“Putin’s Fortune”, the golden angle of the comic strip by two Bretons

“Putin’s Fortune”, the golden angle of the comic strip by two Bretons
“Putin’s Fortune”, the golden angle of the comic strip by two Bretons

They see Vladimir Putin as a mafia boss rather than a politician and this is not the least of the originalities of their joint work. The Brest illustrator Gildas Java and the historian and intelligence specialist Yvonnick Denoël (“The Black Book of the CIA”, “The Vatican Spies”, etc.), of largely Breton origins, joined their talents for the graphic novel “Putin’s Fortune”. “The Breton mafia again! », they laugh.

“I had this idea for quite some time: the subject was rarely discussed by the Western press,” says Denoël, who spoke with “former Russian intelligence personnel from the 1990s and 2000s. But I had other projects at the end of the 2000s. When the war in Ukraine broke out, I bit my fingers until they bled. To reach a wide audience, I said to myself: why not a graphic novel? We were put in touch. Gildas immediately understood this noir novel side.”

“We had to enter into privacy”

All that remained was to create together. “I didn’t want to do something too educational, a text cut into small boxes, redundancies with the drawings. It was necessary to show rather than tell and enter into intimacy, knit several threads,” continues Denoël. One of the new pieces of information claimed in the book is “this meeting of the KGB, at the beginning, in Saint Petersburg, which intends to survive itself. This will make Putin an heir somewhat by chance.”

We quickly see this mafia side and politics comes in the background. We even smile sometimes, in the face of so much cynicism

The Brestois’ line is fine. The Russian leader’s face is getting duller over the years. Shadows run across faces in warm or cold, but dark atmospheres. The cover is striking, depicting Putin’s chilling and penetrating gaze. “We very quickly see this mafia side and politics comes in the background. We see the rise, under Yeltsin, of this man who seized a moment in history with great coldness, calculation, opportunism, brutality,” insists Java. “We even smile sometimes, in the face of so much cynicism and it’s so big. Like the meeting with the oligarchs, when he decides to grant himself 50% of their fortune! “.

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The comic strip “La Fortune de Poutine”, published by Nouveau Monde, by Gildas Java and Yvonnick Denoël. (Editions Nouveau Monde Graphic)

“Corruption, economic predation…”

That of the Russian leader is sometimes estimated at around 250 billion euros. “It may have fallen since the economic sanctions but that does not take into account the fact that the State pays for a lot of things,” according to Yvonnick Denoël. “Elon Musk said that Putin is much richer than him,” adds Gildas Java.“Behind the facade of national greatness, there is corruption, economic predation, colossal sums! », summarizes Denoël. A curious mania among dictators…

Practical

“Putin’s Fortune”, 128 pages, €22.90, by Gildas Java and Yvonnick Denoël, published by Nouveau Monde. Released Wednesday May 15, 2024.

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