Larcenet, Manu 1969–
Larcenet, Manu 1969–
Born June 5, 1969, in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France. Education: Studied art in Sèvres.
Comics artist, writer, sang with a punk rock band.
(With Lewis Trondheim) Astronauts of the Future, translated by Joe Johnson, NBM (New York, NY), 2003.
Ordinary Victories, NBM ComicsLit (New York, NY), 2005.
(With Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim) Dungeon Parade, NBM (New York, NY), 2006.
Author of numerous comics series, including "Bill Baroud," "Les Super-Héros Injustement Méconnus," "Le Petit Guide de la Survie en Entreprise," and "La Loi des Séries," all for Fluide Glacial; also wrote Dallas Cow-boy, 1997, Presque, 1998, On Fera Avec, 2000, and L'Artiste de la Famille, 2001, all for Rêveurs; Pedro le Coati, art by Michel Gaudelette, Dupuis, 1997; La Vie est Courte, with Jean-Michel Thiriet, Dupuis, 1997; contributed comics and art for Poisson Pilote, including Les Entremondes, with his brother Patrice Larcenet, Une Aventure Rocambolesque de Sigmund Freud, Une Aventure Rocambolesque de Vincent van Gogh, Le Retour à la Terre, with Jean-Yves Ferri, and La Légende de Robin des Bois; Nic Oumouk, Dargaud, 2005. Also contributor to Spirou magazine and the Donjon Parade series by Lewis Trondheim and Joann Sfar.
Manu Larcenet was born Emmanuel Larcenet, June 5, 1969, in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France. He went on to study art in Sèvres and gradually began to see his work published in fanzines that focused on comics or rock music, rounding out his work day by singing for a punk rock band. He first was published in Fluide Glacial magazine in 1994 and proceeded to become a regular contributor to the publication, which has printed his comedic short works, including "Bill Baroud," "Les Super-Héros Injustement Méconnus," "Le Petit Guide de la Survie en Entreprise," and "La Loi des Séries." He went on to write a number of scripts and to serve as a collaborator at the comics label Rêveurs, which published a number of his works, including Dallas Cow-boy, Presque, On Fera Avec, and L'Artiste de la Famille. Larcenet also served as the artist for the Donjon Parade series by Lewis Trondheim and Joann Sfar. A number of his works have been translated into English, and in 2006, he received a nomination for the prestigious Eisner Awards in the category of best U.S. edition of foreign material.
One of Larcenet's better-known works that has appeared both in the original French and in English translation is Astronauts of the Future, on which he collaborated with Lewis Trondheim, with Trondheim providing the text and Larcenet the art work. The story features two kids, Martina and Gilbert, who have determined there is some sort of a global conspiracy going on and that they are going to get to the bottom of it. Their first hurdle, however, is coming to an agreement as to the nature of the conspiracy, as Martina insists that the planet has been populated by a number of robots who are pretending to be human beings, while Gilbert insists the same thing only with aliens populating the planet instead of robots. The twists and turns of the story come when the kids set out to investigate the situation and discover the truth about what is actually happening. Greg McElhatton, in a review for the Read about Comics Web site, commented: "I adore Larcenet's art in Astronauts of the Future, with a loose, almost scribbly style that looks like a (very talented) kid drew the book. From the big tufts of hair sticking off of their heads to the little dots for eyes, Larcenet draws the characters of Astronauts of the Future as cute little kids."
Ordinary Victories is a four-volume work that features Marco, a photographer suffering from a long-term period of anxiety that has left him unable to shoot any pictures. Concerned about his mental health and fearing a total breakdown, he heads out to the country with just his cat for company in an effort to soothe his nerves. The period of rest serves his purpose, but it also becomes a catalyst for a complete overhaul of his personality and his way of life as he delves deeply into his own psyche in hopes of healing some of his personal issues, such as his reluctance to commit in a relationship, the gaps in his knowledge regarding his father, his political convictions, and his own ideas on a range of subjects from parenthood to what it means to be an adult. A reviewer for the Sequart Research & Literary Organization Web site remarked that "while the form of Ordinary Victories is not immediately striking, Larcenet actually uses quite an elaborate language to tell his story." The reviewer went on to note that "the visual grammar in Ordinary Victories is pretty subtle, but it is worth stressing that it stops right at that point where it could become unsettling or ambiguous. Larcenet's many styles cohere into a complex but regular system, which flirts with the limit of conventional representations, but almost never go against the narrative."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2005, Gordon Flagg, review of Astronauts of the Future, p. 836; May 15, 2005, Ray Olson, review of Ordinary Victories, p. 1645.
Chronicle, March 1, 2005, "Critical Mass," p. 23.
Internet Bookwatch, June 1, 2007, review of Dungeon Parade.
Library Media Connection, August 1, 2005, Debbie Lymer, review of Astronauts of the Future.
Publishers Weekly, May 16, 2005, review of Ordinary Victories, p. 42.
School Library Journal, September 1, 2007, Benjamin Russell, review of Dungeon Parade, p. 225.
Comic Book Bin,http://www.comicbookbin.com/ (May 11, 2005), Hervé St. Louis, review of Ordinary Victories.
Graphic Novel Review,http://www.graphicnovelreview.com/ (June 5, 2006), review of Ordinary Victories.
Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (July 22, 2008), author information.
Lambiek,http://lambiek.net/ (July 22, 2008), author profile.
Mad Ink Beard,http://madinkbeard.com/ (January 27, 2006), Derek Badman, review of Ordinary Victories.
Manu Larcenet Home Page,http://www.manularcenet.com (July 22, 2008).
Read about Comics,http://www.readaboutcomics.com/ (January 30, 2008), Greg McElhatton, reviews of Astronauts of the Future, Dungeon Parade.
Sequart Research & Literary Organization Web site,http://www.sequart.com/ (January 26, 2007), "Not-so-Ordinary Victories."