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Pages 1 to 24 in English



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Brussels, guided tour

The making of 80 Days

Benjamin Button

Press review


80 days : Press Review

Starting from a very original idea - an eighty-year-old who lives his life backwards, losing a year each day - Nicolas Vadot and Olivier Guéret accomplish a remarkable countdown: 80 Days. This fantasy account becomes an excuse for expressing missed opportunities, but above all a manner of stressing life's extraordinary strengths. Clever dialogues abound amid elegant and classic artwork.
Le Nouvel Observateur (France)


To say the least Olivier Guéret and Nicolas Vadot have created an extraordinarily original scenario which is above all wonderfully orchestrated by colours and drawings. The starting point: a dying 80-year-old gradually gets younger, by a year each day, thanks to the company of Juliet, his attractive young carer. An undreamed-of opportunity which enables him to progress from his deathbed to a wheelchair, and thence to a walking stick before ending up jogging like a teenager. The authors describe this slow process little by little, a marvellous adventure to begin with, but gradually a two-edged sword as in both directions the days and the years are numbered. From the fun of seeing life differently (Ah - to be 20 again!) the reader moves on towards the syndrome of "the man who gets smaller and smaller": where will it all end? And simultaneously a new and ambiguous relationship takes place between Edward and Juliet who end up both being 35! This is a vertiginous journey through the drawings and also the colours of Nicolas Vadot, which veer from a strange green to deep blues, using a simply brilliant precise pencil touch. Is this countdown an end or a rebirth? The answer is to be found at the end of this one-off album, of which one of the most hallucinating sequences must be the red Citroën DS in flames heading for a wall. Which is not the case of this album!
Nicolas Vadot and Olivier Guéret have also collaborated in the Norbert l'Imaginaire (Gerry Geronimo) trilogy.
Sud-Ouest (France)


