This one will be of particular interest for my readers who have in interest in the Lao diaspora that found its way to France.
Un Million D’Elephants tells the story of one family in Laos from the 1930s to the early years of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 1975. Presently there isn’t an English translation available, but it might be one of the key introductions to her imaginative work.
Born in France in October 8, 1979 as Vanyda Savatier, she’s part of the French comics new wave or La nouvelle manga.
Vanyda graduated from the Beaux Arts in Tournai (Belgium). While there, she formed with friends the company Bom Bom Productions which released the first chapters of The Building Opposite in its fanzine PoRoPhore. Since college, she has pursued her vocation and released a number of award winning books including the series The Year Of The Dragon (Carabas) scripted by F. Duprat.
Vanyda’s first collection, The Building Opposite (‘l’immeuble d’en face’), premiered in 2005 at the Angoulême International Comics Festival and was ranked Manga of the year 2006 by Publishers Weekly.
Jean David Moran summarized the plot of The Building Opposite remarking: “A pregnant single mother lives on the second floor of the building opposite. A middle-aged couple lives on the third floor. And on the fourth are two young lovers, Claire and Louis. A building like so many others, where people cross on the stairs, are good neighbours and each have their own story – romantic or painful. As with some mangas, the stories concern everyday life but, in this case they occur closer to home. Everything is treated with such graciousness that we comprehend almost immediately that which is only a suggestion.”
Be sure to keep an eye out for more of her work in the future!