The latest Michel Vaillant book was launched at Grand Lapa Hotel Thursday. The author, Philippe Graton, and illustrator, Benjamin Benéteau, attended the event and unveiled Vaillant’s latest adventure where he makes his second appearance in Macau. This is also the seventh episode of the new edition of Vaillant stories.
Michel Vaillant was created in 1957 by the French author Jean Graton and continued by his son Philippe. The Adventures of Michel Vaillant represents a unique work in the history of comic strips and motorsports.
“Its well-crafted narratives stand up for the fundamental sporting values that have survived all the different trends, and its realistic drawings constitute an exceptional encyclopaedia of 60 years of motor racing”, according to a statement by the organiser of the book launch, the Macau Closer magazine.
The statement points out that “even though the Adventures of Michel Vaillant are all fiction, they invite the reader into the real world of motorsports by making this imaginary hero live and compete side by side with the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher or Dan Gurney, who once stated that ‘inclusion in one of Graton’s novels is considered the highest recognition for a professional racing driver’.”
During Thursday’s book launch, The Macau Post Daily spoke with Graton, asking him why he started a new edition of Michel Vaillant stories. Graton replied, “I stopped the stories of Michel Vaillant and started a new season of Michel Vaillant five years ago with a new number-one series and the Michel Vaillant Macau is the seventh episode. I wanted to do that because I wanted to put this graphic novel into modernity and into the 21st century. “
Graton added, “The readers are no longer the same as in the 1950s or 60s. The readers have now grown up and are more intelligent than before, they know more things and have been following TV series with very strong scenarios, and very strong characters, with deeper psychology of the characters. In the past, the stories were about the good people, doing everything well, against the bad people, who are really bad. It is not the case anymore. We now try to go deeper into the psychology of the characters with many stories to tell about the Vaillant car brand. As an example, what is happening with the company and with the industry, about new technologies and financial interest. Also Vaillant is not a single role, he has a family around him. It is very rare with comic heroes, but Vaillant has a father, mother, brother, wife, and a child. We also tell the stories about what happens inside the family. I wanted to develop all this new access of the series so it needed to be stopped and started again because it was too different. “
The novel is available in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional characters), French, and Portuguese. Other translations are set to follow.
The book launch coincided with Thursday’s start of the 65th Macau Grand Prix.