You don’t have to be able to read French to enjoy Marvano’s Grand Prix series of graphic novels. These images speak for themselves and should probably work their way onto your bookshelf. I’m afraid I suffer from that dreaded affliction of believing that color was invented somewhere around 1959 so seeing the vibrance in these renderings of the French Gran Prix and Tripoli Grand Prix and Brooklands is a wonderful treat.
Marvano’s vibrant and wonderfully realized ligne claire illustrations naturally bring to mind fellow Belgian Hergé and—like Hergé’s Tintin–the characters surrounding the Silver Arrows in the 1930’s take us to marvelously exotic locations and stirring drama. And that’s all without being able to read a word of it. Reviews say, and Marzano appears to have confirmed, that while the people and locations are true, the story is somewhat fictionalized. As the author puts it: “The ingredients are historical but the dishes are fictitious.”
I suspect that this doesn’t diminish the work in the slightest but race historians may cry fowl as they see cars that crashed out early in Avus continuing to circle the track. I will not be among them and quite enjoyed the first volume of the three part series, which is currently available on Amazon (Grand prix, Tome 1 : Renaissance) with a forward by Jackie Ickx.
Here’s an interview with Marvano on the work.
It’s become a bit of a tradition here to feature some of Stefan Marjoram’s sketches in the days following the Goodwood Revival. I just popped over to his sketch blog to see if he made the rounds this year.
Did he ever.
The volume of amazing racers at Goodwood might prove overwhelming for anyone; particularly for someone trying to take it all in. The temptation to take a few quick snapshots and run to the next GTO or GT40 or insert-amazingly-iconic-racecar-name-here, must be strong indeed. That’s why I so appreciate Stefan’s patience to sit down for 10 or 15 or 30 minutes and focus on a single machine from a single view and pull out a sketchbook.
Click on through for more of Stefan Marjoram’s Silver Arrows studies.
Now I feel a bit better about my use of starter fluid. It must not be the crutch I thought it was if it’s good enough for a Silver Arrow at this year’s Goodwood Revival.