The dream life of a butterfly, after the book and the film, the comic book published by la Boite à Bulles on May 16, 2024

Everyone knows the movie with Steve McQueen in Henri Charrièrelocked in the crates of Cayenne in Guyanavictim of the worst abuse but eager to escape at all costs. Butterfly is his nickname, due to his tattoo on his chest, and his character is inflexible. The drawings made in Indian ink in black and white are incredible, they alternate with no less magnificent color plates made on brown paper, with whites, blues and colors which contrast with the raw material. The friend ofHenry, Louislooks a lot like the actor who played him in the 1973 film, Dustin Hoffman. Rich and with his money hidden in his behind, he sells protection forHenry to escape an inevitable villainous assassination intended to get his hands on his money. The story is known, hostile conditions, torrid heat, guards with very little humanity, devastating illnesses, the place is a permanent danger and very few escape. Through stubbornness, Butterfly fled and made a book of his unusual story. The comic is formally magnificent and reads avidly. Unlike the film, the comic tells the story after escape and the resolution to write one’s story, enough to open the story and go beyond the prison cells to taste a little of the flavor of freedom in the company ofHenri Charrière, up to the evocation of dazzling literary success. World tours and public recognition, until meeting the jet set, Johnny Halliday, John Lennon, and the public backlash, with critics questioning his sincerity… inevitable. The story is beautiful, a comic book to absolutely read! The ending is terse, Henri Charrière will die on the day of the film’s premiere Butterfly. He was 66 years old. The circle was closed.


Papillon was a book and then a film with global success… but who really was Henri Charrière, this former convict who became famous by writing the epic story of his life?

In the 1930s, Henri Charrière known as “Papillon” was sent for life to the penal colony of Guyana. He finally escapes after thirteen years of hell. He settles in Caracas and lives on schemes while telling the more or less fantasized story of his life to everyone he meets. In the 1950s, he set up a nightclub and became a locally influential man. An earthquake causes him to lose everything. Idle, he learns of the literary success of Albertine Sarrazin with “L’Astragale”, a story of escape. In one go, he wrote “Papillon”, sent the manuscript to the publisher Robert Laffont who edited it. Papillon became an editorial phenomenon with more than 15 million copies sold. The success is worldwide, Henri Charrière has the entire planet as his audience.

His book was adapted into a film starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. The film was released in New York the day after his death… A biography of Henri Charrière to tell the story of the man behind the myth he built for himself…

Editor: The Bubble Box

Author: Sylvère Denné, Sophie Ladame

Number of pages / Price: 128 pages, 22 euros



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