On March 28, 2018, Titan Comics released the first issue in a translation of the French series Factory. I’m not going to lie—at first, I wasn’t really sure what to think of this comic book. It’s not the usual comic fare that I’m used to reading. After working through it, though, I started to see the deeper concepts hidden within it. This one’s a bit of a noodle-scrambler so let’s jump right in, shall we?
From what I’ve gathered thus far, the world has become a wasteland. Animals and plants are now extinct. Humans are still around but, aside from being grotesque, they all appear to be either rail thin or obese. Some have even mutated. This is the case with the companions that Raul, a pig-man, is traveling with as they try to find a wizard. Meanwhile, in the city, Baron Gucco’s get the message that his fetus-like oracle warns of what must be Raul’s approach just before it dies.
I’m guessing that Raul is being set up as the hero. Gucco fits the role of the greedy, gluttonous ruler who hoards food while his people starve. Oh, and there’s also a talking monkey…
I suppose I really shouldn’t be surprised at the strangeness of this comic, given its creators. French artist Yacine ‘Elgo’ Elghorri, who can count major motion films, cartoons, and working for Marvel Comics among his many credits, wrote and drew Factory.
The other half of the creative team was Alejandro Jodorowsky, a rather controversial French filmmaker. He’s not a newbie on the comic scene either, having worked in comics in Mexico as early as 1966, starting with Anibal 5. He is, however, known for his inclusion of avant-garde and surreal violence in his work.
In terms of the artwork, the cover art by is actually really pretty with some nice vivid color. It’s what’s behind the cover that punches you in the gut. Every panel uses a color scheme that is mostly analogous (red, yellow, and orange). There are a few other colors thrown in but they still have a strange tint to them that reminds me of viscera and internal organs. All of this has a really distinct effect on the reader. It’s unsettling to say the least.
Obviously, the over-the-top weirdness of Factory is what Elgo and Jodorowsky were aiming at. Both of these artists work on projects that are experimental in nature. Avant-garde art is, after all, meant to push boundaries. Sometimes it’s meant to make people uncomfortable by addressing social issues using a Marxist theoretical approach towards the producer-consumer relationship. I’ve yet to see how this story plays out but maybe that’s the goal here. The emphasis on over-consumption by the few, their control of resources to the detriment of the masses, and a hero searching for a way to break the curse that turned him into a pig with an insatiable appetite—it all makes sense in that light.
In the end, it’s a weird tale but it’s not strange for the sake of being strange. It’s more than that. I’m left feeling oddly philosophical. And I have to say that although I first wanted to say I wouldn’t continue reading this series because it seemed so “out there,” I’ve changed my mind on that. I think I’m going to stick this one out and see what happens.
Writer: Yacine “Elgo” Elghorri
Artwork: Yacine “Elgo” Elghorri
Translation: Marc Bourbon-Crook
Editor: Johnathan Stevenson
Source – Titan Comics
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