Violette Vaïsse, the story of a family facing cancer

I am extremely modest, but I told my life in a comic strip. » This life, jostled, abused by illness, Violette Vaïsse tells the story in Storma colorful and poetic comic strip, released last August. “I had to do it”, she says. The eye of the storm in this “storm”: her mother, Sophie, who fought for twenty years against breast cancer. The story tells of this crossing, but above all how her relatives, taken with her in the turmoil, were transformed by it. They are four: the husband and the three children, Colombe, César and Violette, who holds the pen. A slightly eccentric family, a little artistic, and wildly endearing. It is in the intimacy of these pages that we meet Violette, 31 years old today.

Over the boxes, we learn that her parents settled in Morocco, where she grew up, before setting sail to study. We discover that she has quite a stroke of the pencil but that she is angry with mathematics. That by dint of being manhandled by the gusts and the whirlwind of treatments, medical check-ups and diagnoses, she and her family have learned to unite. So, when we talk to her on the phone about the project of this article, we already have the feeling of knowing her a little. A little only, because its pages do not deliver everything. Her voice, for example, warm and smiling when she tells the story of her journey, with modesty, but without detour.

Between Morocco and France

From the “fireplace corner” of the farm that her father bought, in Hauts-de-France, where she spends her holidays, she tells. Between Morocco and France, there was Belgium. More specifically, the École supérieure des arts Saint-Luc in Brussels, where she learned the art and the way of making comic strips. “My style has been refined with a lot of time and work, she confides. When I left school, I searched a lot, I went in all directions. Eventually I came back to a marked black line. A return to his first love for black and white comics.

Among his favorites: Marjane Satrapi – to whom we owe Persepolis- and Riad Sattouf, “that we read before it was known! “says Violette. There are also the colors, bright, shimmering, which only came later to color his career as an artist. “When I arrived at school, I was convinced that I couldn’t do color. I learned, and I discovered that I had the right to let go. Today, I’m having a blast! »

Her style, vibrant and naive without being so, borrows from Claude Ponti and Tomi Ungerer – whom she has been reading since a very young age – and puts herself at the service of stories that give pride of place to childhood, marked for her by his mother’s illness. “She has kept many memories of hers, and this feeds her great accuracy in the representation that she makes of it”, explains Guillaume Griffon, editorial director of L’Agrume editions. And then, “She has a very marked sense of humor, which she distils in small touches in her stories”. So many elements which, without taking away Storm neither his gravity nor his melancholy imbue him with a resolutely optimistic character.

“My sister is a good proofreader, and she has a very good eye! »

“What was important for me was to make the story light, to talk about the pain but also the joy that this situation can bring. Because we know the importance of being there for each other. All this creates a great unity. » A bond that continues to this day. “My sister helped me reread the script, says the young woman. She’s a good proofreader, and she has a very good eye! » That’s enough for Colombe to be one of the few people allowed to see the work before it’s finished. Until a story is published, it still belongs to me,” she smiled.

Even her spouse does not venture into the small workshop that she has set up in their apartment in Paris. His cat, Mechoui, has fewer scruples, and navigates between the boards and the drawings that give substance to Leon is bored a youth album, the second volume of which will be released next March. The opportunity to discover a new tender and mischievous story of which Violette Vaïsse has the secret.


His inspiration – Morocco and its colors

“I stayed twelve years in Morocco. I grew up there, I forged my eye to this light, these colors. » We find these colors in the creations of the young woman. “I love this universe, this culture, and particularly zellige! [mosaïques typiques du Maghreb, NDLR] » Moreover, a large part of Storm takes place in Morocco. We discover the places that marked Violette’s childhood. To restore them, there is no question of using photographs: it is only her memories that Violette Vaïsse has summoned.

Source : BBN NEWS

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