HEADLINER

Publisher Drakoo
Publication Date 29 September 2021

Comic Books and Graphic Novels

THE WHITE WHALE OF THE DEAD SEAS

An eco-fantasy graphic novel translated into two languages that has sold 5,500 copies in France. 

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The White Whale of the Dead Seas is a dystopic fantasy about the disappearance of the oceans. Its ecology focused story and poetic universe make it stand out from other post-apocalyptic graphic novels.

 
In a land parched by climate change, the oceans have disappeared, but they have come back to haunt the human race which is responsible for all the destruction. The phenomena known as high tides–the vengeful specters of marine animals–rip out the souls of any humans they touch. Among them is the White Whale who swims in the heart of Paris and embodies the power of all the oceans. Two human protagonists confront it: Chrysaora, a young woman who dances with jellyfish, and Bengal, a man with strange powers and whom the spirits seem to fear. It is their encounter with a community of humans who have taken refuge in the ruins of the Opéra Garnier that is at the heart of this story.
 
"The disappearance of the oceans is a very important and universal theme. Far too many graphic novel projects feature run-of-the-mill post-apocalyptic universes. I turned down a lot of them before choosing this one because it's a work whose originality and poetic dimension make it stand-out," explains Catherine Cropsal, Head of Rights at Drakoo.
 
This poetic dimension comes not only from the writing, but also Olivier Boiscommun graphic style, His watercolors accentuate the chiaroscuro aspect of the story: "There are abyssal scenes illustrated in dark blue tones. But also pages in very bright green-yellow hues. The White Whale is both frightening and extremely beautiful, and we wanted to embody these two dimensions," explains Aurélie Wellenstein, author of several novels devoted to ecology and animal rights. Two causes to which she has been committed for a long time.
 
"I wanted to give a voice to those who don't have one. Using the animals' point of view is a way to empathize with them and illustrate what human behavior has done to them."
A gamble that has paid off. 5,500 copies have been sold in France and the voice is also being carried abroad: so far, The White Whale of the Dead Seas has been published in Italian (press) and in Dutch.
 
Katja Petrovic 
December 2023