Two Belgians honoured at Angoulême


On Saturday 28 January, the jury of the largest European trade show dedicated to the 9th art, the Angoulême International Comics Festival, named an "avant-garde" work in its awards for the best comic book, "Paysage après la bataille" (Actes Sud/ Frémok), by the Belgians Eric Lambé (drawings) and Philippe de Pierpont (storyline).

This 420-page tale is a bold attempt to convey the grieving process through a comic book. It tells of the pain endured by a mother who has lost her child following an accident. Fanny finds refuge in a caravan and mobile home site where, despite the approach of winter, some residents still live, such as a retired couple and a disheartened former boxer. The young woman attempts to rebuild her life surrounded by landscapes that are soon dominated by snow and solitude.

The drawings are enhanced with some touches of impressionist colour. This is a strong, challenging work which, through this intimate story, singularly reflects the detrimental atmosphere of our time: emptiness, death, solitude, existential vertigo. A striking detail: the protagonist is often drawn from the back, her face remaining anonymous as if to symbolise the tragic erasure that fate has imposed on her own existence.