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2000 Figaro Magazine of September 23, 2000

Figaro Magazine of September 23 2000 n°17455, pages 154 and 155, "Loustal,: Simenon has the trace" ( "Loustal: Simenon a la trace")

Advertisement, comic strip, illustration of novels and sleeves of disks, jacques of Loustal imposed itself by an atmosphere made of permanence and mystery of the Simenon in painting.

Loustal Simenon to the trace by Sebastian Lapaque

Virtuoso and nonchalant, Jacques of Loustal draws and paints like others write. Today, he takes in mill commissioner Maigret.

Paris, the shop of Jacques of Loustal is installed a channel very close to. It is enough to declare the drawer predestined to become attached to the universe of Georges Simenon. Grants his work, one finds other signs annonciateurs of his meeting with the novelist to the four hundred books. Himself underlines some of it.

- I always felt greatly the atmospheres of Simenon. Jaime well the way of which he/it describes his/its characters, the ambiance grants which yews evolve. Their solitude touches me a lot.
He/it advances a proof of the seniority of his passion besides

- I passed my architect's diploma with one memory on "The landscape of the channel." II was there question of to perception of the channel in literature, notably at Georges Simenon.

Two universes made to meet

A long time Loustal was surrounded by Simenon. That one thinks of these details stolen on the outskirts of his shop: a taciturn sinner strap on his cigarette, of the ducks shivering on the green water, a towpath above of which slips a Flemish sky. A decor moved away of those that assured the renown of Loustal, too elegant not to make himself of it the caricatures: - A palm, a musician, a small dog.
The clouds, Loustal often represented them fluffy and white, as the plumes of steam that escape of the chimney of the ships. his first work of illustration dedicated to Simenon concerned a southern novel logically: Touriste de bananes (Vertige Graphic, 1998). The moving history of the installation been lacking in Tahiti of a young man who dreamed of one heedless life on the sides of a lagoon.
So Loustal is satisfied with this first confrontation with the writer's universe, he underlines that she was belated. Ten years before, the persons responsible of the Futuropolis editions - Gallimard, for that Tardi worked on Céline, had already proposed him to illustrate a work of his choice. II had thought about two books of Simenon: le Coup de lune, a novel of 1933 taking place in Africa, and Quartier nègre, published in 1935 and situated at Panama. To the time, the father of Maigret was even living. Knowing it very attentive to the transfer of his rights, Loustal had sent him a set of preparatory drawings. No agreement of publishers had can be concluded yet. It is Under the cold light, of Pierre Mac Orlan, that had finally benefitted from his pictures.

Some years later, his meeting with Marc Simenon, the novelist's eldest son, and Mylène Demongeot, his wife, offered him the opportunity to forget this unsuccessful appointment. To the editions Dizziness Graphic, that suggested him to illustrate At the heart of darkness, of Joseph Conrad - -« un livre trop métaphysique, trop sérieux »-, the drawer proposed the edition illustrated of a Simenon.
- To the time, I thought in a group of a transposition drawn. This work on Tourist of bananas allowed me of fair a first reading in depth of a Simenon, with one or two drawings by chapter, to see what it gave I realized that Simenon was difficult to adopt drawn in a group.
Artist to the infinite grants, inventor in a recognizable manner between all, dedicated by his illustrations for the press and the advertisement, his paintings, his posters, his sleeves of disks, Loustal comes back to the book as the migratory bird to his nest.
- It is my universe, I always bathed in a literary environment.
To 44 years, this illustrator traveler, who published his first drawings at the end of the years 70 in Rock & Folk and howling Metal, can flatter itself dune advantageous bibliography. II made itself a name in the big world of the comic French while working with Philippe Paringaux, Tito Topin, Jean-Luc Fromental, Jérôme Charyn.

II illustrates Mac Orlan and Coatalem

Of Italy, of Morocco, of Israel, of Mexico, of Argentina, of the japon, of Greece, of the United States, of China, he/it returned three Notebooks) of journeys (Doorstep, 1997-1999). The illustration of novels and complete news the agreement perfects that it wished to achieve always between text and picture. Besides novels of Pierre Mac Orlan and Georges Simenon, he illustrated les Contes de la forêt vierge and  les Lettres d'un chasseur, of Quiroga Horacio (Doorstep-Métailié, 1998 and 2000), without forgetting 50 000 dinars, a news of Jean-Luc Coatalem (to Report, 1995), that must him the cover of three of his books and of which he/it gets ready to transpose another news in a group drawn.

Maigret, it is the pipe, the hat, the raincoat,

Jacques of Loustal, who didn't lose anything of the dandysme displayed by the title of one of his first books (Une Vespa, des lunettes noires, une palm beach, elles voudraient en plus que j'aie de la conversation), nor of the tenderness affected by one the next one (A romantic boy), is a traveler to the long course. II pursues its inspiration as far as Achab Moby Dick. In a pocket of his bag to back, a small notebook contains its notes of reading. Of the books of Henri Calet, of Tennessee Williams, of Jack London, of Herman Melville, of Francisco Coloane, of Truman Capote,. And of the Simenons, a lot of Simenons,: the blue Room, red lights, L' Eldest of the Ferchauxes, Long towers, the staircase of iron, the Travelers of All Saints' Day, the Flight of Mr. Monde...
When he/it was proposed him to illustrate two news putting in stage commissioner Maigret for the collection Omnibus, Loustal hesitated.
- Too many incarnations to the television, to the movies. I didn't want to make especially of Maigret a stereotyped hero, as in some comic strips.
Wanting to feel "the eternal enjoyment of the constraint" loved by Baudelaire probably, he/it ends up being interested in these unexpected texts, left immersed from the Simenon iceberg: the most obstinate Customer of the world and One doesn't kill the poor types. Composed in 1946 by a Simenon exiled in America, these narrations filled of characters attacked by the doubt called the nonchalant art of Loustal. II achieved for each of them about fifteen drawings in black and white, to the feather, heightened to the pencil.
- For Maigret, I was content with a silhouette: the pipe, the raincoat, the hat.
Loustal? The style.

« Carnets » Omnibus, 108 p., 60 F.  
« Carnets » Omnibus, 108 p., 60 F.  
En librairie le 28 septembre 2000.

Maigret seen by Loustal. Drawing achieved for Le Figaro Magazine