THE WIND IN THE SANDS
Le Chant des dunes (T.4), Delcourt 2011
Original cover. Signed. Watercolour on paper
32,4 x 39,4 cm (12,76 x 15,51 in.)
Magnificent composition by an author of a rare quality. We find here all the artist's know-how: legibility and intelligence, perfection in the attitudes, skillful anthropomorphic balance, perfect chromatic perspective of the colors which are staggering, luminous, from the center of the image towards the harmonious half-light of the room, while the heroes, stunned by their discovery, look at the reader. Michel Plessix is a meteor in the world of comics that we have seen pass by too quickly.
Michel Plessix was a contemplative. Drawing was offering the fruit of his reveries, of his wonderings. Short-sighted, he was especially interested in details and sometimes went into images that were so full of them that he lost himself. I think he would then go into a kind of trance. Look at the blackness of the night in this plate. It's not a flat area painted with a brush or the flat of a pencil. But a complex system of hatching arranged in successive layers that give this velvety aspect. When he stayed in Greece, most often in Tinos, he liked to find his habits there, his circle of faithful friends, often timeless travellers like himself. They would meet over resinated wine or ouzo and very quickly the conversations would slide into love, art and often oriental philosophy. There, time no longer existed and these exchanges, punctuated by long silences, stretched into the night. They lived the day only in the expectation of meeting again in the evening. It is these timeless conversations, this seated contemplation of the world that we find in The Wind in the Willows.
The characters we meet are reminiscent of these timeless meetings and discussions. And Michel discovered Essaouira. This city was strangely similar to Saint-Malo where he lived his childhood and he found himself in his place. Tired of Tinos, which was becoming too touristy for his taste, he took up residence in this Moroccan coastal town for a few weeks a year. It is there that Michel wrote and directed the cycle of the Wind in the Sands. He had also reconstructed his dream world there. Invariably after a day's work on a terrace or along the beach, he would dine at Dar Louban in the company of the philosophic and erudite restaurateur, (whom we recognize in Lizarbou le matou) who sometimes invited other solitary travellers to his table. Michel loved the East, the Arab culture, the Maghreb and Essaouira in particular. It was an obvious choice to recreate this imaginary world in the second cycle of Le Vent dans les Saules. The first was the expression of his childhood, the second of his adopted universe.