Ever since l’Association published their Safari Monseigneur in 2005, French creators Florent Ruppert and Jérôme Mulot have been a mainstay in the catalogue of that most venerated of alternative BD publishers, representing the rather formalistic and experimental strand of alternative comics.
In 2006, their second book, Panier de Singe, was published. The plot of the book, a story about two videographers documenting cases of grave animal abuse in a zoo, only functions as a pretext for funny and smart (as Prof. Beatty put it at the time) experiments in storytelling, by playing with slowing down time or juxtaposing alternative outcomes of a particular scene. Read more about the book in Zainab’s review, just a few weeks ago
The book also contains a series of phenakistiscopes, discs of juxtaposed elements that, when turned, create the illusion of animation. Thanks to these animations, Ruppert and Mulot are able to tell multiple stories at once, or comment on what happens in one of the storylines by contrasting it with the other. Even if you don’t have the book or don’t want to ruin it by cutting them out, you can enjoy the phenakistiscopes on their website, fully animated at the right speed for you. Mind you, the subject matter may be a tad graphic for younger eyes…
Even though this is not really news (after all, Panier de Singe was published in 2006), I thought it’d be interesting to bring to your attention, as it gives you the opportunity to get to know the formalistic joy that is the Ruppert-Mulot books even if you don’t know French. So enjoy, learn French for more and buy the book.
(Thanks to Stephen Betts of the late great Comix Influx for digging this one up)