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Category Archives: La Crypte Tonique

Les Aventures du professeur Nimbus:

Tightrope Walker During the Occupation – Part 3/4[1]

by Antoine Sausverd

Translated by Annick Pellegrin

Edited by Harriet Earle

Original publication: Sausverd, Antoine. « Les Aventures du professeur Nimbus : Funambule sous l’occupation. » La Crypte tonique septembre – octobre 2013: 13-18. Print.[2]

“Pour les besoins de la propagande nationale” [For the Sake of National Propaganda]

In the summer of 1942, the Germans asked Daix to use the famous character professeur Nimbus to contribute to a propaganda operation. Daix then used this opportunity to take up his demands against Opera Mundi. On 4 August 1942 he wrote to the president of the Commissariat général aux questions juives [General Commissariat for Jewish Questions] (CGQJ): “Ma création graphique, le « Professeur Nimbus », m’est demandée afin d’être utilisée pour les besoins de la propagande nationale. Malheureusement et malgré mes efforts, je n’ai pu me libérer d’un contrat draconien signé en 1934 avec Opera Mundi (agence juive) et concernant Nimbus.” [My graphic creation, professeur Nimbus, has been requested from me in order to be used for the sake of national propaganda. Unfortunately and despite my efforts, I have not been able to get rid of a draconian contract signed in 1934 with Opera Mundi (Jewish agency) concerning Nimbus.] Daix attached to his mail an overview of the situation and documents, hoping “qu’une intervention de votre organisme me fera obtenir gain de cause.” [that an intervention on the part of your agency would help me to succeed].[3]

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Les Aventures du professeur Nimbus

Tightrope Walker During the Occupation – Part 2/4[1]

by Antoine Sausverd

Translated by Annick Pellegrin

Edited by Harriet Earle

Original publication: Sausverd, Antoine. « Les Aventures du professeur Nimbus : Funambule sous l’occupation. » La Crypte tonique septembre – octobre 2013: 13-18. Print.[2]

Daix, Francist Partisan

To add to his money-related dissensions, the artist had political conceptions. One part of his personality did not show in the drawings that he created for the general press: his ferocious political engagement. Indeed, the artist became a member of the French fascist movement, Francism, shortly after its creation, in September 1933, and he remained a faithful partisan throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

Close to both Mussolini’s Italian fascism and Hitler’s national-socialism, Francism was led by the charismatic Marcel Bucard, a former ultranationalist fighter. His theses were radical: the party attacked Freemasons, Jews (starting from 1936), and Léon Blum, before going after all the capitalists of the US. He is also a self-declared opponent to the parliamentary regime and of the “front socialo-communiste” [social-communist front]. But on the political playground, Francism was mostly isolated and did not have much weight.

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Les Aventures du professeur Nimbus:

Tightrope Walker During the Occupation – Part 1/4

by Antoine Sausverd

Translated by Annick Pellegrin

Edited by Harriet Earle

Original publication: Sausverd, Antoine. « Les Aventures du professeur Nimbus : Funambule sous l’occupation. » La Crypte tonique septembre – octobre 2013: 12-18. Print.[1]

Before World War II broke out, in France Les Aventures du professeur Nimbus were one of the most popular bandes dessinées of the 1930s. The gags of this strip feature an always elegant, glassed scientist, whose distinguishing feature is his sole hair, raised as question mark on his bald head. His absent-mindedness, which is nowadays legendary, was the source of many misadventures that made many readers laugh.

The history of bande dessinée would retain that it was the first French mute newspaper strip. It also marks one of its darkest moments. The German occupation that followed the defeat of 1940 would reshuffle the cards of the game in which professeur Nimbus was at stake. Broadly speaking, we know our history but today, it is possible, thanks to the various sources kept in the national archives,[2] to bring to light the then tumultuous relationships between the different actors at the origins of Les Aventures du professeur Nimbus: the press agency Opera Mundi, the artist André Daix and Le Journal, the first daily to welcome the strip in its pages.

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Go Nagai Go!!

Small Detour in the Country of the Bleeding Sun

by Christian Heymans

Translated by Annick Pellegrin

Edited by Simon Turner

Original publication: Heymans, Christian. “Go Nagai Go !! : Petit détour au pays du soleil sanglant.” La Crypte tonique jan-fév 2012: 10-11. Print.[1]

The 60s in Japan were marked by outstanding economic growth. The country that had been vanquished and wrecked, practically wiped out in 1945, was recovering, driven by the willpower of the Japanese people to rebuild. In 1968, Japan became the second world power; people started talking about the Japanese economic miracle, also known as the Izanagi boom.[2] The standard of living rose rapidly and the rural exodus turned the lives of Japanese people upside-down. Televisions appeared in homes and while Tokyo was preparing to host the Olympics in 1964, Osaka was preparing to host the 1970 World Exposition.
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Marcinelle School

by Philippe Capart

Translated by Annick Pellegrin

Original publication: Capart, Philippe. “École de Marcinelle.” Capart, Philippe. “École de Marcinelle.” La Crypte tonique nov/déc 2012: 21-27. Print.[1]

 

In 1998, I was thousands of kilometres away from Belgium, poring over a light table in an animation studio under the Californian sun. I had brought with me issues of the magazine Spirou from the late 50s. The magazine contained in its pages some of the most beautiful creations by Franquin, Morris, Tillieux, Roba, Peyo, Jijé. I was trying to share my enthusiasm for these works with my US colleagues. Flipping through the pages of one issue, one of them had this naively violent reaction: ‘Did the same artist illustrate the whole issue?’. Appalled, I went through the magazine with him, trying to explain the profound originality of the authors of my childhood… only to gradually perceive, insidiously, the accuracy of his remark. The noses, the eyes, the ears, the attitudes, the mouths, the speech bubbles, the lettering, the framing, the colours all plotted to reinforce this appearance of uniformity. I was discovering the automatic graphic processes scattered in the pages of the magazine Spirou and that swarmed and gratified us with the famous ‘école de Marcinelle’ (Marcinelle School).[2]
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