Olivier Cléro

L'Idole sacrée de l'île Wakata



This is a long story.

I met Joris Chamblain a few years before he became successful in the comic books industry with Les Carnets de Cerise. We were working in summer camps: he was the summer camp director, and I was one of the summer camp leaders. Of course, it was a summer camp about comic books. What do you expect?

He was aleady writing stories and was about to become a profesional, and we decided to try to make a short story together (8 pages) that could fit in le Journal de Spirou. Graphism, tone, length: all was targeted to perfectly fit in my beloved comic books journal.

He imagined L’Idole sacrée de l’île Wakata: a story based on a misunderstanding between pirates and a young man they thought was a billionaire but actually was just a butler. The base story remained the same, but details were changed multiple times. I even met Jean-Claude Fournier, famous for drawing Spirou & Fantasio during the 70s. He gave me some advice about panels clarity and story simplification.

Unfortunately, I got bored of restarting from scratch multiple times, and gave up. On his side, Joris Chamblain had well-deserved success with his other projects and went to other things.


The story-board you see here is the 5th one, after Fournier gave me some advice: less events, less dialogs and shorter ones, less stuff in each panel, etc. Globally I kept the original story though, slightly edited to be more fluid.


I inked almost the whole story, with quill and black China ink, but I only scanned the first two pages. Here they are:


Since I gave up, I never colorized the pages. I made some attempts at choosing a color theme, which I wanted warm and vintage. I used some grain to give texture, because I preferred the colors to be only flat tints. You can also see a reworked version of the first panel, with a fancy title and some even warmer colors.

Final thoughts

I was almost bored of comic books, at that time, because I have drawn this short story five times! I guess I was not ready to become a professional.