(HOMAGE TO LEWIS TRONDHEIM).
as it's pretty beautiful outside, and as i'm slowly recovering extra free time from my new job, i'm arranging and cleaning home each days, after finishing work ; so it's the usual round of classifying stuff, including old press, forgotten records, and... comic boxes.
between dirty X-Men comics and destroyed old french classics, i re-found out some old fanzines that i totally forgot, at the time where i was mainly reading Marvel comics, Fluide Glacial (french humoristic monthly magazine) and (A Suivre) (another magazine devoted to more classic french creators - i remember having read one of my all time favorite french comics, Boucq' "Bouche du Diable", inside its pages), i discovered some pretty old fanzine, called "la Poubelle de l'Incongru-Kamizol", a special issue of "l'Incongru", a local fanzine done by, along others, Fred Neidhardt and others disturbed people.
well, not so old, as it's marked 1989, december on its cover.
"so what ?", will ask my friends from Lyon ? 8)
so, it was the first time i saw some art from this Lewis Trondheim guy ; at the time, frankly, it disturbed me to see what looked like easy shit, published in this zine. for me, comics were slowly showing themselves as something else than just entertainment. heck, i was 16... and clearly, it looked like this guy had two left hands, and a real little, little sense of dialog and narration.
in this undersized book published by some crazy folks from Besancon (already ! yesss...), Trondheim use the same strip composition basis that he used later on "le Dormeur" : each time the same drawing, repeated 3 times in a row, and with only wordballoons differents the ones from another. it's pretty stupid humor we talk about here, all the bunch were deeply into scatologic/private jokes, and even the legendary Carali was involved (1 strip)... well.
year after year, i became one of the tons of people sick of all the clones and sub-clones of every success i read by the past ; i saw publishers forgetting their job (exposing all kind of stuff, helping discovering new talents, etc), i saw the comic medium going faster in a wall that i supposed pretty heavy and fatal. then came to my eyes some concrete examples that not only i wasn't alone, but also that some creators decided to do the thing to do : self publishing.
we all know the stories ; in usa, japan or europe, others creators were always doing things in their corners, lauching new publishing homes for their different work. and in France, Trondheim went into the wagon with other people who got the ultimate book of this time (Labo), people who became l'Association. since, he did many other books, too much to name it all, and became one of the top name in this field. sometimes, he did some just correct shit, but too often he did top books, alone or with friends.
i wonder if Trondheim got memories of this old stuff. if i'm correct, his oldest stuff published through a bigger publisher is from 91 or 92 ("Monolinguistes" and "Psychanalyse", Le Lezard) ? meanwhile, he did "Imbroglio" through l'Association and "le Dormeur" through Cornelius...
... and in september this year, the publisher Breal, through its collection for younger audience (and with Lewis's friend Joann Sfar at its head), release his so-called last drawn book, "A.l.i.e.e.n", a children book which looks pretty, pretty beautiful, from the little i saw ; it's supposed to be one of his last books, at least drawn by himself, but it will be a nice one.
it's already knowed that some major event (and i mean, major, uh...)will happen to our favorite rabbit in Trondheim last "Lapinot" book (released next month), so i hope Lewis will give us cool and funny story with A.l.i.e.en... we'll see.
even if it's a good thing to stop doing things when you doubt having pleasure to do it, i just wanted to tell that Lewis Trondheim is one of the rare guys who fed my interest for "other" comic books ; by doing something different, for pushing his limits and the medium limits with him ; by doing tons of things, going everywhere at once, but allways for the pleasure of the curious readers who, year after year, became legion behind him, making him one of the best comic creators around.
thanks for all this, mister Trondheim (and don't forget my check).