The occasion for Cyrrus was a request of the
brothers Pasamonik if I could do an album for publisher
. From that moment it started in my mind.
When later Dionnet (chief editor of Métal Hurlant
saw the first plates of Cromwell Stone
and asked me
to do something for Humanoïdes Associés
, I already had something.
I thought myself absolutely unfit for the level of
. There was a kind of aura around Métal Hurlant.
There had been so many things in it I admired. Furthermore
Humanoïdes made absolutely no limitations. I made Cyrrus
with a feeling of total freedom. It is kind of the reward for what
I did in Rork, without the limitations of Tintin/Hello BD (fr); Kuifje (nl)
that you hád to do Tintin-like things for Tintin, but you
couldn't do just anything either. Cromwell Stone
gave me the possibility to create Cyrrus in full freedom.
Making Cromwell Stone I didn't have the right state of mind,
for that I had left Tintin too shortly. With Cyrrus I
could really do what I wanted, without any concessions to the
reader. I a sense Cyrrus is thus the first real Andreas
in which I didn't feel influenced, like I was influenced
by H.P. Lovecraft
in Cromwell Stone and Rork.
Did it take you long to write Cyrrus
such a complex story?
On the contrary. It took me a relatively
short time, two weeks. But it was the first time a subject
had had the time to ripen in my mind. Between the moment
I told myself: "That's it, I can make an album!"
and the moment I wrote it, lay one and a half year.
I just continued, starting the next
episode as soon as I finished the previous one. Cyrrus
on the other hand was so long in my mind, that many things had
accumulated. During the writing many other ideas were added.
Everything fell in place immediately. It was like a puzzle
immediately fitting. It was the first time something like
that happened to me.
Do you remember how you felt when you started writing it?
No, I never do. But in the case of Cyrrus
I remember I felt really driven. It was delightful.
All the pieces in my mind, fitted automatically. Everything
was connected and at their right place. I don't really
remember the accuracy with which I wrote the scenario.
I happened organically, different than normal. Only with
it happened to me. It was also one of
the first times, with Cromwell Stone
, that I set up the
album as an album and not in chapters or smaller pieces
for a magazine. I didn't consider prepublication,
but wrote the album immediately.
You appear to have set it up as a trilogy originally.
Yes, it was a trilogy. But if it's up to
is independent. In Mil
revert to a character that I use in a different way.
I didn't finish the trilogy for the simple reason that I
left Humanoïdes Associés
. The third story was another
complex construction: everytime Cyrrus disappeared
in the first album, he would appear in the third. I wanted
to make it with draftsmen like Antonio Cossu
and Philippe Berthet
Won't you make that third album? Even when
is now hosted by a new publisher, Delcourt
Andreas: No, its too long ago. I wanted to make it
with my friends, but I never approached them for it;
they are far too busy now themselves. And I don't really
remember what ideas I had for that book...
Besides the usual critiques and comments
was the subject of some profound analyses,
. That isn't
common. What do you think of it? Does it surprise you?
Yes. I think the article in Conséquences
is out of line sometimes, but it gets me thinking too.
It points at things I had never thought of, but did anyway.
Unconsciously, and yet...structurally.
You called this album the most succesful album of that time.
Yet many readers abviously lost track. Even the writers of the
article in ZozoLala
ended with a series of unsolved
questions. Where do these problems come from?
Andreas: I think the story is less complicated than most
people think. Everything needed to understand the story, is
in there. It also depends on the level on which you want to
understand it. Maybe some people look for something that isn't
there. Not that I think the album is perfect. Maybe there
are gaps in it. I don't really remember what I wanted to do
exactly. If I was to reread it, I might stumble over some
things myself. Especially when Cyrrus disappears, his
transitions from one place to the next. He disappears
and returns, while it isn't even said if he steps out of time,
to later return again, or that time itself stops. The latter
is unlikely, because Cyrrus disappears while the lives of the
The biggest problem with Cyrrus
is its strange
concept of time. In Cromwell Stone
the story split into
separate periodes. Here the story becomes even more
complicated. The entire concept of chronology
is insecure: The past can be changed from the present and
the present from another past.
Andreas: Oh, I don't see it as a "difficulty".
To me it was really the first step in the elaboration of what
has always interested me. Maybe it was the first time the
past was presented in a more complicated way than as a
simple flashback. Yet the flow of time is relatively simple,
except for some paradoxes. The flow of time in present and
past is both chronological and the difference between the
timezones is clearly marked by black-and-white and color.
Plates 9 to 11 display the key scene in the cinema.
elaborates on the play with the still images, the allusion on
the carrier, the picture in the comic is compared to the picture in the film.
It the message "Freeze the frame" really directed to the reader>
I'm not sure, it could be. In Mil
I did that consciously: the entire story of the man drawing
symbols in the sand is a kind of lesson of reading images.
To return to the origin of Cyrrus
, was there a
certain image in the beginning, a certain idea of feeling,
that inspired you?
I that time I often used dreams. The first plate
comes from one of my dreams. The waiting
character, the opening door, "I am your mother,"
the character with the hat, I all dreamt that. Just like
Cyrrus's house, and the road behind it on which he later awakes.
In an interview with StripSchrift
you emphasized the
importance of family relations in Cyrrus
. It easy to
conclude that the comedians of 1924 are the missing children on
1972. It's also clear that Mil is the child of Virginia Leix,
and Jewel is the daughter of Kilkenny Leix, Viginia's brother.
Does that mean that when Cyrrus calls Jewel his niece in 1924,
he is thus a reincarnation of Mil?
Andreas: It is exactly the other way around, Mil is a
reincarnation of Cyrrus.
And when Cyrrus merges with the ghost image of Virginia,
it clearly expresses an incestuous relationship. A
relationship that sort of matches the first deed of incest,
when Virginia is sucked in by her son before they go back
in time. This seems to be the central theme of Cyrrus
You find it in the tense relationship of Leix and his daughter
Jewel: he forbids her to leave the parental house, she
blames him to track her down in time, and at the end they
find themselves exactly opposite eachother in the temple.
Thus the story seems to display two versions of an incestuous
desire: either the permanent tension of a torn desire,
or to enact the inenactable and to create a monster.
Seen this way the dream of the first plate gains a clear
Andreas: Yes, that I recognize anyway. At the end
Mil's mother meets Cyrrus. Be it that I view Mil and
Cyrrus as more or less the same person, as a reincarnation.
And that again is the reason why, at the point where the two
stories meet, Mil unties himself from his mother and continues
his journey. A complicated story after all! I don't think
I will ever try it again!
Cyrrus remains fist and foremost a lesson in reading.
In a certain sense you say that too: no concession to the
reader! You form the reader, so he can understand Coutoo
without a problem.