“I thought not at all.” The announcement of her prize, Leah Mazé does not believe this always not. But lo and behold, there it is. The artist, who has already published Elma, A life to bear (Dargaud), has won the youth prize of the Association of critics and journalists of comics (KDD) for the volume 1 of his trilogy, Sketches , (Editions of the Gutter). She confides in Figaro on his development, and his inspirations.

Leah Mazé won the youth award CALL for his album Sketches (Ed. the Gutter). Editions of the Gutter

LE FIGARO – You just win the award for KDD. What is the reason for your comic strip a-t-it, according to you, the longer the jury?

Leah MAZÉ – first of All, this was a huge surprise for me to be included in the award selection. It is therefore an honour to receive it. Among the finalists, included many artists that I admire. Therefore, I find it hard to see what could please them. Maybe my history, and in particular, my way to get ahold of thriller they liked. I speak also in the middle of a funeral director, and of the bullying which is not common in comics. Maybe this played into my favor.

“It is up to the college to develop the personality and social relationships”

How is born this album?

One day, as I passed in front of the funeral home, I wondered what the children of entrepreneurs of pumps funères could live. This universe is far enough away from the middle of childhood. I was therefore questioned. I am much set, watching such documentaries. Then, I came in contact with a burner’s funeral, which gave me the information on his job. I unveiled the scenes of everything that it can be done and happen at the time of all saints day. In addition, I am réimprégnée of my fondest memories of college. This period interests me particularly because it is at this time that develop the personality and social relationships. The court of the college is very codified. She is not tender at all. I remembered the small humiliations and the stigma that could exist.

editions of the Gutter

Between the idea and the publication he spent two and a half years. It was a fairly long period of time. But we worked a lot with the editors to refine the scenario. It is indeed a trilogy, so it was important that I write the outline of the three volumes, so that each book is balanced, rhythmic, and that there is no vacuum.

You talk about stigmatization in the school. In Sketches , are scenes of ridicule. Did you want to convey a message?

there are certain topics we tend to avoid with children to protect. But, I found it interesting to talk about. This was not originally planned, but it came in the scenario development. It has been a harasser, harassed, or witness, we’ve all been faced with the bullying. I wanted to show with these characters, that this can be hard. This phenomenon should not be trivialized.

My books are all public, but my comic is aimed, it is true, ideally the teenagers who are the age of the twins. That is to say 11 years. I would be very happy that my comic can be offered to the school, even if I’m not a specialist of the subject. This could be a good way to develop speech in the classroom.

“I like cemeteries. I find these places very aesthetic. When I travel, I do a sort of tourism of cemeteries”

You speak of the misunderstanding that exists between children and adults.

I was interested to have the views of adolescents on the adult world. Deal of communication problems there may be with the parents, who also have a thousand other things to think about. There are all these universes that clash. I wanted to show the dissonance that may exist between the two ages. The twins are in a context where, at home, there are plenty of codes that they have not acquired. Their life is so in another world.

And so it is in a cemetery, among the dead, that they feel the most alive…

Yes, it is true. It has almost been a point of departure for the creation of my comic strip. I wanted the graveyard is a playground. I imagined children who do not consider the place as a place creepy. For them, it is their daily lives.

editions of the Gutter

And for you?

I like cemeteries. I find these places very aesthetic. When I travel, I do a sort of tourism of cemeteries. Especially in north America. There are always jewels of architecture. These places do not make me afraid.

What have been your inspirations?

The Fight for ordinary of Manual Larcenet has been one of the triggers that pushed me to make the comic. I was fascinated by his line pretty minimalist and stylized. But it is not the only one. I really like the work of the illustrator Alfred. His sensitivity touches me a lot.

What are your projects?

I am in the process of clarifying the scenario of my second volume. I hope one day that this work may appear on the screen. This would be fantastic. The Croque is not my only project. I am also working on other adventures.