Bruno Duhamel

Portrait Bruno Duhamel
Bruno Duhamel [© I. Sivan]

Bruno Duhamel was born in 1975 in Mont-Saint-Aignan in Normandy. He studied fine arts with a focus on comics in Paris and Angoulême, published several volumes in collaboration with the French cartoonist Brrémaud, and became known as a cartoonist for the science fiction comic series »Les brigades du temps« [Eng. »The Time Brigade«, author: Kris] before presenting his first single volume »Le retour« [2017; tr: The Return]. On a volcanic island, the famous artist Cristóbal dies in a mysterious car accident. The police subsequently launch an investigation, because Cristóbal had a lot of enemies. The comic is inspired by the work of the artist César Manrique, who in the 1960s on his home island of Lanzarote campaigned against the damage done to the landscape as a result of mass tourism and tried to protect the still untouched nature of the island. Realistic drawings in which sepia and gray tones alternate with color show the barren beauty of the volcanic island and the works the artist created on it.

This was followed by the graphic novel »Jamais« [2018; tr: Never], whose main character Madeleine, a 95-year-old blind lady, lives with her cat along the cliffs of Normandy. Here, the effects of man-made climate change are revealed in a particularly dramatic way: Numerous buildings have already collapsed due to erosion. Madeleine’s house is also threatened. But she steadfastly refuses the mayor’s request to move her to a retirement home. The »Tagesspiegel« commented that »Duhamel draws his affectionate profile with a fine sense of humor, which is reflected in pointed dialogues.« The drawings, done in soft shades of blue and green, are based on the semi-funny style, with the written description of sounds echoing the perceptual world of a blind person. »Jamais« was the winner of the 2020 Francomic Contest, and »Fausses pistes« [2021; tr: Wrong Track], another graphic novel by Bruno Duhamel, was recently translated into German. The main character, Frank, starred in a Western show for 15 years. His role, that of the famous marshal Jack Johnson, has become his second identity. But after he pulls a gun on a tourist, his job is over. With his severance pay and a real Colt in his pocket, Frank embarks on a journey to the original locations of the show. The comic humorously tells of the contradictions in the character of its protagonist and the country he travels to. Apparent through the drawings, Bruno Duhamel demonstrates an eye for extraordinary landscapes, as he did in »Le retour«.

Date: 2022