Rio de Janeiro, Antananarivo, Pakistan, the Kerguelen Islands… Our September list gives pride of place to distant destinations.

“Listen, pretty Marcia”: tragicomedy against a backdrop of urban violence

Relentless columnist of Brazilian society, Marcello Quintanilha (Tungsten, Glass talc) delivers a new story mixing earthiness and gravity, his trademark. Her heroine, Marcia, a nurse in a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, finds herself confronted by a neighborhood gang with which her daughter Jaqueline, a casual young woman with a loose tongue, recklessly fritters. To the picturesque scenes of life in a favela, the author appends a dramatic construction on the theme of daily violence, through the actions of an armed militia, supposed to protect the inhabitants. We laugh, we cry when reading this amazing graphic object, illuminated with carnival colors that accentuate the hiatus between comedy and tragedy. Frédéric Potet

Listen, pretty Marcia, by Marcello Quintanilha, translated from Portuguese (Brazil) by Dominique Nédellec, Çà et là, 120 p., 20 euros.

“Tananarive”: geriatric road trip

Amédée Petit-Jean is a retired notary; Joseph Seigneur, an adventurer on the way back, passed by Dien Bien Phu, Caracas, Macao… In any case, that’s what he tells his neighbor. One day, “Jo” dies. Devastated, Amédée takes it into his head to find his friend’s heirs. Except that “Jo” was not born in Antananarivo, as he claimed, but in the Ardennes… Geriatric road trip aboard an old Triumph coupe, Antananarivo delicately recounts the quest of a bald and paunchy retiree, carried away by friendship on an adventure that goes beyond him but in which he too will discover the soul of a buccaneer. Superbly rhythmic, the album combines the humor of the series The Old Furnaces to the poetry of a Frank Pé. Sylvain Vallée’s semi-realistic drawing has never been so attractive. Cedric Pietralunga

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Antananarivo, by Sylvain Vallée and Mark Eacersall, Glénat, 120 p., 19.50 euros.

“René.e aux bois dormants”: aesthetic and political phantasmagoria

It is undoubtedly one of the most puzzling and beautiful albums of the literary season. René.e in the sleeping woods follows the story of a hypersensitive little boy who lost his stuffed rabbit. Make no mistake about it: under childish attire hides an aesthetic and political phantasmagoria whose meanders have nothing to envy to Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. The journey to which author Elene Usdin invites is a daydream, tinged with ecological and social progressivism, which addresses transidentity through transgression and transcendence. The drawing, of dizzying beauty, has a lot to do with the immense success of this completely original work. Alexis Duval

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