Le Voeu de Marc
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  • Le Voeu de Marc
  • Lucie Albon and Nicolas Wild
  • Published by: La Boîte à Bulles
  • Level: Beginner
  • First Published in: 2005

Le Voeu de Marc is a graphic novel by Lucie Albon and Nicolas Wild, created in 2005. It follows Marc, a young boy who starts school in a small village.

REVIEW BY Sarah de Latte Book EXPERT
Review posted: 17/12/2013

Le Voeu de Marc is a graphic novel by Lucie Albon and Nicolas Wild, created in 2005. It follows Marc, a young boy who starts school in a small village. The headmaster calls him “le nouveau ” (the newbie) from the moment he enters the establishment, rambling about how women love “feuilletons” (or drama TV shows) when Marc’s mom cannot take her son to school on his first day of classes. Marc later meets Séverine, a girl who seems a little spacey right off the bat. She tells him, “Fais gaffe où tu mets tes pieds” (Watch where you step) when he stumbles onto her chalk drawings. Marc wants to make friends, so he approaches Séverine with very formal language, “J’espère que nous serons amis” (I do hope we will be friends), to which she formally responds, “Pourquoi veut-tu être mon ami?” (Why would you want to be my friend?). This formality establishes an amusing level of self-referential humor.

"An amusing level of self-referential humor."

A group of bullies blackmail Marc into social acceptance, formally declaring, “Allez quoi fais un effort d’integration,” a dry, self-referential way of saying: “Follow our ways and we’ll include you.” When he doesn’t join them, they call him “trisonomique,” which basically means “mentally retarded,” and tell him not to be a “cafteur ,” or “telltale.” Later, when hiding from a fire drill, Marc and the bullies explore the sewers. The bullies insult him again, telling him “fais pas ta fillette” (don’t act like a girl), “minus” (little one), and “chtabés” (crazy).

Marc runs off on his own, gets lost, and is bitten by a rat. Then, he finds a magic lamp (in this world, a flashlight), rubs it, and, upon seeing a genie, exclaims, “Fichtre!!” This is an outdated expression of surprise, similar to “Gosh.” This old-fashioned language might emphasize that Marc is from a small village. At any rate, he convinces the genie to give him unlimited wishes, or else he’ll tell everyone that the genie offered him sweets (“tu m’as propose un bonbon”), which is basically an accusation of pedophilia. Marc goes back to class, craves chocolate, and wishes he had a Mars bar. A little dwarf pops up with one: “Je suis ton envie d’un Mars bar,” says the dwarf, before reading the ingredients on the back of the chocolate packet in several European languages.

There are references to other stories with dwarves in this comic. Marc apparently wishes for a lot of things at school, because, upon coming back home, he is followed by a mass of dwarves singing, “Ého! Ého! On rentre du boulot ,” a French version of the famous dwarves’ song in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. When he collapses on his bed, tired of the mess he’s gotten himself into, he asks the dwarves to leave and calls them “Schtroumpfs,” referencing the Belgian comic Les Schtroumpfs , or The Smurfs in English. In the end, Séverine discovers the magical flashlight and Marc gets a break from his wishes. Since Séverine is a bit crazy, all she obsesses over is lady bugs, and she only asks for one wish. The gnome that appears comically exclaims, “Je vais m’emmerder ici,” a rude way of saying that he is going to get bored of existing by himself.



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