mercoledì 23 marzo 2011

Meglio mostrare che dire

A few questions to Florent Ruppert & Jérome Mulot about their graphic novel Irène et les clochards (Canicola).

Irène, the main character, has a dark view of life and in the book you can see a mixture between reality and her imagination: she often sees herself brutally killing other people with her sword, she imagines way of committing suicide and sometimes she also dreams about flying above Paris. Even though we can't see her face details, since she's only depicted by the outline of her head and by a triangle replacing her eyes, nose and mouth, we can perfectly understand her feeling by the way she moves and by her words.
Is there a specific reason why you made such a strong aesthetical choice?

Yes, we believe that erasing the emotions on the face of the character allows the reader to imagine them. Llike if the neutral face of Irène was a blank page and the reader would draw the emotions with his own ones on this blank page.

Your use of words and lines is very essential. It seems you want to leave the reader the possibility to complete with the imagionation waht you don't tell and don't show. What do you think is the right balance between writing and drawing in graphic novels?

I don't know if there is a right balance, for the author is a matter of deciding what he wants. If I should give an advice to young graphic novelist I would say: it's always better to show than to tell, it's more efficient trying to give a feeling or an idea not talking about it, it's better to let the reader find out by himself. It's the same in life, our personal experience is better than taking lessons from others. Better to make big mistakes and learn from them, than not making mistakes and wonder if listening to what you've been told is the right choice or not.

At the beginning of the story, Irène is interested in asking questions to clochards in order to understand something about them. She can't complete her research but, at the end, she seems to become one of them. Have you completed her study through her own story in a sort of short circuit?

It's hard to answer this question. The next issue will be about the life of Irène before this book and will tell the story of how he lost her breast (one of the two). The clochards are our way to describe the difficulties in Irène relations with the "others" and to tell about her personal attraction/repulsion with homeless people.

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