Allan Barte against the zombies by Allan Barte
You won’t believe your eyes. Allan Barte against zombies is a huge kick in the ant-hill. Twilight of the idols, the European comic strip will not escape unscathed. Allan Barte dares everything, he is not afraid to take on historical missions. Not only does he bring us into the post-modern era by constantly playing with pop culture (his paper double battles zombies in a world where people know about zombie movies !), but on top of that it comes with a minimalist style that is close to being badly drawn ! This will make many people jump, but that’s the price to pay to finally get the current comic strip out of its starch.
Leaf through Allan Barte against the zombies is to put Tomorrow in motion.
This is possibly what could have been written about the book if it had been released in 1990.
The release of the video game Panda Magical World 7 is scheduled in one week. Seven days of interminable waiting that Allan, a great fan of this game, decided to fill by replaying all the previous opuses of the franchise. When, after a week, Allan finally gets out of his apartment to buy that long-awaited Holy Grail, he discovers to his horror that the world has been overrun by zombies, which may make it a little difficult to get the game;
The reading of;Allan Barte vs. the zombies, to say the truth, is pleasant. The object is pleasant – beautiful cover decorated with fake blood spurts, a lot of efforts to divert the obligatory editorial passages (fake funny bio, fake credits, real teasing for fake following tomes), paper that smells good – and the reading is fluid – these clean and colored pages can be read in one go, in a quarter of an hour; in one go, in a quarter of an hour (the book costing fifteen bucks, that’s one bag a minute, more expensive than the Goncourt but less than a buttock session with a pro). The book even contains some attractive ideas in places For example, the peritext claims that we are dealing with an autobiography, but given the content of the story, a blow to Philippe Lejeune’s face, it is clear that we are far from this exercise.
When you leave the book, you have learned absolutely nothing about the life or personality of the author, hardly can you delineate an ethos.
But, as I implied in the intro, the impact of the comic here is quickly limited by what the proposal has already been made by a hundred, if not a thousand, other previous types. The naive drawing, the autofiction, we know, Barte, without surprise, is a disciple of Trondheim. The parody of the zombie genre, it’s the same, we saw Shaun of the Dead, Welcome to Zombieland, and I only quote the two most famous titles – the parody of the zombie genre has almost become a genre in its own right today. And there, it really fails. Barte goes far in the absence of ideas.
We find mechanically all the ingredients of the zombie parody, meta jokes, funny survival guide, wacky defense techniques, joys and sorrows of apocalyptic loneliness… When Barte proposes an original situation, he drops it in the following page, generally to make a gag, like this episode where the hero, disturbed by the tits of the female zombie he is about to dissect, repudiates the said one like an embarrassed one-night stand.
What is then the added value Allan Barte, within the genre ? A certain casualness, that we can’t help but consider at times not as a bias but as the consequence of a soft implication. It is true that sometimes the artist has fun approaching the genre from a pragmatic point of view – the hero is confronted for a moment with the fact that killing zombies, with the blood sprays, is a lot of laundry – but what he does most often, as I said, is to abandon himself without conviction to the convention. I suspect that Allan Barte didn’t set out to change the history of comics when he made this book. But it is obviously given the goal to make laugh.
How can you expect to get good laughs out of material that has already been lying around ? Allan Barte, and we felt that from the A small illustration of Hollywood’s big clichés, the work that made him known, only triggers at best a smile of connivance, like the umpteenth variation of an old meme. In short, this is a little book that defies the barometer of my heart; depending on whether I’m in a bad or good mood, I can find it at worst uninteresting and at best promising.