Belgian graphic novelist Olivier Schrauwen is a unique voice in comics, creating deeply unsettling narratives in a fascinating, loosely illustrated style. We aren’t familiar with the French duo Ruppert and Mulot, but if they’re working with Schrauwen, we can’t imagine anything but good things are happening.
Indeed, their collaboration, Portrait of a Drunk, is a black comedy rich with promise. Set in the 18th Century, it’s about an average sailor. Guy is a pirate, not a captain or a master swashbuckler, but a regular drop-out from society, more prone to falling unconscious in a pool of his own bodily fluids than wooing barmaids with his witty banter.
I love a good pirate story, from Chris Wright’s masterful Blacklung to the dark seas of Atar Gull. In the right hands, the horror and violence of the Age of Sail’s darker characters just keep on calling out to me.