Benjamin Rabier’s Bullets

Antoine Sausverd of Töpfferiana has a very interesting post on a pair of strips by Benjamin Rabier which appear to have been influenced by Peter Newell: “Trajectoire,” a single-page story from La Jeunesse illustrée (no. 700, 11 February 1917) follows the route of a bullet through twelve panels.

Even more interesting, and much more stylish, is the use of the same idea in two facing pages (36-37) of the previous year’s album Flambeau Chien de guerre (Tallandier, 1916):

rabier2

There can be little doubt that these were influence by Peter Newell’s Hole Book (1908) and Rocket Book (1912); and how could Rabier have come to know of these books? Probably through Alfred Z. Baker who, after eloping with Newell’s daughter to France, contributed to the same children’s magazine Rabier was working for, La jeunesse illustrée, a series of “Images à renversement” in 1906-07.

Another essential post on Rabier’s use of formal constraints in his strips (his “expériences oubapiennes” as Sausverd calls them).

To celebrate this finding I have added a gallery to nonsenselit.org reproducing the whole Torn Book, another toy book published by Baker in 1913. In this one, part of each page is torn, showing a portion of the image on the next page, which completes the picture

tornbook

Rabier’s Flambeau, chien de guerre is available in full at Gallica.

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