CHRISTOPHER A LONG - Chroniques de l'Armoire Temporelle

Les Chroniques de l'Armoire Temporelle

Tales From The Magic Wardrobe
June – December 2007

By Christopher Long

The Idea...

In June 2007, at a supper party at Le Bosquet, Pont-Farcy, in Normandy, the revellers included the artist 'Moloch' (Michel Clatigny), the strip-cartoon enthusiast Guillaume Bourrel, myself and our wives and various children. As the calvados circulated, it was suggested that the cartoon format [bandes-dessinées] would be an ideal way of explaining local history to children and also, if translated, to English-speaking settlers and visitors.

Within weeks Guillaume Bourrel had spurred Moloch into action and, with the untiring help of our mutual friend Georges de Coupigny, a pilot project was under way.

Les Déboires d'Olivier Basselin

In July 2007 Moloch organised a photo-shoot at the manor house in Coupigny and very soon the first three experimental pages of Les Déboires d'Olivier Basslin [The Trials of Olivier Basselin] emerged in French and English language versions.

Above right: A scene from Moloch's Les Déboires d'Olivier Basselin, involving three of the founding partners: Guillaume Bourrel, Georges de Coupigny and Christopher Long.

The concept seemed to work. It involved telling true and historically accurate stories by travelling back in time in a magic wardrobe. Present day scenes are pictured in photographs, dissolving into hand-drawn illustrations as we move into the past.

Le Filigrane du Rat

On 7 December 2007, with the support of a number of local organisations, including 'Tourism en Bocage Virois', the first episode of the first real story – Le Filigrane du Rat – appeared in a centre-spread supplement in the newspaper La Voix le Bocage.

Right: Molloch's 'Rat' – not too unattractive here but his relatives had catastrophic effects in Normandy in the mid-C17th, as revealed in Le Filigrane du Rat.

Le Filigrane du Rat [The Mark of The Rat], concerns C17th Normandy at the time of the plague, a period which also saw the emergence of the region's famous paper-making industry. The story involves a 'Monsieur Georges' (played by Georges de Coupigny) and, of course, his magic time-travelling wardrobe.

In this story – the first in a planned series – he takes Sarah Rundle (played by Sarah Long) to Vire, in February 1652, where she discovers the truth about a mysterious document found among her uncle's belongings in England.

Here she comes face to face with her ancestor Germain Rondel and meets the plague battling rat-master (played by Guillaume Bourrel). But apart from the effects of the plague, she discovers that the excellent paper made in mills in the Bocage Virois, by men such as Germain Rondel, did indeed reach England and was exported throughout Europe, as far as Moscow.

Le Filgrane du Rat in La Voix le Bocage had a very enthusiastic reception and so we hope that further Chroniques will appear, featuring other tales from local history, and that they will duly be published in French and English in print and/or in web format.

Right: Moloch's Master Ratter in Le Filigrane du Rat bears an uncanny resemblance to Landelles pharmacist, Guillaume Bourrel.

Below: The experimental first three pages of Moloch's Les Déboires d'Olivier Basselin. This was a pilot project used to encourage support for the full-blown published story Le Filigrane du Rat. In these images appear Georges de Coupigny (master of the time-travelling magic wardrobe), Guillaume Bourrel his naive apprentice and Christopher Long (a menacing C17th sentinal).

Below: The three episodes of Le Filigrane du Rat, translated into English as The Mark of The Rat. The full story appeared in French as a centre page supplement in the newpaper La Voix Le Bocage on the 7th, 14th and 21st December 2007, thanks to support from local organisations such as 'Tourism en Bocage Virois' with Leader+ european funding.

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All the images on this page are the copyright, © 2007, of the artist 'Moloch' and variously of the sponsors and publishers of Les Chroniques de l'Armoire Temporelle. No reproduction of any of these images is permitted without permission of the artist or publisher.

© (2007) Christopher Long. Copyright, Syndication & All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
The text and graphical content of this and linked documents are the copyright of their author and or creator and site designer, Christopher Long, unless otherwise stated. No publication, reproduction or exploitation of this material may be made in any form prior to clear written agreement of terms with the author or his agents.

Christopher Long

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