Tom Tirabosco goes wild in an ode to nature

Tom Tirabosco goes wild in an ode to nature

Published today at 9:16 a.m.

Through his practice of drawing, Tom Tirabosco likes to run wild. Not inclined to repeat himself, he intends to allow himself the freedom to evolve graphically throughout his projects. “Move, hybridize,” as he recently confided at the BDFIL festival, during a long public interview. At the time when “L’oeil de la forêt”, his first important album, reappears, more than twenty years later, the contrast appears striking with “Terra animalia”, published these days by the Genevans of La Joie de lire.

In this new opus inviting the reader to reconnect with a way of life more in tune with the plant and wild species that surround him, Tirabosco abandons the subtle charcoal nuances of his previous works. Most often far from his monotype technique, he experiments with new know-how, where watercolor pencils and digital coloring are essential.

The deserted land

“I wanted an ode to nature, all in color after many black and white books with a rather dark tone,” confides the person concerned about a science fiction story set in a very distant future. Coming from the planet Mars, a man and a woman crashed on an Earth that had been deserted for millennia, and which animals have reclaimed. The latter hardly appreciate the return of humans whose yoke they have suffered for so long…

Geared towards the general public, this story featuring a young female wild dog as well as an eminently sociable dolphin or a large lizard with a strong tongue was co-written with Patrick Mallet, a Genevan cartoonist based in Paris. “I had wanted to collaborate with him for a long time, particularly because of his ability to write excellent dialogue. But for our association to work, he had to leave me a little space. I wanted to put my two cents into this scenario, born in particular from my reading of different books by Baptiste Morizot.

The cover of “Terra animalia”.

Champion of the concept of “living”, the French philosopher has written several works in line with those of anthropologists Bruno Latour and Philippe Descola, also authors at Tirabosco’s bedside at the moment. His work defends the possibility of establishing a form of diplomacy between humans and non-humans, refuting the idea that the only possible relationship with the living world is a balance of power.

“For Morizot, relationships with animals can be based on exchange and cohabitation. “Terra animalia” evokes this theme. Nyelle, the female wild dog at the center of this album, approaches humans from the stars. The chances of survival of these scientists disembarked from the planet Mars appear almost zero. And if the only way out was to agree to change… A bit like Tirabosco himself.

“Terra animalia”, by Tom Tirabosco and Patrick Mallet. Ed. The joy of reading. “The Eye of the Forest”, by Tom Tirabosco. Ed. Drawing Arts, 80 p. Expo at the Tiramisu gallery, Carouge, from May 25 to June 6.


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Philippe Muri is a journalist, co-responsible for the cultural section. It covers in particular comics and cultural outings. He also worked as a sports journalist or editor at the daily newspapers “Le Matin” and “Le Temps”, as well as the weekly “L’Illustré”. More informations @phimuri

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