there is a reality ; it is fiction. When Congo took its independence in 1960, the region of Katanga, a rich mining province to the South, seceded in less than two weeks with the support of the Belgians and financial powers of the west. Ensue bitter fighting, human rights abuses, a UN powerless…

Fabien Nury and Sylvain Vallée revisits the troubled history of this region in their series of the same name. The assassination of Patrice Lumumba, an independence leader, is the starting point of the volume 3, Dispersion , which puts a final end to this dive in BD in the great era of mercenaries. The work is based on historical facts accurate, the subject is a quasi-documentary: “The events are well documented,” notes the designer. Just open a Paris Match of the time, go to the site of the INA or of the press agencies for stir images and iconographic references”.

But the research proved to be challenging: “photographers were often present during the uprisings in the cities, and were accompanied also, sometimes the columns of mercenaries. They have therefore been witnesses of the worst abuses, continued Sylvain Valley. It is said that the documentary research in BD is the most enjoyable of the job of author. I can assure you that this is not always the case.”

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The absence of moral manichean haunts for a long time the consciousness of the reader.

Sylvain Vallée, Fabien Nury, the duo d’ There was a time in France , imagine a miscellany of characters wrinkled, often detestable, marked by life. Their features are round and expressive. In the first part, Diamonds , Charlie, a black domestic, putting his hand on a pile of thirty million euros of jewellery. This treasure will awaken many appetites. We meet his sister, the sultry Alicia, who has chosen the bed of the powerful whites to get by. There are also the mercenaries westerners: Armand Orsini, the special adviser to the French minister of the Interior of Katanga independent, Gunther Gheysel, former SS, or even Felix Cantor, the ex-officer of the 11th regiment parachutist to pull the trigger easy. These characters will engage in a game of massacre.

In Katanga , the lack of moral black-and-white haunts the consciousness of the reader, who is surprised to love it: “we must stop thinking that the comic is limited by its approach to a majority graph to a reading of archetypes or without other ambition than to entertain, which is the case of the majority of the production. Fabien and I are looking for always pushing the limits,” explains the designer.

This work blood can be considered “BD of all the excess”: “We can’t talk about tièdement of the violence, assure Sylvain Valley. It was therefore necessary for me to push some sliders graphics, allow me to draw, to show things difficult by refusing complacency”. A true story of war, in the noble sense of the term, subversive and enjoyable.

The Box BD, with Sylvain Valley, cartoonist, and Jean Bastide, the colorist of the album. Dargaud

The first check box suggests, the vehicle is in flame, the uprising in Albertville in response to the murder of Lumumba. The protagonists move towards the location of the denouement of the adventure. It is go and recover the diamonds. One enters the car: Armand Orsini reveals to Alicia that he set the hand on a letter she wanted to send to the UN to denounce it. It is wedged. His betrayal is revealed. She is losing the part. “There is a sequence a bit emotional”, leading Sylvain Valley.


With these big plans include the trademark of the designer. Thus, we can identify an expression of a very special home with Alicia, where mingled surprise, dismayed and disappointment: “She is well aware of the Orsini. But she never expected, though, to what he so wild there,” notes the designer.

the faces of The two protagonists of the story – who are also sexual partners – reveal markers with their identity. For Sylvain Valley, “Orsini is likely to be of corsican origin. According to some common criteria, we can imagine brown, hair big slick in the rear, the nose aquiline, slender or athletic. No reason to go against these commonplaces, on the contrary.” As for Alicia, she is beautiful. “But I can’t or don’t want to force the caricature, underlines the designer. I’m not really a canon of beauty absolute, because I want real, genuine, not overly fantastical, which would take us far from real”.

The atmosphere, the colors, reflects the urgency and dramatic tension. The blue contrast with the hue of the fire. Sylvain Valley trust John Bastide, a colorist who will now devote himself to his career as a cartoonist (revealed in particular by the 37th album Boule et Bill ). “The important thing in the night scenes, it is to keep something readable and at the same time very atmosphere”, he noted.