Terror is blowing over Éditions Vents d'Ouest with this new saga dedicated to assassinations who turned their time upside down and had a significant impact on History. From Philippe II of Macedon succumbing to the sword of Pausanias to Archduke François-Ferdinand succumbing to the shots of Gravilo Princip, the authors and designers take turns to script and stage these founding murders.
In the world of comics, fashion for a few years has been in thematic sagas involving various screenwriters, designers and colorists who take turns from one comic to another, each book being a small independent project, which can be purchased and be read in a completely independent way, but in fact fitting into a more or less long saga around a common theme: here the most crucial assassinations in history.
Three volumes have been published to date: “I killed Philip II of Macedonia”, “I killed Franz Ferdinand Archduke of Austria” and more surprisingly “I killed Abel”.
The choice to begin the saga with the murder of Abel may be surprising, because this original murder is more of the founding myth than of History. But in fact the screenwriter of this first volume, Serge Le Tendre, does not really deal with the myth common to the three Abrahamic religions: he totally reinvents it by offering it a sequel. Placing the story in the biblical time of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, approximately around a somewhat imaginary 6th century BC, the screenwriter seeks to recount the life of the first of the murderers, Cain, condemned to an interminable eternal life when everything around him succumbs. Having become a Mesopotamian monarch, quite inspired by Nebuchadnezzar, the murderer searches in vain for someone who can put an end to his curse and send him to his hometown. This first volume is therefore not the comic strip adaptation of a biblical story, but the re-use of an original myth to found an original volume for a saga then dedicated to more historical subjects.
Treating in one volume, or about sixty boards, a key historical episode, the writers are forced to be efficient. It is advisable to quickly place the historical context and present the characters in order to devote the main part of the story to the twists and turns which make up the dynamics of the scenario and which keep the reader in suspense. This sometimes results in a little artificiality of the dialogues with plotters a little inclined to shout their bad intentions from the rooftops ... But we understand that it is above all a question of putting the reader in the confidence. We regret that each volume is not completed by a documentary corpus allowing the reader to see how the comic strip was constructed from various literary or police sources. Why not offer the reader the original text of the myth of Cain and Abel? An excerpt from Plutarch on Pausanias? Newspaper extracts and investigative reports into the Archduke's assassination? These documents, presented by a historian, would make it possible to understand both the work of the latter and the work of the screenwriter. What is more, by starting with these files, we would offer the reader the knowledge necessary to take advantage of well-crafted scenarios where we would no longer be obliged to bring in the plotters with their big hooves and where the implication would have its place. .
Anyway, the writers and designers offer us three beautiful comics with catchy scenarios and realistic graphics that facilitate immersion. Alongside these men who have become assassins, we question the driving role of violence in human societies and the return of the individual actor in the historiography of our discipline.
- I killed Abel
- I killed Philip II of Macedon
- I killed Franz Ferdinand Archduke of Austria