Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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BD, comic strip. Little drum will grow old


If the colorful, stylish cover of the Moskva drum may lead to believe, at first glance, that the reader has in his hands a joyful book and which would gladly be addressed to children, the farandole of skeletons, glimpsed in the background, suggests the true content of the book.

The author has chosen the Napoleonic epic, at its tipping point, the Battle of Borodino, during the Russian campaign, at the end of which the two camps claim victory and leave 70,000 dead on the spot. The occupation and looting of Moscow followed, abandoned in flames by its inhabitants, and the retreat from Russia, like a long agony.

I didn’t want a contrast between beauty and cruelty, but I wanted to avoid too realistic and brutal graphics. The drama lies in the events themselves and the psychology of the characters.

No moral in this story told by the voice of a young drum, angelic figure in the midst of the stupidity of men and endless killings. A moon face, all white, which contrasts with the multicolored palette developed around indigo blue, the blue of French uniforms under the Empire. For Simon Spruyt, it all started with reading War and peace from Tolstoy about ten years ago. This young drum, a secondary character, ended up imposing himself until the Flemish designer invented a destiny for him.

Both witness and actor of a story that escapes him, The Moskva Drum, published by Lombard.


Every two weeks, Jean-Christophe Ogier hosts here the column “Info manga” by Lætitia de Germon from the editorial staff of To guide you through the many publications, Lætitia gives you her selection and her favorites.

Saiyukiden – The Legend of the Monkey King, par Katsuya Terada, chez Pika

Saiyukiden, the legend of the monkey king
Saiyukiden, la légen de du roi singe (© 1995 by Katsuya Terada / SHUEISHA Inc. / Pika)
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Katsuya Terada delivers a very nice, colorful adaptation of Peregrination to the West, a cult classic of Chinese literature, featuring the mighty Sun Wukong, better known as Son Goku.

Accompanied by a pig, the Monkey King escorts a gagged and bound nun on a journey to India, where he must get his hands on sacred Buddhist manuscripts. Their journey, a true initiatory journey, will put their faith and their life to the test. The one born from a stone egg, the Monkey King, will have to show the extent of his talents to lead his small group to their destination, fight after fight …

Graphically, it’s a mix between Moebius, comics and a bit of manga. With each chapter, we discover a new range of colors. The power and animal side of the Monkey King are highlighted by an energetic trait, as are the fight scenes. Some boards are particularly violent and this manga is therefore not suitable for the youngest.

Note, at the end of the volume, the chapters published in Shueisha’s Ultra Jump magazine, in black and white and a cross interview with Range Murata, author of Last Exile and a preface by Kim Jung Gi, one of the most talented Korean illustrators.

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