[File] 32 : Comic Books, a gateway to enhanced Imagination

[File] 32 : Comic Books, a gateway to enhanced Imagination

Marion Montaigne immediately replied positively to the invitation to come to the Compiegne CyberBulle festival, with its inter-active features and all the more so because she likes the city ... so how could she say 'no'? "Working with digital media allows you to free yourself from the occasionally corseted format of classic festivals", says an enthusiastic author-illustrator, who from her childhood days has always taken passionately the marriage between writing ad drawing. "In a sense, that is how I express myself. I am also enthralled by science; there is no stopping me from learning more and being impressed by scientific discoveries, that transcend the bounds of fiction", she explains. Through her drawings and texts, expressive and portraying movement brilliantly, she delivers real scientific lessons on a humoristic tone: do you know the different psychic states of an astronaut? They are explained in detail and with a touch of irony on her blog home-page*. Three volume of her BDs have been edited since she started working via Internet. "You'll die less stupid" with the subtitle "But you will die, for sure".

Stage setting science

"Science provides intelligent answers to concrete questions. I have a soft spot for biology, which explains in simple terms how the human body works, no frills, no small talk, nothing but the truth", adds Marion Montaigne defensively. Her drawing talents serve the same vision, rough-shod but always exact and funny. The reason is that we have an author here who invests in studies, each page is researched and the bibliography used appended to Professor Moustache's adventures. "A comic book gives you an image, a stage setting for science. When a research scientists explains his work to me, I visualize it to take it in and get to grips with the technical contents. It my way of making science less intimidating, more accessible, for example with white blood cells use familiar terminology and look like policemen and not graphics in a PowerPoint® display. This way my readers can access and integrate the message", stresses Marion Montaigne. The question is: how do scientists see this popularization which is set in a format very distant from the usual scientific paper conventions? "They are in fact forgiving and indeed see the advantages in the interest that their work can raise and that my role, my personal fascination, come with good intentions. They understand that under certain circumstances, it is better to approximate rather than get lost in long explanations. If my drawings give the readers the urge to learn more, then it makes my day!"

"It has to be visual"

Many teachers ask for permission to use Marion's BDs in their lessons. Marion - who for moment kindly refuses the request for an autopsy - spends time with research scientists, gradually building up her knowledge of entomology, astrophysics, medicine, biomechanical engineering ... "The word is out that I should do more physics, more mathematics. But it has to be visual. I myself have to see the potential for a joke and how I can stretch the subject to please my own instinct. And sometimes, I see absolutely nothing!" For the past 12 years, her drawings have gained in notoriety. She started with a blog, the success of which depends on the public buzz and Internet. Marion today is now trying her hand at cartoon films; the first one is under wraps on the drawing board and will be produced end 2015. During the CyberBulles Festival Marion intends to meet UTC research scientists!

Marion Montaigne, popular, uninhibited artist