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#1 29 Aug, 2012 05:17:37


Hello everyone! I'll use this topic to tell you more about "Aux armes!" ("To arms!" in English)

First of all, why this title?

I think most french speakers will have understood the reference to the French national anthem "La Marseillaise" ("aux armes citoyens...", translated by "to arms citizens"). That's obviously not chosen at random but it doesn't only refer to the fact that the main characters will have to fight. Marco and Enrique are real patriots as they choose to fulfill their mission regardless of their being rejected by their hierarchy, which they respect, however (at least in the beginning). Contrary to several other characters, they are trained soldiers. Enrique is both the oldest and the strongest physically. You may therefore think that since they are physically strong, they will have nothing to fear from the oncoming events, and yet, like all the other characters, they will have to make choices.
This story also expresses my vision of the governments' attitude in reaction to such events. In my story, governments have chosen to flee from their responsibilities: soldiers are ordered to protect scientists and politicians and to forsake civilians. I sincerely think that it would really take place this way, i.e civilians abandoned to their fates by politicians hiding in safehouses. Besides, they flee without the slightest fight while the zombie contamination is only at its earliest stage. That's also what makes Enrique and Marco so brave : they refuse to give up.
What's more i that they shatter the common image of the "proper" soldier who obeys orders blindly. Just like Percival in the "Roman du Graal" who eventually finds the holy cup by not following the chivalric ideal.

Secondly, why two heroes?

Simply because being a trained, professional soldier isn't enough to keep a high morale. Their brotherhood will help them remain human and keep a will to live.

Why are they Spanish?

I just found the idea nice. In the army, there are soldiers from all around the world. Even though thy take longer to colour, they are a change to the north/western Caucasian type.

Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#2 30 Aug, 2012 05:21:22


I've thought of giving more details on the characters.

I wanted a good soldier, muscular and used to tough situations so that his survival skills and his mental strength look believable. I really like the character of Sayid Jarrah in Lost. A good soldier with a heavy past. He remains, however, a good man or at least he tries to. That's also why I chose to make Enrique a tan man.


Sayid Jarrah

Regarding the personality, I was influenced by Sergeant Elias Grodin from Platoon. Aside from his famous and wonderful death scene, what's important is that he's human before being a killing machine. His rivalry with Sergeant Barnes is the kind of relationship I intend to develop between Enrique and Max. Max is not so much a brute as Barnes but, like the latter, he loses his humanity by accepting to sacrifice innocents.

Sgt Elias Grodin

Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#3 31 Aug, 2012 04:59:46


Marco, wearing civilian clothes too!
He's a softer version of his brother. Not as strong but much more relaxed.
He has a better sense of humour, talks, communicates more. He speaks 5 languages fluently (French, English, Spanis, German and Russian) and has notions in Polish and Japanese (he's in comms and intel in the army). He also plays the guitar on his free time (instead of working out!). I needed a more fragile character who was at the same time more open to others, his brother being very quiet.


Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#4 31 Aug, 2012 12:23:15


He wears a NIN Shirt... he has good tastes smile.


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#5 31 Aug, 2012 14:02:48


Yeah ! smile Marco is good as a guitar player, I hope I can draw him singing a Nine Inch Nails song in the comics smile

Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#6 01 Sep, 2012 05:35:57


He's either the good or the bad soldier depending on where you look at him from. Good soldier in that he obeys orders blindly. Therefore, he's bad to my eyes : he acts like a robot.
He rivals Enrique. This rivalry will be developed, like the reason for his scar on the temple.
He has not appeared much yet, but I feel like making him a regular. What we know about him is that's he's not innocent as to the death of his parents and his brothers. That's not going to calm things down.


Here are the inspirations for this character :
First, there's an influence from a Lost character, mercenary Martin Keamy. He's impressive physically, he's really the war machine. He doesn't feel remorse as to the killing of innocents.

The other influential model is Sgt Barnes. He's utterly pitiless and his face is scarred.

Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#7 02 Sep, 2012 05:29:09


He's the character introduced this week. Being renegades, the two brothers will have to find support outside the army. I can't tell much more or I'll spoil.
This character wasn't planned originally, his story was created and filled out at the end of chapter one.


