Les aventures de Rimbaud

Les aventures de Rimbaud – Une biographie en bande-dessinée

(Click on the first image to scroll through the first 8 pages. You can also click on the full size dimensions above each image to enlarge.)

My first serious project in comics was a comic book biography of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud, of which I completed 8 pages in late 2003/early 2004. I was attracted to Rimbaud as a subject for such a biography in part out of a great passion for his work, which first sparked my love of poetry, and in part because I found it easy to imagine the teenage genius as a kind of perverse Tintin, with Verlaine in the role of his pederastic, absinthe-addled Captain Haddock. In the end, the ambitiousness of the project far outweighed my abilities at the time, a problem compounded by my disastrous decision to attempt to tell the story in French (I did eventually get some help on the script from  various native French speakers, but the dialogue remains clunky). I think looking back at the comic now, what I appreciate most about it is a quality of youthful sweetness, which suggests a parallel between its protagonist’s idealistic naiveté and that of its 24-year-old author.

8 Responses to Les aventures de Rimbaud

  1. Pingback: Conference report: The Translation and Adaptation of Comics, Hildesheim, 31 Oct–2 Nov 2014 | The 650-Cent Plague

  2. eye says:

    Hi, we’re an art and culture e-zine that supports independent artists. We love your work and would be very happy to feature it and refer our readers to your page.
    You can correspond with us by dropping us a mail at eye.ezine@gmail.com

    Cheers!

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  3. Unfortunately, I never made a zine of this, because it’s so fragmentary, and I wasn’t really happy with it in any case, except for the first page. I suppose I could send you photocopies of the pages if you’re interested.

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  4. Mario Cho says:

    Can we buy it some where ?

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  5. Thanks Akai, I really appreciate hearing from you. It’s funny because I feel sort of the same way about this comic: I drew it 8 years ago, and now when I look back at that time I do feel as though I shared in some of the naive idealism of the main character. I would actually do things like walk around parks looking for the best place to sit down and read from a book of poems. What a sap! At least I wasn’t pretentious about it, I think. Actually, I haven’t really changed that much, except now I draw adult stuff like Martian invasions. Anyways, I’m glad you like my stuff, and I’m really impressed that there’s someone else out there who’s been drawing Georges Izambard! It’s true that Rimbaud and him have an interesting dynamic. I’d love to see some of your drawings of those two. Hasta luego!

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  6. KokoroNoAkai says:

    Hello, mr. Peters!
    This happened so long ago (half a year or so):
    My devotion for Rimbaud was starting. I found part of his story in a Spanish magazine called MuyInteresante (VeryInteresting) and my curiosity made me go through books, Wikipedia and such so I could get more and more information about him.
    Now, 2 April 2012, I’m here to tell you some months ago I found this comic from you and now that I have the opportunity to tell you something, here I go:
    That comic made me remember my childhood, when I was younger and I lived my life as a game. I also draw, like you, but I’m not as professional as you.
    Your comic made me improve in some things — this can sound weird, but I like pairing up Georges Izambard and Rimbaud, and you made me improve to draw those two.
    In my opinion, that comic is wonderful. Is a pity that my French skills are really…erm…bad.
    I just came here to say thank you for inspiring me and make me draw and express myself better.
    Excuse my bad English. I’m Spanish and my English skills aren’t amazing.
    Best regards,
    Akai.

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  7. dvhstudios says:

    I know that this is an old piece: I love the artwork, I think you’re just as good as any pro. I do not like how much text there is in your balloons or on a page though. it makes it a hard read.

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    • Thanks, Daniel! Yes, overcharging panels with dialogue is definitely a longstanding problem for me. I think it comes in large part from finding each panel taking so long to do, so that I generally figured I would just let it carry as much of the dialogue as possible. But I’m getting a lot faster, and hopefully I’ll manage to spread out those dialogues better in future.

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