32 Décembre follows where volume one titled Le Sommeil du monstre left off with Amir and his girlfriend Sacha being turned into mind controlled agents for the sinister sect that seeks to control the world. But in this episode, all of the three Yugoslav orphans, separated at birth are trying to reunite to witness, along with other dignitaries the greatest discovery in history and the greatest art piece of artist Optus Warhole. 32 Décembre is available in French.
Most of this volume is about the upcoming visual art show by Warhole and what the dignitaries discover. The orphans learn about each other. Unlike the previous volume, where readers learned a lot about the main characters, in this episode, we learn more about Warhole and his plot for humanity. But although the plot and the characterization did not move much, the concept of a trinity has emerged as the central theme of the story. There are three Nicks, three orphans and so on.
Another good thing is that we finally heard from the other orphans’ voice as opposed to Nick’s all the time. Although the previous volume followed their stories too, it always felt as if Nick was the anchor. Here, we see that they have minds of their own too and that they may not want to fit nicely in Nick’s concept of a trinity. I can’t wait to see where Bilal takes this story in the next chapter.
It’s wonderful that a tragedy like the breakup of Yugoslavia and the war among many of the member states could have created such a strange and rich world to reflect upon the destructive energy that was released when Tito’s former nation broke up. Perhaps Tito, the old Yugoslav leader who shaped Communist Yugoslavia is represented figuratively by Warhole in this story. As the characters of
32 Décembre are from the multicultural mosaic of Yugoslavia and travel the world in order to discover themselves and perhaps put aside the differences that caused them to be orphans, perhaps through Warhole, they will discover the ultimate legacy of Yugoslavia?
32 Décembre felt rougher and sketchier than
Le Sommeil du monstre. It seemed that Bilal cared less about giving a strong visual structure to his work and preferred a looser drawing style that allowed him to tell a story and fulfil his engagements with his publisher! At the same time, the loose artwork is contained forcefully with rigid panel breakdowns and page composition. This volume also had more head and shoulder shots than the previous one, making the storytelling less dynamic.
32 Décembre is a must pick item for fans of great comic books from one of the best mind in the global comic book world.