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Should we read La Traque, the first comic album which traces the Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès affair?

Investigations, novels, documentaries, TV films, series, newspapers.

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Should we read La Traque, the first comic album which traces the Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès affair?

Investigations, novels, documentaries, TV films, series, newspapers... Who has not yet, twelve years after the terrible “Nantes massacre” exploited the seam of the Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès affair? The comic strip was missing. The editor and screenwriter Olivier Petit, accompanied by Valérie Morice, press correspondent in Nantes for the documentation work, and Valette for drawing, devote an album to the quintuple murder and the thick mystery that surrounds it.

As part of the new “Enquêtes” collection from Editions Petit à petit (of which Olivier Petit is the founder), the authors are releasing this Wednesday, November 15, La Traque. A work belonging to the docu-comic genre of nearly 200 pages based on events, in which “a few imaginary characters or facts” interfere, warns the publisher.

The facts therefore date back to April 21, 2011, when in Nantes the police discovered five bodies of members of the same family. The father, absent, is immediately suspected of being the author of this tragedy. Last seen on surveillance cameras on April 15 in the Var, the man disappeared into nature. “This case is a crazy storyline that Stephen King couldn't even claim. Putting it in comics allowed us to highlight details that had barely been suggested by journalists,” Olivier Petit told our colleagues at Ouest France to clarify his approach.

Exciting, La Traque immerses the reader in the workings of an investigation with multiple twists and turns. It follows step by step the macabre discovery, the false leads, the findings of amateur investigators on the web, the disturbing testimonies or the media excitement after the unprecedented arrest of Guy Joao confused with Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès in Glasgow in 2019. The reader observes how over the years the hunt for the “most wanted man in France” has been exported beyond borders. How Netflix could also contribute to this.

Also read: Nantes: around the “house of horror”, the ghost of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès still prowls

Regardless of the level of knowledge of the case, the album captivates readers. Through its remarkable staging enhanced with documentary contributions. But also thanks to explanatory texts or additional reading advice which in no way hinder the fluidity of the story. In addition to the delicious illustration, the authors delve deeper into the personality of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès. A manipulator trapped in the spiral of debt and a Catholic faith contaminated by the sectarian excesses of his mother. The album reproduces certain messages selected from the hundreds posted on Catholic discussion forums illustrating a tortured soul, obsessed with deep existential questions.

This question remains. The question. Is he dead or alive? In its epilogue, the album compiles the responses, provided in particular to the media, from experts, journalists or those close to Ligonnès' family. With great modesty, served by Valette's delicate watercolor drawing, La Traque explores the frightening and unfathomable depths of the human soul.

The Hunt, The Dupont Affair by Ligonnès, Olivier Petit, Valérie Morice and Valette, editions Petit à petit, 19.90 euros.

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