John Doe

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What a life (after his death)! The Living Dead by Hubert and Zanzim – Lo Spazio Bianco

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Hubert Pollard He was one of the most talented and versatile French authors (screenwriter and colorist) of his generation, one that exploded in the 2000s of the new millennium. His early and sudden death in 2020 at the age of just 50 is still saddened today by fans and insiders in the world of Franco-Belgian comedy, convinced that His death deprived Art 9 of one of the most eclectic and up-and-coming characters who could have offered readers so much in terms of stories.

Hubert’s extraordinary ability to diversify into a wide range of genres and stories is represented by his body of work – just under twenty – which Bao Publishing It has the advantage of offering Italian readers the opportunity to introduce them to the style and poetics of an author who has embarked, book after book, on a path of continuous growth both stylistically and poetically.
The most recent title in chronological order to hit the shelves of Italian bookstores is See me after his deathreleased in France in two volumes between 2012 and 2013, created by Hubert – also here in the role of colorist – together with Zanzimwho will then tackle what is recognized as the couple’s award-winning masterpiece man skinwas released posthumously after the death of the screenwriter

my life after my death It is placed in the middle like Hubert’s opus and although it can be defined as a minor work compared to the aforementioned man skin or epic fantasy Orc gods
He embodies and develops some of the basic characteristics upon which the screenwriter’s comics are based. Within a narrative system that is precise and perfect in its construction, we have a plot that runs along a temporal thread with many flashbacks symmetrically inserted into development and often ‘projected’ for the reader to be told next. Then the plot touches the whole in a way that is always original and never taken for granted A series of difficult issues, avoiding simplifications and trying to find an original point of view on themTopics such as rejecting the different, political corruption, women’s liberation, building speculations and arbitrary disposal of toxic waste.

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My Life After Childbirth_ p7Emma Doucet is an elderly widow awaiting death, after the loss of her husband Pierre, hands folded, devoid of any desire to live. Until she actually realizes that she is already dead, on top of her mysteriously violent death, even if none of her vital functions seemed to be compromised and her existence flowed just as before.

on this core Hubert crafts a story based mainly on the story of a great love story Between a rebellious girl – the protagonist Emma – and a young cyclist who came out of nowhere, Pierre. A story that continues over the years and in the different seasons of life fueled by the passion and desire that the two lovers share, even through differences, secrets, angry quarrels, abandonment and reunion.
From this important and pivotal romantic element of the story, the screenwriter begins a whole series of narrative threads that touch on mystery and thriller as you have to find out who and why killed Emma, ​​the supernatural along with the hero who discovered it wasn’t her. The only zombie rolling around, even touching on those topics mentioned above, is not easy to handle but Hubert manages to make the story he tells naturally and effectively practical, Avoid becoming, in the eyes of the reader, obtrusive or out of place in the general framework of the story, and that the latter, above all, does not become a thesis story.

In a story told entirely in the first person from the hero’s point of view, as the title already suggests, What is remarkable is the perfect mechanism created by Hubert who masterfully connects the different temporal levels, and links them together through simple dialogue or commentary, in a continuous narrative flow.where the coloring is responsible for helping the reader orientate themselves in chronological order.
Equally effective is the reconstruction of the evolution and evolution of French society in the twentieth century, the path to liberalization of the role of women in society and the successful characterization of women in history, starting with the protagonist. The screenwriter’s concern for his characters—to tell more truth than to state, with the latter remaining flatter than the former—is a constant in his oeuvre. Around them the whole story is built
The ultimate goal of Hubert’s writing is to explore his personality, his fears, his feelings, and his flaws.

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My life after giving birth 14In this work there are also elements that remain less focused, critical issues that do not affect the overall quality of the comedy as a whole but are evident during the reading. The constant character of the male characters, which we mentioned earlier, is also associated with the plot vulnerability associated with the thriller, of whom the protagonist is “killed”. In fact, the killer’s personality, motives, and motives remain very sketchy, effectively lightening the latter part of the story. On closer examination, From the middle onwards, the story loses some of its symmetry, languishing in a build-up of events one after another.whereas in the first part, a more relaxed pace allowed for a more in-depth narrative development.

This is still a zombie story, polished and certainly quality, far from canonical cliches in this vein, but the heroes are always alive. Hence meThe Zanzim Canal, with its detailed but far from realistic style, is more than perfect for telling this story. The figures, who are after all walking carcasses, are full of expression, in their movements as in their eyes. The page structure, always of four segments and often divided into twelve cartoons, gives clarity to the story, and helps the reader to keep track of the events.
Zanzim often prefers the American shot, without giving up long shots and close-ups when necessary. This choice allows him to put the richness of Hubert’s script on the table and give the characters great acting freedom, even in the smallest of animations.

Then the colors become necessary to “give life” to these walking corpses. The palette used ranging from acid green to yellow and beige is well suited to denote the “biological state” of these characters, distinguishing them from living beings and at the same time linking a graphic part intentionally distant from nature with an element rooted in reality such as the color of corpses.
Generally Each Hubert coloring is effective and narrative Another example is the use of warm sepia colors that characterize the sequences set in the past that tell the love story between Emma and Pierre, disguising it in a visual nostalgia that adds to what is evident from the words of the protagonist.

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my life after my death It is another piece to fit in Hubert’s sadly short career. Not one of its tops, however A successful comic fit with a growth trajectory who has never had mistakes or falls. Of course it would be nice if he too, like Emma and Pierre and their comrades, could continue his career after his death somewhere.

We talked about:
my life after my death
Hubert, Zanzem
Translated by Francesco Savino
Bao Publishing, 2023
112 pages, hardcover, color – € 23.00
ISBN: 9788832737929

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