In 2004, the public discovers Lou, a little girl with the blond hair of ten years who lives alone with his mom and his cat. She does not know her father, and adapts easily to her mother’s whimsical, a novelist and fan of video games, with which it has established a great complicity. This first volume received the youth award for 9-12 years at the Festival de la BD d’angoulême. A phenomenon is born.

Accompanied by her best friend, Mina, as well as a myriad of other characters, the little girl has managed to bring millions of young readers in his universe. Its fans have grown up with it. Between a daily, punctuated by romances, problematic teens and the supernatural, such as the emergence of mysterious crystals in the city that paralyze all communication networks.

“This album is a call to go somewhere else, and the discovery of his life.”

Julien Neel

Fourteen years later, Julien Neel closes the first series of his heroine, with the eighth book On the road to new adventures . Lou gets closer to the twenties, plate friends and family to embark on a road trip of initiation, backpack screwed on the back: “This album is a call to go somewhere else, and the discovery of his life”, explains the author. The girl, prey to the questions of his age, oscillates between festive moments and solitary, episodes of humorous and more touching. Lou has grown up.

Julien Neel began working for Lou when his daughter was aged of two years. Its sister paper is nourished by the memories of his father. The designer has lived alone with his mother, has experienced the same grand-mother, shrewish, or the same cemetery of the bus that you come across in the third volume: “This series for me is the opportunity to tell a story while transposing my life, both teen and adult years. I continue today to myself as different characters and even in Lou through his doubts. I grew up with it. In fifteen years, she has impacted my life and my life is reflected in his own.”

without doubt, It is this personal involvement that made the success of one saga in particular and engaging, always full of surprises. A success, which amounted to nearly three million copies sold, two awards at the Angoulême Festival, an animated series and a movie on the big screen, directed by our author himself.

The box BD: decryption of the board by artist Julien Neel

This check-box, which opens the album, symbolizes the spirit. Julien Neel/ Glénat

“This check box which opens the album symbolizes all the spirit. This is the first stage of the road trip. The heroin goes in the direction of reading, vogue to her future and the future of the series. She is alone, which is rare, she is always surrounded by his family, or his friends. The album oscillates between the noise and the silence, the solitude, and encounters with a host of friends who will stake his journey.

Album created on IPad pro

initially, the work was supposed to mark the conclusion of the series, but I finally made the decision to start a second cycle. Now, It was important that things are not static, hence this call off to continue the adventure.

Graphically, I designed the album entirely on an Ipad pro while keeping my habit of coloring my features, to blend my backgrounds and my characters in a single unit, an organic continuity. And bring sweetness to my drawing. I want above all to make Lou a hero that goes against the grain of the discourse that is held of the kids today, ‘ it was better before“ and that “they will not have a future“. I am so opposed to this idea.

Draw Lou older has not been easy. It grows, becomes more skinny, she is no longer the child that I drew before. It does not adopt the same gestures. In addition, side scenario, it was necessary to ensure that the series raises new questions, to not repeat myself.

Her face has an expression impassive,. I’m a graphic designer, my drawing is just a sign, it is refined and is almost like the logo. Lou is an arrow that takes the reader to a shell pretty empty in which he will bring his own feelings, take ownership of his state of mind: the more you suggest, the less we draw and the more it will be able to put something personal in the places or the characters.

A world parallel

The place where it evolves Lou is a mixture of reality and mental images. Here it is a little to Aix-en-Provence and in Greece fantasized. The place does not exist, just like the city where lives the girl. The entire series is based on this idea of a parallel world, with cities alternatives, outside of time and reality. I see to it that it is the most timeless possible.

I want to be able to read Lou ! in ten years, but never dated. Even his clothes are out of time, the shorts and the hat that she wears match those my mother wore in the 1960s. I make no reference to current events. My heroine lives her life outside of all that surrounds us, in a sort of cocoon, but which must, nevertheless, as any young person who enters into the adult world, learn to realize it.”