A new series launched on the rails of historical comics! Between an intrigue that promises to be the most gripping and a quality graphics that will delight railway enthusiasts, this new comic plunges the reader into the heart of the turmoil, caught between the convoys of refugees and the French troops who are trying to stop the inexorable advance of the German panzers which rush on Sedan. Launched in a great quest for identity, the tumultuous Julie will lead Vilmot, the railway worker, into the mouth of the wolf.
But 1940, as General Guderian's German panzers crossed the Ardennes, three railway workers drove their old locomotive to Sedan. It is there that the war catches up with them, under the howls of the sirens of Stukas which bombard the station and the trains which try somehow to bring soldiers and supplies to the front line while evacuating the civilians towards the interior. from the country. It was also in this city, which was about to experience its third German occupation since 1870, that they met Julie. Orphan raised by the sisters, Julie is a young woman with strong character, Sedan who fought in Spain in the International Brigades, reconverted in the burglary of the Parisian suburbs, recently returned to her hometown until she found herself forced to flee ... Among the railway workers who willy-nilly take it under their wing: Lefèvre the veteran sanguine communist of Verdun, Méhu the youngster who has a crush on the savage, and finally Vilmot the mecru (road mechanic) tormented between his will to do the best and the prudence that he is constantly criticized. But in these dramatic hours, the ghosts of the past resurface and Julie will lead the railway workers on a perilous return to Sedan in search of a hypothetical father. At the same time, a German officer with a scarred face rushes towards Sedan with the firm intention of settling a few personal accounts that have been outstanding since 1918 ...
"A train for Sedan" being the first volume of the saga "Les Combattants du rail", time is taken to pose the main characters and the double intrigue which forms the scenario: on the one hand a German officer in search of revenge, and on the other hand, Julie's quest for identity and her association with Vilmot, which is gradually taking the path of active resistance. So, from this first volume, we can feel the seeds of a great adventure that promises to be rich in action and twists! This scenario is of course a fiction, however it has the great merit of evoking the employees of the SNCF during the Second World War: their dangerous service to supply the army or evacuate civilians, but also their active participation in the resistance. The choice of this theme seems to us the most judicious to counterbalance a little in the collective memory the image of the railway employees, tarnished by their participation in the deportation during the "terrible" and "fatal" moments (for
to use the words of Guillaume Pepy, president of the SNCF) of the occupation. In a way, this comic also reminds us that the railway workers were not only collaboration (voluntary or constrained), but it was also an environment which, rich in its union culture, knew how to set up cells of resistance and put obstacles in the way of the German invader.
The level of language and the drawing are realistic. Indeed from a graphic point of view no worries to recognize certain weapons and vehicles, whether planes or, of course, locomotives! Train enthusiasts will enjoy finding some old machines like the Mountain EST. 241. The latter risk clenching their teeth when they see the bombers dive into the beautiful steam locomotive… Nicolas Caniaux's coloring perfectly supports this realism which emerges from Cédric Hervan's drawing for a very beautiful rendering, especially for the scenes nocturnal lit by fire or the pale light of the moon.
To conclude, we have a new series that starts off on the right foot by taking the time to pose a compelling storyline with tormented characters just waiting to assert themselves and evolve from volume to volume. We also have a quality design that should satisfy railroaders. The fact that this comic has all the cards in hand to revive the memory of the rail fighters, perhaps more effectively today than the war memorials and commemorative plaques in front of which hundreds of travelers pass daily in the city. general indifference ...
Screenplay: Thierry Lamy
Drawings: Cédric Hervan
Colors: Nicolas Caniaux
- A train to Sedan