This is the first comic from Europe Comics that I have read. Below are some of my thoughts on Malaterre: Part 1
Gabriel dreams of buying back Malaterre, an estate built by his ancestors in the heart of the jungle over a century ago. Of going there, living there, and restoring the Lesaffre family honor. Of passing it on to his children. But he knows nothing about the country or managing a timber forest. He will have to risk it all, taking his two eldest with him and separating them from their mother and younger brother. All of this, of course, is completely crazy.Script by Pierre-Henry Gomont – Art by Pierre-Henry Gomont
This story starts with a death. This is the story leading up towards it.
Gabriel is a dodgy businessman – you don’t really know what his business is, but you just know it is a big thing. It’s his families old business since he was young he was drunk a lot and didn’t have a set path in life. Before he gets the business back he meets someone, they fall in love and have three children.
He ends up going back to his old ways – going to bars and getting drunk. They get divorced and she gets full custody of the children (for obvious reasons). He disappears from the children’s life, although he is still paying for them. On his return he is a different person, lavishing the children with gifts and being there for them!
After getting full custody of the two older children he takes them to Malaterre – without telling their mother!
Malaterre is an exotic island, with a town and jungle. Gabriel is worried about money there – and at this point, the children discover that they have to live in the town, while he is in jungle doing ‘business’
There is intrigue around the business and Gabriel is offered some help…
I loved the art in this story, the art and colouring work well in keeping the themes of the individual characters in the story. The story is simple, but with a lot of lines. I feel the art was a lot like Gabriel – mysterious!
I like how the story starts at the end, and now we are treading the path towards those first pages.
There are chosen aspects of Gabriel that we do learn, but there is still an element of mystery to the character. The children were the opposite of Gabriel – nice and calm. Gabriel is not a likeable protagonist in this story – he’s rude to everyone!
I would certainly read volume two of this – we are left on a serious cliffhanger, and there are people that I want to learn about!
You can get Malaterre: Part 1 from Europe Comics here