Author brings comic clarity to serious science

Marion Montaigne uses comic books to address weighty matters for her teenage readership

The annual Festival International de la Bande Dessinée in Angloulême, which has been running since 1974, is the biggest comic strip festival in France. The next festival will run from 25-28 January 2018 and as well as highlighting Japanese artists, will also spotlight the work of Marion Montaigne, who won the festival’s Prix du Public Cultura in 2013.

She is best known for her Tu Mourras Moins Bête series, in which Professeur Moustache and his assistant Nathanaël answer science questions purportedly sent in by confused students. Questions include “What would happen if I swallowed a spider in my sleep?” and “What would happen if I jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge?” The style is resolutely raucous but the science is completely accurate, making the series beloved by parents, students and teachers alike. It started in 2008 as a blog, became a series of printed comic strip books in 2011 and since 2016 has appeared as short animated films on TV channel ARTE.

She says that although in the past comic strips used to be male dominated, more women are drawing them now. “I think it was ...

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