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“You can be a little girl and talk about astronomy or weightlifting or paleontology or nuclear science.”

“You can be a little girl and talk about astronomy or weightlifting or paleontology or nuclear science.”

Marion Montaigne uses the pretext of dinosaurs and paleontology to kill off the funny science comic book game, a genre in itself that owes almost everything to it. And so Our Lost Worlds turns out to be, unsurprisingly, very exciting and funny, but also, for the first time, very intimate.

Uncle Paul hadn't gotten over it yet, and if he had known, he would certainly have gotten one of his own beautiful stories. The absolute reference in terms of educational comics, delightful knowledge and scientific generalization – but above all and this time funny! – He is today, and for more than fifteen years, a small piece of the woman who calls herself “Even.”Very worried about life“But who still chooses – and in what way! – to do so Putting her title of pope of this kind on the lineafter six years In a Thomas Pesquet suit. A funny, scientific biography that took educational comics and its author to truly great heights, definitively cementing popular science at the top of the comics charts – a few years later, Christoph Blain He would in turn become the best-selling comic book author of the year, with The endless world Written with Jean-Marc Jancovici On energy issues and climate emergencies.

Six years after this success and almost three years later Latest blog post And his equally successful avatar, Professor Mustache (tumourrasmoinsbete.blogspot.com), Marion Montaigne He returns to talk to us this time about dinosaurs and paleontology and how a group of researchers, on the basis of a few fossils, had to struggle hard to discover that the Earth was inhabited by species as impressive as they became extinct, thus inventing science there. Paleontology, which continues to make giant leaps, and whose designs evolve from year to year. And so we understand Our lost worlds As the first film in the franchise Jurassic Parkwhich fascinated the young Marion, was based on 30-year-old representations of dinosaurs with which writer Michael Crichton himself took many (many!) liberties for purely romantic reasons.

© Dargaud Editions

But above all, between two bursts of laughter and a few grams of knowledge, Marion Montaigne tells her story for the first time. The author opens the lid on her encounters and methods of creativity and sheds new light on – if not complements – fifteen years of dedicated work Scientific generalization and sense of humorThe priesthood for her is based on two pillars: existential anguish that cannot be extinguished.”And it is science that is most likely to answer, even if it constantly reminds us that we are at riskAnd frustration at not having the opportunity to conduct scientific studies on her own. “I wanted to but I couldn't. A kind of self-censorship mechanism that still works for me“, she explained to us. There were no scientists in my family. They even discouraged me from taking such a path, so random and risky. Because science is supposed to be for very talented and smart people? Because I'm a girl? I will never know the answer and it drives me crazy. I wanted an instruction manual like Ikea to explain everything I didn't understand. Your parents are like this, your sister is like this, and the universe is like this. But there are no instructions, you have to rebuild it. Maybe I also wanted to show that you can be a little girl and talk about astronomy, weightlifting, paleontology, or nuclear science. Comics give you the freedom to do whatever you want.Before he defines this impression, which is actually evident from many pages of his enormous book Our lost worlds: “I also know that I hide less behind science.

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Dolls and obsessions

It's hard to believe because we've been so devastated by almost every box of his latest album -“Sometimes I make a painting without a mask and tell myself that the reader will be bored. I'm always afraid he'll get bored, and that I'll lose him, so I force the acting, the expressions, the tensions. I'm tired of rereading myself!“-but in the original Our lost worldsIn her first paintings, which she has since disposed of, Marion Montaigne tried…seriously. “At first, I wanted to do something not funny, something controlled. Real work, documented, no funny stuff, but it quickly became very dark! I realized that I don't know how to act drama. I really need a valve, this way. I didn't want to repeat myself, or plagiarize myself. Meanwhile, the baker won't be making the dolls. I've really tried, I'd love to do fantasy, sci-fi, but for the sake of my mental health, I'd better do humor. I need that bias.“And so Marion went back to what she knew how to do so well,”But by bringing an extra dimension“.”The book tells how we discovered dinosaurs, but also how humans evolve to build themselves, and how vulnerability is inherent in the lives of all species on Earth, including us. The book exists because of this obsession, this anxiety, and my own questions about representing things, and using drawing to do so. Paleontology was a main entry but the book is about many other things as well.

© Dargaud Editions

Has popular science become a kind of gilded cage from which Marion Montaigne tries to escape almost against her will? However, she realizes that the genre has become a school, and that the success of the realistic comic genre has created a huge boom in which all publishers have jumped, not always to the best of the ninth art, which deserves much better than comic treatises. “Yes, it's always better for a comic book author to take a topic and put their own spin on it. I don't give scientists a choice, they are not co-authors of my books. Here, I made the paleontologists I met reread everything, but they had to accept that their work, their theses, had been put through the storyboard. I understand very well that for a scientist it is unlikely to draw cells wearing skirts, but we do not talk to our colleagues. I got over it because I was able to be clear: I'm listening to you, but I'm doing what I want with it. Soyuz, it won't have all the stuff, but I don't care, I'm explaining something to someone who knows nothing about it. Isn't there this information? Well, no, I skipped it because it's too complex, not visual, and can be handled differently. I'm not impressed with the baccalaureate+7, and I completely accept my very expressive drawing, which is really not the archetype of popular scientific drawing! First, scholars brought me albums by Jean Gratton (Michel Phelan series, editor's note) By telling me “These are some good comics!” But since then they understand! I had to show that I made up for it by listening to what they said and showing them that it worked.

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Our lost worlds. By Marion Montaigne, Dargaud Editions, 208 pages. ****

Marion Montaigne did not emerge unscathed from her multiple viewings of the film Jurassic ParkSpielberg's film also carried two of his main concerns that would later govern his life and career: the inevitable extinction of species and the graphic representation of such vanishing worlds. Representations that science always needs art, even if they are cast on sheets of paper and filled with a frivolous and very modern humor that the author rejects here, in her own way at the same time. school. Therefore, we will learn a lot about the origins of paleontology, something that was not easy to achieve in a world dominated by religious superstitions. But we will also learn, above all, a lot about Marion Montaigne herself, about her research methods, and about the way in scientific research she always sought an answer to her own fears. An intimate aspect of his biography about which we knew nothing, but which gives a completely new dimension to his career, to his work (which is almost a quest!) for generalization. Our lost worlds It seems perhaps less direct and linear than his astonishing success about astronaut Thomas Pesquet, but much deeper and often poignant. Perhaps his masterpiece and the beginning of something else.