Guest post: Lior reports on Ludovic Debeurme’s SVA visit, April 2011

Please welcome our newest intern, Lior Zaltzman, an incoming junior in the cartooning BFA program at the School of Visual Arts. During the last week of spring semester I was able to bring in for a presentation the French cartoonist Ludovic Debeurme, author of the newly-translated book Lucille. It was an informal set-up in a classroom with about 40 students gathered from different classes up and down the hall of SVA’s “comics wing”, the seventh floor of 380 Second Avenue. Lior was lucky enough to be there and has written a brief report for us.


Parisian cartoonist Ludovic Debeurme dropped by SVA this April to share some of his cartooning wisdom with us. Ludovic was already a successful and prolific illustrator before cartoonist Charles Berberian (of Dupuy-Berberian) noticed his work and encouraged him to start making comics. He soon began publishing his comics under the French Publisher Cornélius and later the more mainstream Futuropolis. His influences include Robert Crumb and Charles Burns.

Ludovic’s earlier comics had more fantastical surreal themes and he used more detailed and meticulous renderings to ground his imagery. In his current stories, which have more realistic and heavy narratives, he uses a more open, less laborious style.

sample page from Lucille


He talked about how he makes his current comics borderless to facilitate closure for the reader and allow for a more intimate reading experience. He used the same nibs that he uses for drawing and lettering and avoids using word balloons to keep the text from becoming separate from the images.

Sample page from Renée


Ludovic doesn’t have a script or an idea of the full storyline before he starts to work on a book. Rather, he starts with visuals and characters and allows for digressions (if he has a certain image pop up in his head, he will draw it, regardless of where he is in the story). This way of work helps him to make connections that he otherwise wouldn’t have. Rereading Renée (the follow-up book to Lucille) after it was printed, he was surprised to find he had unconsciously returned to the same visual metaphors in two different scenes, 100 pages apart in the narrative.


An English translation of Ludovic’s book, Lucille, is now available from Top Shelf.



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