Caricature. This summer, bubble with humanity! # 3

René.e aux bois dormants, by Elaine Osden, Sarbacan Editions, 272 pages.

Beginning to read “René.e aux bois dormants” is like embarking on a long dream, from which the story borrows the structure made up of displacements and transformations. In the company of mysterious beings like the gentle giant, Hecol, and the wizard Espa, we find ourselves drawn to a flood of images and sensations that at first glance seem to escape all logic. It’s about letting yourself go without warning in the rapids of this river, drifting from surprise to surprise.

It’s like Alice’s Wonderland, in that it lacks neither chasing a rabbit nor crossing a mirror. But the journey turned out to be arduous and the transformations of the main character increasingly painful. A little boy, then a flower, then a little girl, Renee took on the features of a cat when she was snatched by evil birds. For them, it is just a seed, it is enough to find a hole deep enough to plant it there. It is therefore necessary to get out of this dream which has gradually become a nightmare, as if we had to come back from the dead. Are we still dreaming, are we really dead? Death here is considered rebirth, hence possibly the child’s first name: Re-né.

Icon newspaperFind out in a preview of the comic strip “René.e aux bois dormants” in issue 815 of Humanity magazine

Proto-artist, cinematographer, illustrator, and photographer, Eileen Auden, puts all her talents at the service of this introductory tale. His pictorial approach never detracts from the narrative. On the contrary, the latter is often ensured by the sole play of shapes and patterns, as when the city through the window of René.e is transformed into a giant handkerchief. Many pages are based on the strong opposition of primary colors, hot and cold. Other sections are monochrome, and even in gray values. Then we distinguish the dream from the myth, between the past and the present.

The civic and committed dimension of the album is gradually emerging. First, implicitly, and then more explicitly, the scandal of aboriginal child raids in Canada is raised: in the 1960s, twenty thousand Indian children were snatched from their parents and given up for adoption to white families, sometimes unscrupulously. Despised origins and poised ancestral culture weave the fabric of many stories embedded in the main narrative, where great foundational legends and forgotten rituals emerge. So Isba, descendant of the Wendigo, that evil and cannibal creature common to the culture of many Amerindian nations; Thus, the car, being with two souls, personifies the third gender, male and female, in the eyes of some indigenous peoples of North America; Hence the supplication for Mother Earth and the four elements; Such trees with trunks strewn with milk teeth …

Unique from all points of view, “René.e aux bois dormants” offers a unique intellectual and sensitive experience. Of those we do not exhaust, even after many language revisions.


Citizen Comics Award, the eight finalists in the 2022 selection

  • Tunisian Revolution, Ayman Mubarak, Seif El-Din Al-Nashy, translated by Marianne Babbout, Alphabata, 224 pages.
  • “From the Living”, Raphael Meltz, Louise Maati, Simone Rosin, 2024 editions, 260 pages
  • “René.e aux bois dormants”, Elen Usdin, Sarbacane, 272 pages
  • “You Must Make a Million,” Jill Rocher, 6 Feet Under, 96 pages
  • ” # I Accused…! by Jean Detar, Delcourt, 312 pages
  • “The Weight of Champions”, David Sala, Casterman, 176 pages
  • “Michel, The End of the Means, All That,” Pierre Morel, Employee with Me, 80 pages
  • “The King of Vagabonds”, Patrick Spatt, Pia Davis, Dargaud/Seuil, 160 pages

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