Seduced by Macron
Mathieu Sapin was allowed to accompany and draw Emmanuel Macron as a reporter in office. Sapin makes comics – and does not spare his heroes or himself. In Germany such a cartoonist of power would be unthinkable.
IIn May 2017, Emmanuel Macron competes against Marine Le Pen on television to become president. Behind the scenes is allowed Mathieu Sapin to be there. The reporter stands around with his pad when Macron greets him, flatters him and gives him a wink. Sapin wonders: “Isn’t that a bit exaggerated?”
Ever since the illustrator published a comic about François Hollande in the Élysée Palace and traveled through Russia with Gérard Depardieu, the French have loved him as Tim, Hergé’s mad reporter, only without a dog. Sapin became too much by itself. He made a feature film about the vine in the palace of the president and planned a historical comic about Jean Racine, the poet and playwright at the court of Louis XIV. Then came Macron.
“French Comedy” heißt der graphic novelthat became of it. In the beginning there was an artist’s reluctance to mirror reality and his ability to be seduced. But the more Sapin resists his own story, the more it pulls him into it.
The German subtitle is: “Travel into the antechamber of power”. While Macron is elected, the draftsman is back with Hollande. The new president wins Sapin by praising him for his Depardieu comic. Sapin feels like Asterix.
The drawing reporter becomes too Jean Racine, his President to the Sun King. Just as Racine impresses the king with his heroic tragedies, Macron seems to be intrigued by Sapin’s funny comics. The heroes become more human and lovable than they are.
Like an embedded reporter, Sapin portrays Macron’s change in power. In Versailles and Verdun, in the onslaught of the yellow vests and between France’s intellectuals whom he invited to his palace. The artist depicts the symbioses: power, spirit and art.
In the end, Sapin meets the president’s wife. She explains to him why Jean Racine went from being a freelance artist to being the king’s clerk at court. “He couldn’t help it,” says Brigitte Macron to Mathieu Sapin.
Mathieu Sapin: French Comedy. Reprodukt, 168 Seiten, 24 Euro.