know. There was a big shock after the attack Charlie Hebdo (Catherine Meurisse owes her lateness that morning to still be alive, editor’s note), I needed to get home. Lightness It is a remarkable book for me. Written on instinct, this book was about the search for identity after a great upheaval. I didn’t know who I was anymore. To deepen or complete this quest, I had to go back to my childhood and ask myself where I came from. It all made a lot of sense to me, even though I didn’t expect it.

Before this appeal to childhood, you went in search of beauty to start living again. What is your relationship with him today?

Beauty remains perhaps too closely associated with this trauma. The term itself fascinates me. Now I’m better, I’m less interested in beauty, I’m unconsciously looking for it every day.

You met him in Japan, immersed in his rural landscapes…

How to save landscapes threatened by cataclysm, such as a typhoon? This is the question Nami asked herself in my album The girl and the sea made after my travels. Possible resources include art… and a herbarium. I made one in Japan. I read an interview with botanist Marc Jeanson, who runs the National Herbarium at the National Museum of Natural History. These collections, he says, are fascinating because they can still contain plant DNA and because it is possible to recreate life from these seemingly dormant plants. I remember this idea. Nature reminds us that we are passing through this planet, but paradoxically, it extends us.

Your memories and feelings feed your albums. Do they affect your features and gestures?

This is possible. Painting is a very sensual experience. Especially when we keep the traditional approach like in my case. I communicate with paper, tools, inks. Paper is a material that needs to be mastered. Sometimes you could believe he was alive. It is a very primitive gesture to dip the brush in water and ink. Perhaps with this we do not leave the archaic story. This is what I love to draw.

At the Academy, you joined the Immortals. What will you do with this immortality?

Wow, immortality (laughs)! The Academy is a place where you don’t rush, you take your time to help artists as much as you can. I would love for him to create a great prize for comics. I will not be alone in representing this discipline: in the new section of Engraving and Drawing that I have joined, we aim to attract other authors in the coming years. This makes me happy in advance.

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