I’m so happy to see this terrific, thoughtful review of Montellier’s book by Lalami, who provides excellent context and analysis throughout. Here’s a snippet:
The future that the French artist Chantal Montellier imagined in the 1970s and ’80s, when her dystopian comics ran in the magazine Métal Hurlant, is likewise ominous. Montellier envisioned a society in which the government requires loyalty oaths, culture is drenched in vulgarity, and women have lost their reproductive rights to gestational innovations. In this work, she explores French anxieties about the end of the trentes glorieuses (a period of unprecedented economic prosperity that lasted from 1945 to 1975), the rise of decadent consumerism, modern technology, and a new world order. Yet even in her bleak visions of the future, Montellier’s focus remains on her characters’ struggle for dignity and liberation.