August 19, one of the best known and most productive scenarists, Raoul Cauvin, died at the age of 82.
Cauvin wrote the scenarios for many comics, mainly for Dupuis publishers. The best known are ‘Les Tuniques Bleues’, ‘Pauvre Lampil’ (about a comics maker) and ‘Cédric’. According to Wikipedia, he wrote scenarios for an incredible 400 albums.
In Spirou number 4354 (published on September 22), you can find hommages to Cauvin from several artists, among which this one by Cosey.
As you probably know, the actress Maria Schneider stood model for the charachter of Evolena in ‘À la recherche de Peter Pan’.
Last Friday, Nicholas (Nick) George Minden died. Nick Minden was Cosey’s english teacher in Lausanne – and he was the model for the other main character in ‘Peter Pan’- Melvin Woodworth.
Nick Minden was born in noble rumanian family that had to flee the country when the iron curtain closed (remember: Melvin stemmed for a Serbian family). After his studies in England, Nick ended up in Lausanne, Switzerland. His love for rugby brought him and his friend Uli together; they became friends for life.
The day after his friend Nick died, Uli went to BDFIL in Lausanne, trying to find some kind of solace. By accident, he met Cosey there. Cosey signed a B&W edition of ‘À la recherche de Peter Pan’ in memory of Nick.
Uli sent me several pictures of his friend Nick, to compare with Cosey’s depiction of Melvin Woodworth. I will only show one of them, taken at the wedding of Uli’s brother in 1985, that is: just after Cosey finished ‘À la recherche de Peter Pan’.
Thanks to Alberto ‘Uli’ Marchi My sincere condolences to family and friends of Nick Minden
On the website of ‘ActuaLitté‘ you can see a preview of the first 15 pages of Jonathan 17: La Piste de Yéshé. And they are beautiful! Dominated by yellows and ochres in contrast with a deep blue, the pages look fresh and bright… can’t wait to have the album in my hands.
In the issue of 2 June 2021 of the swiss magazine L’Illustré, you can read a small interview with Cosey, illustrated with some watercolour sketches that will be published also in the art book that will be published by Daniel Maghen later this year (see my previous post).
In the interview, Cosey tells about the sketches he makes during travels: during the day, he makes pencil sketches to which he applies colours in the evening. He likes the way watercolours cannot be completely controlled, they have a life of their own. Cosey tells that for him, drawing on location is also a way to make contact with people.
What I liked in the interview (being a professional illustrator who loves to draw outside myself) is the different approach to making sketches on location and making drawings for his comics: spontaneous and playful versus more controlled and working towards an objective.
In november the 17th Jonathan album will appear, published by Le Lombard. The title will be ‘La Piste de Yéshé‘.
Yéshé is the Tibetan word for wisdom. It is also in use as a name, for both boys and girls, in Tibet and Bhutan. The image below is an image from the new album, where we see a monk who is going to show Jonathan a cell in a monastery; a cell that is comfortable enough to await the autumn (if you have ever met a real estate agent, you know what it means: a freezing cold cell).
Also in november – if all goes well – a new art book will be published by Daniel Maghen, a successor to ‘Echo’. Title of this book will be ‘À l’heure où les dieux dorment encore‘ ( which translates as something like ‘At the hour when the gods still sleep’). At the gallery of Daniel Maghen in Paris, there will also be an exposition of works by Cosey, around the period of the book release.
On January 14th, this drawing by Jijé was sold at an auction at Artcurial in Paris – the same auction where a 1936 sketch by Hergé for the cover of ‘Le Lotus Bleu’ was sold for a record breaking 3.2 million euros. The Jijé drawing was sold for a bit less: 5460 euros.
The drawing was used for the title page of the ‘Blondin & Cirage’ album ‘Kamiliola’, that was published in 1954.
The Jijé drawing made me think of the iconic cover for ‘À la recherche de Peter Pan’. Knowing that Cosey is an admirer of the works of Jijé, I asked him if he knew the cover. Cosey: ‘I still am a fan of Jijé. His powerful lines – both strong and elegant – like on this cover drawing [Cosey didn’t know that it wasn’t a cover drawing, but a title page drawing] . One can regret that Jijé abandoned his humouristic style, which he mastered just as well as his realistic style. Even if his graphics have inspired me, I had forgotten this cover when I made ‘Peter Pan’.’
In the same e-mail, Cosey mentions two other inspirations that played a role when he made ‘À la recherche de Peter Pan’.
The first one is Samivel, pen name of Paul Gayet-Tancrède (1907-1992), a french artist who was active in many branches of the arts: writing, poetry, illustration, graphic design, photography, film and theatre. He made these snowy mountain landscapes – I think the inspiration is obvious.
The second source of inspiration that Cosey mentions is Hiroshige, the famous Japanese woodblock printer (see also some examples of Japanese woodprints and Cosey in my article about ‘Atsuko‘). Among his landscape prints, you will find many snowy landscapes. If you look at the second landscape above, you see a perfect illustration of what Cosey has told many times about drawing snow: you don’t draw snow, you just draw everything that is not snow.
A danish edition of Jonathan 14 has been published. The release was delayed due to covid-19 infection at the printing company – 35 workers at the printer were infected themselves or had to stay home because family members were tested positive.
Curious Cosey-fans, pay attention to the black and white pictures on the top right of the photo: these are pages of the new Jonathan album (number 17)!
This is the oldest work by Cosey (sorry… by Coco) that I know. It was on show during the covid-variant of BD-FIL in Lausanne in September.
‘Le Grand Rallye’, an adventure of ‘Gin’ was part of an exposition where comic artists showed the first comics they ever made. I don’t know when Coco made this comic, but my estimate is that it was made at the end of the 1950s.
For my works for ‘The World of Cosey’, I search the web every now and then. I came across this drawing by Cosey, that was sold in the online auction Catawiki in October 2018.
It is not very often you find a Cosey drawing made with colour pencils 9of course, many of his dedications are made with a colour pencil, but they are ‘simple’ line drawings). My estimate is that Cosey made the drawing in the 1970s.
The drawing was sold for only 57 euros – which is very low for works of Cosey. Had I only known of this auction two years ago…
I must say I am not familiar with the radio broadcasts ‘La Planète Bleue’, But as I understand it, Yves Blanc is looking for the music that we will listen to in ten to a hundred years from now: new sounds, new technologies.
Cosey made drawings for a compilation cd (Volume 3, 2005) and for a book by Yves Blanc (Les Guetteurs du passé, 2010).
Recently, ‘Le Petit Livre Bleu’ was published by ‘L’âge d’Homme’. This book is not so ‘petit’ – 500 pages) – has been written by Yves Blanc. The description on the site of ‘La Planète Bleue‘ tells us is it a ‘cultural guide to the Planète Bleue’. It seems some kind of encyclopedic work about cinema, comics, literature, music, politics, etc.
The book contains illustrations by many artists, among whom Enki Bilal, Moebius, Caza, Auclair and Cosey.