This is a very original story, brilliantly executed by the duo Vadot/Guéret, with a most unexpected ending. We have already met these two authors in Norbert l'Imaginaire (Gerry Geronimo), and here they are again - much to our delight - with a one-off really worth its salt.
The style of the drawing is somewhat out of the ordinary. Even though at the onset it can be a bit off-putting, one is rapidly captivated by the style, the colours and the characters.
It is as if the pencil strokes of the drawings have not been rubbed out, at times the whole thing seems unfinished, however the overview of the frames reveals a highly polished work. This original and indeed rare effect is completely under the control of Nicolas Vadot, who presents us with a beautifully structured album.
As far as this original tale goes, with its relentless rhythm of the passage of the days, we could have expected several volumes in which to immerse ourselves in the events of the protagonists' adventures. But finally, as a one-shot, it is fantastic. (France)
Vadot and Guéret really love playing with their characters and their emotions.  Their first series, both notable and noticed, Norbert l'Imaginaire (Gerry Geronimo), related the amusing but moving love-story between Simon and Lisa as seen from their inner selves, fount of human feeling. In 80 Days they regale us this time with the last days in the life of an 80-year-old man who rejuvenates by a year with each passing day... which brings him closer daily both to his death ...and his birth!  Vadot and Guéret recount very cleverly the psychological evolution of this old man who so briefly regains his youth, under the watchful eye of the beautiful Juliet. They succeed in rhythmically delivering this implacable count-down in time, without repeating themselves, and keep up the suspense until the very end... A tale of the fantastic which is the vehicle of a subtle reflection - without too much heart-searching - on human nature itself.
La lettre de Dargaud (France)
He is 80 years old and getting younger day by day. The surprising Edward Goodman makes the acquaintance of Juliet, his young carer, and plunges into a reverse process of psychoanalysis under the watchful eye of an inspector who is a Churchill look-alike. This alluring idea of a journey into his past is handled masterly by the authors. (France)
This marvellous tale of fantasy dealing with the passage of time is the work of Olivier Guéret for the scenario and Nicolas Vadot for both scenario and artwork, the result of which is an original and remarkable book. Both in their thirties, the two authors descibe with talent and sensitivity the workings of the mind of an old man who is seen to recapture his zest for life, rekindle the power of his inner feelings and realise that he has perhaps let life pass him by. By alternating passages describing Edward's new life and psychoanalytical episodes between the hero and Winston Churchill, the authors set the scene for a deeper reflection into the profound aspects of human nature.
This original story should appeal to many, particularly as though the plot may seem heavy-handed it is handled with great dexterity by its creators: light and airy frames, careful and never superfluous dialogues as we follow the surprising journey of Edward and Juliet towards peace.
Vadot's sensitive illustrations of the various sites where the action takes place are masterful, Brussels has seldom seemed more beautiful. The use of  pencil drawings, without inking, is magnified by a warm and luminous use of colour.
We had already been captivated by the two authors with their earlier series, Norbert l'Imaginaire (Gerry Geronimo), published by Lombard Publications. They confirm here our good first impressions by submitting this superbly intriguing and sensitive account on the passage of time. (France)
After a lengthy time in the pipeline, and with the help of co-scenarist Guéret, our very own political cartoonist Vadot has strayed far from his well-known hunting-ground. The scenario, overflowing with psychoanalytical references, forms a trap sprung on the reader. Beware of starting the album at the end! As far as the graphic side goes, Vadot has evermore perfected his style. Compared to Norbert l'Imaginaire (three books published by Le Lombard) the drawing takes on considerably more strength, thanks to a mixed technique : pencil drawing and Photoshop, bold intensity of colour, scenes of Brussels, some extraordinarily dreamlike frames: go for it!
Le Vif/L'Express (Belgium)
Though the idea of this scenario is hardly new, Vadot and Guéret handle it with talent and have a few surprises in store which enable us to the read their book in a variety of ways. They also present us with several thoughts on the passage of time, the ageing process, life's projects and regrets, an insight into changing reality....without forgetting some very wonderful views of Brussels.
Le Soir magazine (Belgium)
Departing from his cinematic technique and elaborate framing, well tried in Norbert l'Imaginaire, Vadot reverts to a more streamlined, classical, presentation. The result is a work of great brightness, with shining colours, based on drawing which ‘smells of vigorous rubbing-out' as the artist is pleased to point out. This is a study of emotions palpable in the scant illustration and texts of this graphic novel.
L'Echo (Belgium)
Here is one of the season's happy surprises! 80 Days, published by Casterman, is well deserving of attention. With attractive graphic work, this poetico-philosophical one-off leads us into the meanders of human psychology, into the realm where fleeting moments of happiness and regrets rub shoulders. Calmly yet powerfully, this tale forces us to reflect on ourselves, using rhythm and subtle fantasy miles away from the cinematographic approach favoured by so many contemporary graphic artists.
Vers l'Avenir (Belgium)
As everyone knows, there is no better way to tell a tale of fantasy than by changing only slightly the natural order of things - when ordinary things are just a bit off centre but continue to progress almost normally. Almost. Already well-known and appreciated as the cartoonist of Le Vif L'Express, Nicolas Vadot has already had a go at graphic novels. We are referring to Norbert l'Imaginaire (three volumes) where he teamed up with the journalist and cinema critic Olivier Guéret. They have got together again to produce this serious but stylish tale; well put together, with happy rhythm. This truly Belgian stroll through Brussels, with many thoughtful touches ( 'the North Sea is like music: you have to start when you’re a child, otherwise you can't hear it') is perhaps a little on the tame side. Or could it be modesty? At 80 there isn't generally much left to hide!
Télémoustique (Belgium)
Great things were expected of the duo Nicolas Vadot/Olivier Guéret after their excellent trilogy, Norbert l'Imaginaire (published by Le Lombard) which ventured into a parallel world encased in the brain and explaining the workings of our love-life. We are not disappointed, quite the reverse! 80 Days, a sensitive and touching tale of fatasy, demonstrates the strange relationship which develops between an ailing 80-year-old and a young and beautiful young woman who acts like his nursing carer. From the moment she takes charge of him the old diabetic patient becomes younger by a year each day: what on earth will happen at the end of these 80 days of rejuvenation? The osmosis between the raw charcoal drawings of Nicolas Vadot (who now lives in Canberra, Australia, and whose style is less and less caricatural, though in the first place this talented illustrator specialised in political and humourous cartoons) and the elliptical and efficient narrative of Olivier Guéret is obvious : everything is thought out to surprise and move the reader, never falling into the trap of superficial sentimentality. This race against time is perfectly orchestrated thanks to cunning flash-backs which take us into the past of the central character, together with a tasteful romantic and dreamlike atmosphere. Finally, let us remark on the good use of full page frames which not only do not detract from the easy readability of the story, but which slot well into the whole work, bringing a note of originality: a very successful album! (France)


