Being a taxi driver in New York: a dazzling re-reading of Benoît Cohen’s experience by Christophe Chabouté!

Always in search of subjects which allow him to tickle his inspiration or his imagination, the author of “Pleine Lune”, “Henri Désiré Landru” or “The Beast” – and adapter of “Moby Dick” – (1) found himself totally in the book by Benoît Cohen: a French screenwriter and director living in the United States who has shaken up his daily life, in order to revive his creativity, by becoming a New York taxi driver for a year. The result is a captivating graphic novel, which reads like a thriller, sublimated by a black and white with deep inking giving all the urban dimension of Big Apple!

“Yellow Cab” is therefore the account of the unusual experience of a man who, after seeing films and series for 20 years, makes a new start by moving to the United States to travel around New York City on board. a taxi: he hired one every morning, by the day, as most New York drivers do, then storing up stories and anecdotes.However, before being able to practice in Manhattan, Brooklyn or the Bronx, like the heroine of his next film, our French migrant will first have to pass his license in a school in the depths of Queens: he will learn there the tricks of the trade and will meet many other of his future foreign colleagues, coming from all countries, all in search of a certain American dream …Crossed with cinematographic references and personal memories, this earthy travel story of a taxi driver French to New York, carried by a sense of acute observation and a real talent for directing, is remarkably adapted in comic strip by a sensitive author: Christophe Chabouté, who perfectly transcribes the particular, unusual and frenetic atmosphere of the megalopolis and the narrator’s feelings.We feel that he was particularly stimulated by drawing this city, to the point of making it one of the protagonists of history, with its crowds, its cars, its buildings …: having, for this fact, made a big documentation work. He also completely appropriated the main character, because Christophe found himself, before having fallen in love with this novel, in the same state of mind as Benoit Cohen: “Out of ideas, out of inspiration, empty, tired and dry…”

Finally, without this in any way harming the narration, our talented author alternates different graphic or literary processes (visual sketches, even downright silent, or conversely paved with texts, with breaths thanks to blocks of white or black …) to make the whole original and still tickle the reader a little …

Gilles RATIER

(1) See, for example, on BDzoom.com : A superb artbook for Chabouté …, “Moby Dick: Book 1” by Christophe Chabouté, “A little wood and steel” by Christophe Chabouté, “The Princesses also go to the little corner”, Bitter fables: tiny little things, More BD reads

« Yellow Cab » par Christophe Chabouté, after Benedict Cohen

Vents d’Ouest editions (22 €) – EAN: 978-2-7493-0900-2

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