« In the last analysis, a pickle is a cucumber with experience. » — Irena Chalmers
Earlier this week, the world lost another of its greatest cartoonists in Nikita Mandryka (October 20, 1940 – June 13, 2021), and he’s been among my lifelong favourites, thanks to his accessible, deceptively simple style and its nervous, explorative vitality. I’ve written about Mandryka’s Ailleurs some time ago, so there’s no pressing need to rehash his biography.
This freed me to opt for another tack this time. Since Nikita’s work is all-but-untranslatable (between the argot and the puns and general free-form lunacy… I’m not Even Going to Try) and his pages too dense for meaningful large-scale extraction, I’ve selected a sort of random number of panels — eleven seemed right (and winnowing things down was predictably exacting); Hope you like them.
Encore merci, Monsieur Mandryka!
For more Concombre Masqué and all things Mandryka (did you know it was he who reportedly coined Métal Hurlant‘s title? ‘Howling Metal’ would have been such a better name than ‘Heavy Metal’… and ironically more Metal), check out his website (while it lasts). In french, hope you won’t mind!
Borborygmi [bawr-buh-rig-mahy] a rumbling or gurgling sound caused by the movement of gas in the intestines. Did you know you could have a whole conversation in borborygmese? But don’t take my word for it:
Claire Bretécher is a socio-satirical cartoonist from France, best known for her comics dealing with women and gender-related issues (Les frustrés, Aggripine…) Lots of them have been translated into English. A quick rundown of her career: her work has been published in Spirou and Pilote in 1972, and she co-founded the Franco-Belgian comics magazine “L’écho des savanes” (Echoes of the Savannah) together with Marcel Gotlib and Nikita Mandryka. She also has a pretty good handle on Weird Body Things and how people react to them.
And speaking of odd stomach noises, this pertinent little gem comes to mind: