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Wereth Massacre Subject of the new "Airborne 44" comic

Toothbrush, hair dryer, pen or brush - all of this is part of Philippe Jarbinet's inventory. The comic artist, who lives in Verviers, is about to complete the ninth volume of his “Airborne 44” series. In this, he repeatedly addresses various episodes from the Second World War. “Some of the Airborne stories are flashbacks. I show a situation that arouses curiosity, that also makes me curious. And then I ask myself how did I get here. Who do you see on the page, where are you? I enjoy creating a story, I really like that. "

"Black Boys" is the title of the new comic. On the one hand there is the 551st Parachute Infantry Regiment, on the other hand there are the eleven Afro-American soldiers who were tortured and executed by the SS on December 17, 1944 in Wereth. “I've wanted to work on the history of the 551st Regiment for three years. And I've wanted to work on the blacks who were killed in Wereth for twelve years, ”says Jarbinet. “So I wanted to bring the two stories together, knowing that there are two entities that were martyred here. The second reason I was interested was that it was local. "

The stories are set very close by, namely in Wereth and Rochelinval near Trois-Ponts. The direct reference is to the 55-year-old draftsman, even if the research this time was somewhat limited by Corona. Nevertheless, Philippe Jarbinet has based himself on various sources in order to, among other things, retell the story of the eleven African American soldiers killed.

For Philippe Jarbinet, the thematic selection is always a means of drawing parallels with today's society. “I and many others were upset by the unrestrained racism under President Trump. In my opinion, this was really a moment to make some kind of statement. I've never done a comic that wasn't related to current events in a certain way. "

In previous comics, for example, it was financial crises that linked the past and the now. Now it is the story of the Wereth massacre that aims to stimulate thought about racism in today's society. Historical precision plays a large and important role for the comic artist. For Philippe Jarbinet, this precision goes down to the last detail. “The only thing that is different is that there were certain parts of the uniform that were a certain color. But I haven't colored that yet. But I mustn't forget that, because if I forget, the people who are familiar with uniforms will notice it right away. "

In April 2021 "Black Boys" should appear. There will also be a tenth volume of “Airborne 44”. This was announced for 2022.

vedia / al