Royan gained its letters of nobility with the rise of seaside resorts copied on the English model, in the early nineteenth century. Who knows, on the other hand, that the seaside resort founded in the fifth century was an English stronghold during the Hundred Years War? And that Cardinal Richelieu ended up ordering the destruction of the ramparts of this rebellious city? These anecdotes and many others appear in "L'Histoire de Royan", a comic strip directed by Patrick Giro and Marie Avril and published this summer by Editions 53 & 58.
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After working – among others – on the destinies of explorers Samuel de Champlain and Pierre Dugua de Mons, these two Royannais chose to tackle the history of their commune, from its foundation to the 1970s. "Born and married in Royan", this couple has accumulated documentation provided and drawn on their memories to deliver a rich and well-crafted comic. "We also relied on the stories of former Royannais, in particular to evoke the Second World War, the German occupation and the bombing of Royan," explains Patrick Giro.
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This printer and advertiser by trade has wanted to return in recent years to his first love, drawing made "with pen and Indian ink". Marie Avril is in charge of the coloring and co-signs the script. This new book took them nearly two years of work. "We try to stick as much as possible to history," says Patrick Giro, who has reproduced identically the emblematic buildings of Royan destroyed by the English aviation. "It really pleases the old Royannais and all those who came to spend their holidays there," says the designer. To the point that this comic has just been reissued.
"L'Histoire de Royan", by Patrick Giro and Marie Avril, Editions 53 & 58, 17 euros.