The Gallery

11.12.12 > 03.02.13

Galery: Les Petites Gens (Le Lombard, 2012)

Thomas Campi/Vincent Zabus

The great Miguel de Cervantès once wrote: "That is life, my friend, except that it is not as good as the life you see in the theatre". The author of Don Quixote had understood that only a show intended for the stage allowed you to gather so many lives and emotions together in a single place, in a single moment, around a central action. He did not know that four centuries later, comic strip authors would be skillful enough to pull off the feat of applying the classical theatre rule of the three unities to their own art. Campi and Zabus have created this sensitive album which the Belgian Comic Strip Center is proud to present in its Gallery.

Jean Auquier, Belgian Comic Strip Center.

A road, two buildings facing one another and a few figures of the kind one comes across every day. These are the little people, carried along by their lives, from home to work, from the cradle to the grave. They are everywhere, yet no-one notices them. Some among them still seem to have sufficient love of life to try to give it meaning, to find happiness. These could be said to be the revolutionaries, quiet and passive. Like this railway official, who can no longer stand seeing his elderly colleague smiling all the time … Or this cleaning woman with a strange passion, or this old dancer who still perpetuates the magic of the show, even in retirement. And this father who can no longer find a way to go on living with his son. Their neighbour, an elderly eccentric who gives his books away to others as the cure-all for their troubles, tries to break the great silence which has built up between the pair.

This sensitive and moving tale, skilfully constructed, astonishes by the way it manages to give such appeal to these little nobodies from everyday life, who turn out to be far more important than one might imagine.

The virtuoso drawing of Thomas Campi provides a sparkling showcase for this magnificent intimist tale. This young Italian author, here drawing his first comic strip for a French-Belgian readership, emerges as a great name of the future.

Vincent Zabus demonstrates great mastery as a narrator, carving out finely observed dialogues. This Belgian playwright and comedy actor has already published comic strips for children. Now with "Les Petites Gens" he has written a more adult and realistic album for the first time.

Nathalie Van Campenhoudt, Le Lombard 

Tags : Museum / Strip / Exhibition

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