1 May 2017

If Marine Le Pen Wins The French Election? These Graphic Novels Decode A Possible Far-Right Future

By Beatrice Mabilon-Bonfils, Université de Cergy-Pontoise

One thing that’s nearly certain is the presence of extreme-right populist Marine Le Pen among the top vote-getters. Her party, the Front National (FN), has gone from a pariah in the 1980s to a major political force. While she and her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, have fallen short up to now, what would happen if she won in 2017? The answer can perhaps be found in – of all places – a graphic-novel series. Created by writer François Durpaire and artist Farid Boudjellal, the first volume, “La Présidente”, was the hit of the 2015 rentrée (the beginning of the literary season). It was followed by the second volume, “Totalitaire” in 2016, and together they have sold more than 500,000 copies. Now comes the third volume, titled “La Vague” (“The Wave”), with Durpaire and Boudjellal joined by Laurent Muller. Together the three books provide an enlightening view on the collective anxiety of French citizens as they face a 2017 presidential election whose outcome has never been less certain, and whose consequences for the country and Europe could be profound.