When family of “the little hen” widens

“At the origins of youth characters” (3/5). After the success of their first album, published in 2000, Christian Jolibois and Christian Heinrich transform the adventure of their intrepid Gallinacé into a series.


At the start, there was only one female gallinaceous. In 2000, Christian Heinrich, in drawing, and Christian Jolibois, in the script, laid the little hen who wanted to see the sea, first in play, then in book (at Pocket Jeunesse, like all the others). Christian Jolibois, son of a peasant, explains to the world how he came the idea of ​​telling Carmela’s journey to America, where she meets her piticok: “Like Christian Heinrich, I grew up among the hens. So this animal Imposed itself on itself. The desire to see the sea is also a little me: I only discovered it at the age of 14. What I wanted to do in this first story , it is contradicting the saying claiming that curiosity is an ugly defect. “

After the success of this album, Pocket invites them to expand the family. A year and a half later begins the series “The little hens”, which focuses on Carmelita’s children: Carmen and Carmelito. Over the adventures, readers also meet their Coquenpâte, Liverpoul and Coquillette companions. The multiple puns and references invite a double reading: “We must not forget that children love to read the same story several times, sometimes to the chagrin of parents. The winks that are addressed to keep a form jubilation among the older ones. “And that hit the bull’s eye: the albums total, according to their editor, Valentine Lenglet, the 5.7 million copies sold.

” Cooking time “

When it comes to describing their recipe, Christian Heinrich compares it to “a time of cooking which spans four meetings, where everyone plays the opponent of the other in a part of incessant ping-pong” . These moments of complicity, which precede seven months of work during which each one works at their table, allow to push the story in his entrenchments, as Christian Jolibois tells: “I remember having first imagined a square chicken coop, as In my childhood, while Christian introduced me to the boards of a round chicken coop like a huge egg. And there I exclaimed: “But yes, of course!” “Christian Heinrich adds:” What to do well Understanding is that the language we defend is neither the text nor the image, but the story. “

History yes, history too. Because the wanderings of the small hens lead them to cross the road to many historical or legendary celebrities: Christophe Columbus, Galileo, but also Gargantua or the Botté cat … The style must adapt: ​​”We mix apparently incompatible graphics which require, in General, one day of work by page: painted acrylic on traditional paper, with a few digital retouching, the cartoon characters evolve in very elaborate realistic sets “, explains Christian Heinrich. This allows him to reconnect with the documentary drawing by which he formed, and which he had to detach himself: “We had to take on me to succeed in modeling these small hens. Little by little, the feathers have become fingers, and the wings of the arms. It took a very long time to transform them into comic characters. “

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/Media reports.