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August 18, 2005

FAVORITES - from Nick Abadzis

There are several extremely talented authors from the U.K. working on original commissions with FIRST SECOND. Among them is Nick Abadzis, whose LAIKA is due out next fall. More to come about that later...!

In the meantime, he sends us one of his favorite scenes from a graphic novel, in our continuing feature:


Baudoin_page © copyright Edmond Baudoin

"There's a scene in Edmond Baudoin's BD album Le Portrait, which I bought it in its original oversized Futuropolis edition back in about 1990 or '91. The whole book blew my mind, but a particular five-panel sequence stood out: page 43 where the artist Michel is at work on a portrait of Carol, the model he's kind of obsessed with. He's asking himself to get a bit of distance from her. As he draws, a mirror of himself, a kind of shadow-opposite works behind the easel, echoing his movement. In the next panel, the easel and the portrait has disappeared, and artist and shadow become joined at the point of the piece of charcoal as it moves across the invisible paper that now is all that separates them. Michel is "recommencing the portrait," and the next silent panel seems to ask, who is this a portrait actually of? Carol, or Michel himself, what he sees of himself reflected in her? The shadow begins to move out of the frame in the last panel of the page as the caption asks what it is he's searching for.

The sequence, like so much of Baudoin's work, is both incredibly subtle and beautifully bold. It also captures this incredible sense of movement. Baudoin was inventing new visual grammar (as he still does) but was unconstrained by this, allowing himself to be utterly expressive. Yeah, it spoke to me! The whole book is astonishing and well, I've rambled on a bit so I should get back to work."


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