Jacques de Loustal is a comics artist. But he's no freak. His comics are
not even comical; often he even dispenses with balloons
Jacques de Loustal is a painter. But he's no elitist. He is one of the most prominent representatives of that trend they cad the >French author comics< and which is nourished from special sources: in the story, from the European narrative tradition and in the line, from the famous Ligne claire school of the Grand Old Master Hergé
To an outsider, the astounding differentiation in the international comics markets may be new -American super-heroes beside respectable caricaturists, entertaining cartoons and obstreperous underground products, more recently the wild Japanese mangas ... In contrast, Loustal relates picture stories for completely normal, sensitive viewers and readers. His visual novels owe much to the French film: slowly unfolding plots, a poetic rhythm, magic moments, intensely emotional scenes in melancholy settings
Along with his dear, strong line goes an iconography all his own: quiet palms, empty beaches, motionless lizards, muteless fish the eloquent silence of the pictures. Loustal draws a world full of cryptic messages that are nevertheless well-known to the subconscious, a world full of tropical melancholy, the charm of the >off-season< (as he entitled one of his albums), when the summer's avidity has spent itself. Other typical settings are that dusty blues-jazz-dream America as it fives in the hearts of certain Europeans. or an only too recognizable fictive Mediterranean fairytale principality with its poor rich princely children.
Above all his pictures of women have made Loustal famous. Far away from all comiclike exaggerations, he shows us his mysterious Goddesses of the Everyday, at peace with themselves. In his stories, even young girls have their past they bear the knowledge and the burdens of past generations of women.
Jacques de Loustal is a pro. Cleverly he plays with the seductive powers of age old clichés, to which he unexpectedly restores their always valid truths.
And, not least, Jacques Loustal is extremely successful. In France he is a star of that special art scene which, for example, clusters around the Galerie Escale in Paris. The gallery owner, Christian Desbois, who is also a publisher, enjoys an enthusiastic public of collectors that also honors the most extraordinary ideas. So a sort of cardboard box was produced in the tiny format of a cigarette box with silk-screening on hand-made paper in a limited and signed edition a remininesce of the photo cassettes on the tea tables of fine ladies at the turn of the century a product truly tailored for a community of fans. Price: 480 francs; title: >80% humidity.<
Loustal's works are brought out in German by the publishing company, Schreiber & Leser, Munich. An album was published in Hamburg by the Carlsen Verlag. One of the firms from which print graphics and portfolios can be ordered is X fur U, Freiburg.