We’ve been bursting to tell you all about this brilliant book for a long time and we’re delighted to finally share it with you! Embarking on a fascinating journey that moves only in time, Mahé transports us over 750 Years, from 1265 to 2015, standing in one spot, focusing on one building on a street in Paris.
In this unique, historically accurate and beautiful graphic novel, we travel through the changes of this building, starting in the 13th century, via the French Revolution and the 2nd World War to Paris as we know it today. Through his distinct, captivating visual style, Vincent has elegantly and concisely created snapshots of the city that capture the style of architecture, fashions, transports and political states of each time depicted. With each revisit there is more to see and more to learn in this book that keeps on giving so go ahead, explore and enjoy 750 Years in Paris!
To celebrate the launch of his first book, we sat down with Vincent and asked him a few questions:
- If you could travel back in time to any of the years shown in 750 Years in Paris,which would you choose and why?
A part of me would like to be in 1789 to witness the first moments of the French Revolution. These events inspired so many people, writers, artists, directors. I would like to differentiate the myth from the truth. But the other part wants to be in 1998 and win the world cup again.
- And which the least?
I would avoid the middle ages in general. I mean, can you imagine that these people didn’t know the taste of tomatoes and potatoes?
- How many years have you lived in Paris and what are the biggest changes that you have seen in this time?
I was born in Paris but grew up in the west of France. I moved back to the capital in 2003. Many things have changed in 12 years. The arrival of Velib’ (city bikes) was quite something. It created a global desire for riding bikes all over the city.
- What are your predictions for this building in the next 5, 50 and 500 years?
5 years: It’s full of tourists, every single room in rented on airbnb.
50 years: a bit like Interstellar, every single parisian is a farmer and is taking care of there indoor soilless planting.
500 years: Western civilization has collapsed, but its ruins are visited by talking dog tourists.
- Also, why did you choose the colours of the book as orange and bright blue? These are very striking and it looks great but aren’t colours that we’d usually associate with France/ Paris!
I didn’t want the book to be that obvious with a color palette like a French flag. I needed colours that could, when mixed, give me a good range of others colors. Also because of what’s happening in the book, the mood is heavy sometimes, I wanted the palette to be warm, to cheer it up a little.
- How long have you been working on this project? Which were the most enjoyable aspects of creating this book?
I have been working for 2 years on this project. Not full time, but still, it was a huge amount of work. I love drawing buildings and architecture but when this was done I must admit that the best part was to put the little characters in the scene and make them live in it. It was as thrilling as playing lego.
- Which one thing would you recommend a new visitor to Paris do on their first trip?
If it’s the first day of your very first visit in Paris, I would recommend you to go on the rooftop of Centre Pompidou to get an overview of the city. The restaurant up there is not bad at all, it’s called “Georges”. Don’t forget to visit the museum 2 floors below, the collections are amazing.
- Do you often sketch on the streets of Paris? Do you have favourite spots to sit and draw? Can we see a page from your sketch book?
I do, not as much as I want unfortunately. Jardin du Luxembourg is a good place to draw. There are kids with their model boats, old men playing chess, tennis players, statues and ponies… Here’s a page of my sketchbook, from outside a bar near Bastille at nighttime.
Thanks Vincent! You can buy the book from http://nobrow.net/shop/750-years-in-paris/?