Who will finally publish one of Neaud’s astonishing works in English ?… English readers, contact your favorite editors, make them read this English version of Émile !
The 32 pages of “Émile” were drawn in 1999, at the time of the publication of the third volume of his ’Journal’ (of which he makes a passing mention in the story). Events were drawn as they occurred and consequently there is much less detachment than in the volumes of his ’Journal’ ; but the lucidity of the author remains intact and just as impressive as ever.
The purity of the art and page composition of Fabrice Neaud is totally realized in this story. The solitude in these pages is nearly total ; there is little human warmth, even in his encounters with others : a great emptiness echoes throughout. The author is doubtful of the virtues of “sublimation” that are generally attributed to works of art. He draws the trees and familiar paths of his everyday strolls ; scenery roughed up by the famous storm of 1999, which occurs in the course of the account.
Since the third volume of his ’Journal’, we’ve become acquainted with Fabrice Neaud’s talent for constructing books of an impressive structure that give meaning to the slightest moments of a life. By its concision, this account finds another astonishing path for making the voice of its author heard. So unique and moving, “Émile” is a truly beautiful achievement.
Translation by Travis Lealand, with the help of the collaborative comics translation website comixinflux
Thanks to them !
▪ Article on the Comics Reporter
▪ see the french version