Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Salvatore: Vol. 1 Transports of Love by Nicolas De Crécy

 

"I wanted to hit the road right away to tell her without delay how strongly I felt for her.. But Latin America is so far away..." - Salvatore

I fucking love Nicolas De Crécy, I remember reading Foligatto--which is getting reprinted by Humanoids next year, get on it-- in a Heavy Metal mag and being blown away. The detailed psychedelic, dirty look of Foligatto, of it's inhabitants and the world they lived got burned into my head. The surreal and highly absurdist humor and story went over my head at the time because I was too young to understand it. Then I got my hands on Prosopopus and that was just as weird and even more disgusting than Foligatto. It tells the story of a hitman's blood and semen that comes alive into this fat cute monster that haunts the hitman. After that, I had to get anything by De Crecy.
http://www5e.biglobe.ne.jp/~papierbd/Book/Nicolas%20de%20Crecy/FOLIGATTO%20sample%20page.jpg
Oh Foligatto

http://komiks.blog.polityka.pl/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/prosopopus-21.jpg
Prosopopus

The dirty off-putting look, the surreal absurdist humor,and almost Burroughs-like stories is a staple of De Crécy's work and I love it.


Now, with this wee bit of information,  De Crécy's Salvatore is a bit different than some of his works. There's still the absudist humor but it's somewhat understandable that a young teen could get it.  A big difference is that the surrealism is toned down a bit and De Crécy's art isn't as grim and sickening as it usually is.

Salvatore has multiple characters whose stories interact and interweave with each other. Its main character is Salvatore, a dog mechanic who is well-known and is slowly building an all-purpose vehicle to find and live with his lost lover. Other characters who play a big role in this story is, Amandine the sow, who is "as near sighted as a mole" and pregnant with thirteen piglets. She's just trying to live her life after her husband, who worked in a slaughterhouse, got killed at his work because they had to downsize; there's weird logic going on in this comic. Amandine's troubles start after Salvatore fixes her car and she begins an adventure that intertwines with Salvatore's adventure. Then there's a goth cat that we meet later on in the story but that's all I say about her, don't want to spoil much. There's also an exploration about art, what art means to people and how it interacts with our lives.
Overall, it's a rather "tame" story for De Crécy but that at all doesn't downgrade it. It's pretty damn hilarious and has a lot of great one-liners and double meanings. It's a comic I can give to a teen or an  adult and there would be things that each would find to like. The way De Crécy's tells the story is interesting, by having a narrator tell us what the characters are thinking, how they're feeling, and to move the story or add another layer or emotion to the story or character enriches it. The characters also move the story when they speak and they add more depth to their actions or thoughts that is also layered by the narrator; you also have characters actually speaking to the narrator which can make the reader feel a bit discombobulated. All this makes for a rich reading experience.

De Crécy's art in here is pretty damn great; though he's not drawing in a highly dirty, surreal and absurdist way with Salvatore, his art is still a beaut to look at; De Crécy's linework has a squiggly, loose, organic look to it. What I mean as organic is that De Crécy has a great ability of drawing skin. His characters' skins look like skin, that I can reach into the comic and feel the flabbiness and softness of the characters. It also helps that De Crécy knows how to use color to add the illusion of having skin. It's weird when your first experience it but as you keep reading on, you get used to it. You also never get lost when you read a De Crécy comic even when he goes crazy, he sets up his panels, characters, and word bubbles to guide your eye. For drawing in a surreal way, he's very clear with storytelling.
http://stuartngbooks.com/images/detailed/17/decrecy_salvatore_t1_1.jpg 
 Salvatore a hilarious road love story that takes its readers to unexpected places and to characters that will leave a mark in the your brain hours after you're done reading it.

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