The Algerian War penciled by Gaétan Nocq

Illustration: Portrait of Gaétan Nocq during a book signing session

The Algerian war ended a little over 50 years ago. However, this conflict has left indelible scars in the minds and the hearts of many people, the conscripts of course, but also their parents, their children, their grandchildren. So very few authors, very few artists, have dared to evoke this fratricidal conflict in their works.

With Soleil brûlant en Algérie, Gaétan Nocq has risen to the challenge of showing the Algerian war in its dark reality, with great modesty and sensitivity, through a comic book.

Initially, there was the autobiographical story of Alexander Tikhomiroff, a young 21-year-old conscript who was sent to Algeria in 1956, through his mandatory military service.

On the basis of this authentic testimony and the interviews he had with Alexandre Tikhomiroff, Gaétan Nocq drew up the story board of Soleil brûlant en Algérie.

The author graphically illustrates this story with black graphite pencil sketches, which makes the reader feel that the hero Tiko tells the story of his 27 months of military service in Algeria, through a travel diary.

This personal bias of using graphite pencils accentuates the emotion generated by the story, reinforces the dark side of the conflict and leaves a feeling of uncompleteness.

The drawing is lively and precise. In a few lines, Gaétan Nocq fleshes out a character, an animal or a background.

Soleil brûlant en Algérie, a touching story, superbly illustrated, has been widely praised by critics.

Soleil brûlant en Algérie – 240 pages – €20 – Publisher: La Boîte à Bulles

Gaétan Nocq’s blog

Full pages and drawings from the album Soleil brûlant en Algérie

Portraits of Gaétan Nocq – Photo credit: