Saturday , July 24 2021

"With Kivu, this is the first time I'm talking about something real"

After leaving all the series that made his glory, the script writer signed "Kivu", a comic strip that condemned the genocide currently carried out in Congo.

I could not put words down for reasons that encouraged me to write this. At the height of his 79th birthday, Jean Van Hamme doubted. He who signed the biggest success scenario of a comic book for the past thirty years is struggling to explain why he just signed "Kivu", an album committed to condemning the genocide committed by Rwandan people in this DRC region. "This album is almost an order," the Belgian noted. It was one of my friends that made me aware of the work of Dr. Mukwege in Kivu. But I first rejected the project. Before seeing that with fiction I was finally able to use it, to get out of the nuisance. "

Also read: Largo Winch: Jean Van Hamme's bitterness

"Kivu" also tells the story of the economy of this agricultural province, which has the misfortune to have large reserves of coltan, ore needed to assemble cellphones. "The Rwandan genocide," said Van Hamme, "triggered an exodus of genocide in Kivu. They first raped and injured women to prevent them from going to work in the fields. Then they enslaved men and children by sending them to the mine. And this is to sell this famous coltan with immunity in Rwanda, the first exporter of this material, even without its land. Van Hamme, with the help of designer Christophe Simon, signed a punch album, highlighting the drama that is still being played. "I use fiction to criticize and this is my first time talking about something real. But who is interested in coltan, besides Apple? "The fact, as my friend said, is that" every time I turn on my cellphone, there is a child who is raped in Kivu "."

Jean Van Hamme has been on the comic strip since 1977.

Jean Van Hamme has been on the comic strip since 1977. © Claire Delfino / Paris Match

After passing the torch "Thorgal", "XIII", then "Largo Winch", Van Hamme felt "freed from not having to produce chains. Serial, in comics, is a form of slavery. We produce, we produce, but we are even bored with character. There, I hope my story will function to arouse the eyes.In addition, the screenwriter welcomes: "Kivu" asks a month and a half of work. "That's a good sign. When I install three or four months in a scenario, there is a problem. "Wink for his latest job at" Largo Winch ", he stopped writing in 2015, was a little forced and forced, after completing the 20th volume of the saga." My relationship with Philippe Francq has been terrible. I always have an agreement with my designer that if one fails, the other can continue. Francq isn't broken, I can't land him. I would rather give up on Largo. Because, at almost 80, I want to live happily, I don't want to fight with anyone. "


Contemporary comics clearly lack imagination. There are more novel adaptations or biographies. Somewhat sad to give up imagination


Finally, Van Hamme managed to reach out, bid farewell to his chickens with "Thorgal" or "XIII" golden eggs, to be free of any obstacles. "My real favorite character, at first, was Thorgal. But there was also Rosinski not my friend, I was a little close to his wife. For" XIII ", I had invoked the idea of" Memory in the skin ", it was a way to work William Vance after assessing "Bruno Brazil". Then "XIII" worked and it became pure and only an opportunism. There too, there was no influence with William Vance. "We don't have to be friends with the cartoonists," said Van Hamme. good when we laugh … "

"Kivu", ed. Lombard, € 14.99. © DR

No, in reality, the man maintained his "one shot" career or the series he had closed, such as "SOS Happiness" or "Mr. barley", "which I thought I had done well". Honestly, Van Hamme knew that the "XIII Mystery" series he had supervised and that he had just signed the 13th volume script, "Judith Warner", had failed. "XIII" stopped twelve years ago. The public no longer remembers intrigue, microportonnages, the purpose of the story that slips here and there. The Dargaud or Lombard edition pillar also considers that "contemporary comics are clearly lacking in imagination. There are more adaptations of novels or biographies. It's rather sad to leave imagination. So I don't read comics anymore. I prefer Ken Follet's historical novels."


The advantage of having talent is allowing me not to become a big hard worker


In fact, Van Hamme knew, he was the last person of Mohan's people, an ancient screenwriter who told the truth, who was always behind his cartoonist, "because yes, he said, my name was sold". The man with 100 million comics sold shows total impoliteness when he raises the reason for his success. "It's just my talent. The advantage is allowing me not to be a big hard worker. But I don't intend to stop working. I obviously want to write a good book that you never did. I let time come because I didn't feel my age. I don't feel like I'm getting older. I'm just a little more worried because my wife is older than me. But she always agrees to travel. So what are the dramas, the secret mistake, who lost her mother when she was only 2 years old? " Honestly, "said the former businessman," I don't think I have a disadvantage. I was an early bird, I had been a sweeper for a long time. But I haven't been for forty-two years. And that suits me best. "

"XIII Mystery, Volume 13: Judith Warner", ed. Dargaud, 12 euros. © DR

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