A man - filthy, stinking, alone and obese - is taken in by the police. We don't yet know what he's done, or why he's there. But he's going to tell us his story. The story of a man who strives to live by his own rules, free from the bounds of socially imposed morality and norms, an ambition inspired by one blinding, ecstatic, vivid moment of ultilmate perfection in life and existence - The Blast. He makes the only choice possible for him after such an experience: he leaves everything behind and sets off to live, really live, in the wild, on his own. This first volume is a homage to the acute beauty of nature, solitude and feeling alive. And to the pain and brutality necessary for this man to find his way to another, purer, more complete level of existence. But is the mysterious 'Blast' really what it seems? And so the interrogation begins.
Sometimes tragic, always moving. Trivial Quantities talks about the relationship between the artist and his work, the rise of extremism and the connection between people with huge sensitivity and a rare intelligence. Our hero, Marco, carries on along his path. He exhibits his photographs in a fancy Paris gallery; he returns to the shipyards where his father used to work to photograph the workers and his old friends, and he moves in with his charming vet, Emilie. Manu Larcenet never judges, and approaches his interrogations of the human condition with extreme caution. This is just one of those books that stays with you long after you've turned the last page.
Marco's left town for the countryside. He's left his psychologist because he feels he's doing better. He's quit his job as a reporter because he's had enough of photographing corpses. He gets himself a little cottage in the heart of rural France, where he lives with his cat, Adolf. He throws out all his work, and cuts ties with his employer. That night, he has his first panic attack.
It's not long before he meets the lovely Emilie, and also the wise and good-natured old man who lives in the cottage just across the way... but who, it turns out, isn't exactly what he seems...
Mancini's story gets harder and harder to digest, as it spirals towards it's violent and sordid climax. We see cracks beginning to appear in that seemingly impenetrable calm he maintains in the interrogation room, as he relates his difficult winter, his internment in a psychiatric hospital, his discovery of a collection of paintings that are the perfect representation of human suffering, and a cataclysmic encounter in the forest.
The shipyard shuts down, Marco becomes a father, his mother learns how to live alone, a man dies in the countryside, and a journalist flies off the handle. Through the little things, marked moments and commonplace sadness, Manu Larcenet concludes his portrait of an ordinary man, and the imperfections that we're all familiar with. Thus ends one of the greatest successes of contemporary European comics.
This is the third volume of one of the most remarkable works of the contemporary comic books scene. In "Precious Things," Marco has to face up to Emilie's maternal longing and the aftermath of the death of his father. Through various little things, such as old photos and insignificant events, Larcenet pursues his inquisition of the human soul with incredible wisdom and insight.
The Mancini interrogation is finally wrapped up in this fourth and final volume Manu Larcenet's masterpiece. His immaculate plotline reaches a conclusion that will leave you wide-eyed and speechless, as it unravels the mysteries of the fascinating savagery and the captivating but deranged mind of this rare human being.
Back to the interrogation room nestled at the heart of that gray, clouded metropolis, and Polza's story continues. We soon find ourselves extracted from that police station, the metaphor for everything that this extraordinary protagonist seeks to escape (law, bureaucracy, morality, social codes, restriction), and returned to the beautiful but savage rural backdrop of Polza Mancini's quest for transcendance. His wanderings eventually bring him to the underground hideout of the so-called "Saint Jacky", a prolific drug dealer who uses his profits to feed his obsession: books. But this avid reader also has his dark side, as Mancini soon discovers.