How I helped Jolyon Wagg catch his bus in front of the Eiffel Tower

Flinflins Dame de fer lo

Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene, founders of Sketchbook Skool, have asked me to join their Fakulty to teach an art klass on Storytelling (Oh…Yes, this is the proper spelling of “class” at Sketchbook Skool) among other outstanding artists I’m so proud to join.
If you’ve never heard of Sketchbook Skool, I urge you to have a look at it on their blog. It’s an amazing online video-based art school and global community dedicated to teaching and inspiring people to tell their stories through illustrated journaling.
It’s a fast growing community with more than 5 000 registered students and a fabulous experience every people who like drawing, beginners as experienced artists, should take once in his life.

Among many other things, I gave an online demo in my klass (thru an amazing video shooting) on how to create a cover for a great book. And of course, I decided to draw a Flinflin Album cover.

Surprisingly, though we spend most of our time living in Paris, I never did a Flinflin cover on Paris, until now. Probably because our Parisian life is our daily routine, I suppose. So I decided this course was a great opportunity to craft a special tribute to this enchanted city we never stopped loving.
I did first a quick sketch, trying to elaborate an image that could best figure Paris in everybody’s mind.

Flinflins Dame de fer Sketch
Of course, the most representative element of the City of Light is undoubtedly the Eiffel Tower. While it is mostly shown far on the horizon in one full piece, I thought, on the contrary, it would be better to take a closer view to make people realize how gigantic it is.
3 other obvious significant elements should be found: Haussmann buildings with their highly recognizable zinc roofs, a ‘Colonne Morris’, so typical of this city, displaying a poster on the next opera sung by Bianca Castafiore and… Paris traffic jam.
Since we are a large family I decided to show all the Flinflins characters on the rear platform of a bus, rather than in a car, to be sure everyone can be seen. Unfortunately, those platform buses are no longer in service. However, sometimes you can see some of them popping up here and there for a private party, or chartered for tourists.
Oh yes, tourists…! All along the year, lots of tourists are coming to Paris, which makes it the 1st touristic city in the world. They are all nice tourists with the exception of …French tourists, often unsatisfied and grumpy. So what if we showed one of these evil pupils? We all know these evil pupils who are noisy, speak loudly, are always late and make terrible jokes.
This is how Jolyon Wagg (Seraphin Lampion), the absolute archetype of the annoying guy came as a central piece of this drawing.
Let’s assume he was buying one of those horrible Eiffel Towers in a snowy ball, didn’t notice his group has boarded on the bus, and has just left without him. So he’s running after the bus trying to catch him, crossing the road without paying attention to the incoming traffic, causing the Thompson and Thompson to stop abruptly their old Citroën 2CV.
They popped out of their car, expressing what’s in their mind in a typical Parisian gesture.

Flinflins Dame de Fer esquisse Grise 001

At the end of the drawing, the facade of the building looked a little empty. So I added Captain Haddock roaring at the window, and a policeman on duty in the left corner because remembering the old Parisian adage that where there is a traffic jam, you should necessarily look for the cop around. ;-)

7 thoughts on “How I helped Jolyon Wagg catch his bus in front of the Eiffel Tower

  1. You are too kind, I would have left him behind, I probably wouldn’t have but I can imagine the ear bashing (him talking at you , not to you) for the next fifteen minutes about how the shop keeper selling him the snow dome delayed him, and how he couldn’t choose between the blue sky background snow dome or the one with the green eiffel tower…….. Well done (as usual)

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