Vadot and Guéret, authors of the well-received trilogy of Norbert l'Imaginaire, provide us now with an astonishing tale, both sensitive and touching. They conduct us backwards through their character's life, as he gets younger before our very eyes. What can one do in such a situation? What will be the outcome of this race against time over 80 days? Find out in the book!
Departing from his graphic style of caricature and humour as in the adventures of Norbert l'Imaginaire, Nicolas Vadot embarks on a more realistic style using an interesting technique. In order to preserve his dynamic pencil strokes, he has opted for an unfinished style. The characters therefore remain as charcoal, seemingly unfinished sketches. It is the colour which finalises the drawing. The result is convincing. (Belgium)
Just imagine getting a year younger each day. For someone young, this does not leave much time before returning to the foetal state. But for an old man of eighty that leaves two and a half months to go back gradually throughout his life to his infancy.
The starting point of the scenario of 80 Days is none other than this unreal idea on which is built a fable which owes more to a philosophical discourse than an attempt at science-fiction. The journey backwards through time described in this album takes a look at all that is lost during a lifetime and which the principal character rediscovers as he grows younger : feelings, emotions, the art of living. The physical shortcomings and limitations of the ageing process seem strangely to be more striking when life is going backwards. This is a very well written album. Both the dialogues and the narrative frames come over very pleasantly. The authors have succeeded in exaggerating the principal character. Edward, as he grows younger, wants to grab life with both hands. His passions are magnified, his senses enhanced by the foregone knowledge of the degrading aspects of life's final phases. Certain symbolically gigantic and nightmarish scenes are especially well rendered (the recurring image of a car in flames propelled by monorail, for instance).
From the graphic point of view, this one-off album is very powerful. The mixture of thick pencil-drawings, roughly finished, and computerised colouring, often criticised for being wishy-washy, is used to good effect. On his website Nicolas Vadot explains the conception of the album and lets us in on his graphic standpoint : ‘After several fruitless attempts (direct colour, oil, acrylics, ecoline, water-colours, reworked photocopies, etc....) I decided on this pencil drawing technique, creating a mixture of a very dirty medium (greasy pencilling) and a very clean one (computerised images).’ The author is to be praised for his innovation as he manages to get the best out of both techniques. The scribbled wooden pencil strokes lend strength and intensity to the faces, whereas some well thought-out effects such as reflections or fading (page 20) can only be achieved with such precision by computer. The album is also impressive in its degree of light and the relevance of the city scenes. 80 Days is a very high quality album, both in its writing and graphic content. A thoughtful poem on old age and the passage of time. (France)
Vadot and Guéret have produced a really good tale of tenderness and poetry. Life's cycle is never-ending, from grandfather to grandson. The drawing may seem a little off-putting to some, unfinished even, with its colours which are sometimes aggressive on the eye, but it suits the subject admirably and serves well this universal dream of youth everlasting and recaptured. (Belgium)
What a story! At first one reads it straight through, and I must admit that it is a long time since I read an album, glancing to see which page I had reached. Then a bit later, assuredly, one feels compelled to read it again, slowly, to get the full flavour in all its subtleties! A must, to be read again and again! (France)


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