LE FIGARO. – What attracted you to the work of Leiji Matsumoto?
Jérôme ALQUIÉ. – I have known Harlock in the 1990s at the age of 20-25 years. I’m a fan of japanese cartoons, I grew up with Ulysses , Goldorak , Captain Future , while this golden age is part of Harlock but I’ve not seen it at the time. When I discovered it, I realized that the series was a little different in the world of animation, it’s not black and white as was the norm in the 1980s. The themes of ecology, the robotics was very interesting and this has inspired me to think about the universe of Leiji Matsumoto. In the 1990s, there was no Internet as we know it today. I went in search of everything I could find on the universe of Matsumoto. A world incredibly dense and rich, both in stories and in many works. Each new piece allowed me to complete a small bit of the universe, to answer a question, and raise three new ones. Captain Harlock is probably the character with the most heroic in the universe of Matsumoto.
Manga : “Captain Harlock is the character with the most heroic of all the shonens” to Jérôme Alquié – Watching on Figaro Live
“Captain Harlock to this side very heroic figure in the Shônen.”
How did you come to this collaboration?
I am an illustrator before being a comic book author. I’ve done a lot of covers of the DVD for example. In 2010, I tried the comic book by Delcourt. It took me a lot longer. I decided to bring these two passions are comic books and the universe of Matsumoto. I contacted Kana to propose a format that is franco-belgian. They have ported the project to Akita Shoten, japanese publisher of Matsumoto and up to Matsumoto himself.
what is it that you are charming especially in the very special style of Matsumoto?
The history and the trait of Harlock for me are timeless. Matsumoto has a way of drawing that I find charming, ravishing. His designs are very sleek. It works on the black and white to focus the attention of the reader on the important things. If by the middle of the comic, I can bring people to the universe of Matsumoto that would be great. This is the most important objective: that Harlock continues to traverse the ages.
The Box COMIC : “Captain Harlock : Memories of the Arcadia” with Jérôme Alquié – Watching on Figaro Live
● check BD: a board that is decrypted by Jérôme Alquié
This board is the introduction to the third chapter of this first volume. The Arcadia and its crew landed in the Amazon… editions Kana
“This page is a page on board lost, where the boxes delineate the board, where the edges are lost on the horizon. The Arcadia in the heart throne above the amazon rain forest. If we make abstraction of the other boxes, the board becomes a huge picture dominated by the sky and especially the forest. The latter is very dense, and the Arcadia concentrates the look of the player in the first point.”
In the top left corner, two squares are a nod to the series L es the Mysterious Cities of Gold with the Arcadia, which overlooks the cordillera of the Andes, surrounded by condors. A feeling reinforced by the page to the left, where are highlighted the geoglyphs of Nazca. Jérôme Alquié was recovered not without humor one of the theories that combines all these figures drawn on the ground at runway designed by aliens at the time of the Incas.
“In the upper right, a box that recalls the universe of Harlock is also rich in humour. Phases serious and dramatic are often spaced by moments of relaxation. The secondary characters are humorous, such as Masu ( Suzanne in the cartoon, editor’s note ), the stove, and the Doctor Zero with his cat and spends his time emptying the reserves of alcohol to Masu. The format of the COMIC being shorter than a tv series, it is more difficult to develop secondary characters, but I wanted to give them a fleeting homage in this box.
the half of The board is made up of the amazon rainforest. This forest is very important in the world of Captain Harlock , all pre-columbian civilizations have a history associated with aliens. The Sylvidres, these alien humanoids are in fact of the plant of chlorophyll, which have formed the Earth well before the appearance of humanity. It is important in a new story to have elements that refer to the general culture of the universe. This anchors the story in the universe of Leiji Matsumoto.
The four boxes at the bottom after the title of the chapter. The latter, In the depths of a forest Sylvidres , is also placed on the trees of the forest, as a mise en abyme. It’s the same for these boxes, they are the heart of the forest. The water in the bottom box in the middle attracts the eye on the character who becomes the central point in the following case. This is also an important technique in comic strip to guide gently the attention of the reader.
The last stops on the surprised face of Albator. Classic Technique to entice the reader to turn the page.”
At the heart of these spaces, the author has scattered statues of the Incas to remind people of the temporality of pre-columbian culture. Finally, Jérôme Alquié has slipped in a tribute to one of the first BD Albator made by Philippe Luguy in 1980 to accompany the cartoon. In this COMIC, Yattaran – the pirate with the bandana – had cut a snake with the machete. This image marked the author makes a small tribute in the box at the bottom left.
Captain Harlock – Memories of the Arcadia T. 1, Jérôme Alquié. 56 p., editions Kana, 11,99€.