Lady “O”

By Jean-Pol

Right, so I’ve decided to add comics to Fading Memories, too. Or rather, bandes dessinées, to distinguish between the kind I like to read and superhero stuff, which I’m not interested in. I will write a notice only for albums I’ve just bought, since adding reviews on rereading bandes dessinées would really cut into my reading time. If I’ve got five minutes, perhaps ten, I tend to grab a Sammy, a Melisande or a Cupido. I’ll start with the latest i>Sammy. And no, I haven’t got an advanced taste in bandes dessinées, either. Lotusbloem (or Poupee d’ivoire by Franz is about as sophisticated I can handle. I don’t like the kind of bandes dessinées where the author uses the story as an excuse for graphically shoving unsuitable implements in cunts. And those are more common than someone who doesn’t frequent comics shops would imagine.

  • Author: Jean-Pol
  • Title: Lady “O”
  • Pages: 46
  • Published: 2003
  • Publisher: Dupuis
  • ISBN: 90-314-2466-8

When Berck retired, Jean-Pol was begged by Dupuis to continue Berck’s succesful series, Sammy, in cooperation with the scenarist Cauvin. The first few volumes appeared in the regular series, but this has now been renamed to ‘De Nieuwe Avonturen van Sammy’, and Lady “O” has been launched as volume 6, complete with a flash trailer… (The Dupuis website is so confusing that it took me three tries to find the damn thing again.)

Berck’s style of drawing had changed a lot over the decades he’s spent producing Sammy, and one might mistake the new style Jean-pol brings in for just another development, especially since it suffers a bit from a certain looseness in definition; a development most artists suffer from near the end of their careers. Vide Uderzo.

Lady “O” suffers more from this problem than earlier Jean-Pol albums, like Lijfwachten op de Dansvloer. Another problem is the quality of the colouring and printing. The paper is slippery and the colours lack somewhat in depth. I prefer matte paper. And where ‘Lijfwachten op de Dansvloer’ revelled in decors, Lady “O” is a bit bare.

So, no great things on the visual front; how about the scenario? Here, nothing special. Cauvin writes scenarios for every artist in the Dupuis stable, and while they sometimes are fun and interesting, most often his work is hack-work. And if he cannot think of anything else, he’ll just put a woman on top of some men, and see what happens.

What happens in this album is that a kind of Pippi Longstocking precursor inveigles herself in Al Capone’s trust and then starts taking over. The only reason it’s supposed to be funny, is because she’s a woman; otherwise there would, apparently, be no joke left.

Oh, well — perhaps the next one will be better.