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BD: Carla, heroine escorting the lost souls of the night

Founded in 1974, the Futuropolis publishing house is today celebrating its fiftieth anniversary.

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BD: Carla, heroine escorting the lost souls of the night

Founded in 1974, the Futuropolis publishing house is today celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, the publisher has concocted a major editorial program including the reissue of five emblematic titles from the historical collection. Among the titles chosen, Carla, an album from the 1990s signed by the greats Jacque Lob (Le transperceneige) for the screenplay and Edmond Baudoin (Le Portrait) for the drawing.

This gem of the ninth art features Carla, a taxi driver who drives through the nights of a big city. His clients, disoriented and faced with terrible torments, pour out their thoughts in the passenger compartment of his vehicle. Gifted with empathy, the young woman, impassive, listens tirelessly to the point of accompanying them in their excesses.

A young man living with the ghost of his lost love, a blind man who refuses to see the world in colors after regaining his sight, a chemist disfigured by a chemical explosion, a little girl reduced to silence traumatized by the death of her parents, a suicidal man... accompany this dismal nocturnal walk.

Morbid and desperate, but no less poignant, the six stories that shape the album are told over the course of a journey. They lead our heroine into often perilous regions, to the heart of a harsh city whose protagonists illustrate the harshness. “With her taxi, she plays the role of the ferryman of the Styx, the river that separates the world of the living from that of the dead,” explained Jacques Lob to Edmond Baudoin to present his idea for a scenario. In Carla, death lurks like a sword of Damocles.

The night, a suspended time conducive to confidences, shelters a fauna struggling in a city in distress, where tragedies play out amid general indifference. Marginals and misfits bear the physical and psychological scars of a society marked by injustice and corruption. The metropolis, never named, with its bustling streets or its abandoned neighborhoods, refuge for those left behind, offers a fascinating setting for the story, enhanced by the superb graphics and the deep black and white of the designer.

Carla's kindness, her compassionate listening devoid of any judgment, her desire to relieve, sometimes disregarding the danger, these souls in pain bring light to this dark city. In the last story, imagined by Baudoin, Jacques Lob having died of cancer before being able to write it, justice is done to him. “In these pages, Carla kills death,” writes the designer in the preamble to the album. In these pages, Carla can finally emerge from the shadows and move towards the light.

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