Physically speaking, I wanted a character more ordinary and homely face than that of the heroes. That explains his "broken" nose and squarish chin.
I found an actor who would fit his personality and looks (except the big nose) in an episode of House M.D. (s6ep11) where a cop falls sick.

Ethan Embry

Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#8 04 Sep, 2012 17:00:19


Caroline Delalande


Laurent's colleague. There was a need for a feminine presence in the story. Besides, I wanted a badly ending love story with one of the couple turning into a zombie.
Caroline is the trigger for Laurent's survival instinct. Having to kill her is a serious turning point regarding the evolution of the character. After that, it will be easier for him to shoot anonymous zombies.
The two main characters have not had to kill a relative turned to zombie, which is a very difficult ordeal to go through.
Caroline doesn't have any precise reference character. Since many other characters are dark-haired, I made her a blonde.
She has a thing for her colleague but as he's too dumb to make a move, she constantly has to throw him a line, hoping he'll catch it.
I really like this character and I hope I'll have occasions to draw her more.




Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#9 06 Sep, 2012 05:44:21


Pablo and Maria

It's true we haven't seen them much yet. They're a peaceful, loving couple. Pablo came to France with his father who fled a new wave of Francoist oppression in the 70s. Their murder by the army is as unexpected as brutal. Avenging their parents is the main reason for the brothers' tenacity; although they want to save the population and thwart toe Government's murderous scheme, this murder gives them a personal reason not to give up. Besides, it allows me to focus on the brothers who have henceforth nothing to lose, and at the same time to avoid dealing too much with secondary characters unfit for struggle who would become a burden for the heroes.
However, these characters will not be forgotten.

Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#10 11 Sep, 2012 04:56:46


Topic of the day : The post-apocalyptic worlds.

It's a theme quite dear to me and it's obviously thickly connected to the idea of survival. I enjoy works that depict humans deprived of the reassuring shelter of modern life and forced to turn back to their primary instinct. It's even better when Man is at the origin of his downfall.

A few examples taken from various media:

The Fallout universe, where Man has to survive on a planet destroyed by nuclear war. The remains of the American government (called the Enclave) are but so called elites preying on each other without any kind of interest in the population. Fallout is a serious source of inspiration regarding human reactions (how they fight for water and food, how they organise themselves without a government) and political schemes. All of this you can find in "Aux Armes!" with Elites fleeing the zombie issue, leaving the population to deal with its own fate.

Ghouls are former human beings exposed to huge quantities of radiation. Some are as clever and aggressive as zombies.

The Capital Wasteland

Another major work exposing humans responsible for they own destruction is The Terminator.
Everybody always looks at me with eyes wide open when I say that it's a love story (not a romantic movie), but didn't James Cameron say it himself?

Anyway, The Terminator is one of my most important references. Men created nuclear bombs, men created Skynet and Skynet destroyed men with the same nuclear bombs. The circle is closed.
The images Cameron shows us in the first movie are astounding regarding the direst living conditions of the survivors (rat hunting for food, filth, moral misery) and have nothing to do with the candy version of the last movie.
In spite of limited means, Cameron managed to created a stifling atmosphere, partly thanks to permanent night, increasing contrast hence making humans even thinner.

The t-800 cyborg is willingly based on the human skeleton, an image of Death in the collective unconscious.

Dark image with saturates contrasts strengthening the moist, unpleasant atmosphere. Besides, there's good-looking Michael Biehn on the picture... :-)

In a completely different style, I would now like to talk about Shyamalan's film, The Happening.
No nuclear war or big technology here. "Only" plants spreading a chemical compound forcing humans to suicide. The utter destruction of mankind takes place "softly" as no other living organism than humans are affected. I like the idea that Nature would be better off without us humans, that's why in "Aux Armes!", only humans are affected by "zombification". I really enjoy this romantic idea : Nature takes back its place.

Nature is no longer benevolent.

Plants making humans commit suicide.

We can catch a glimpse of this theme in I am a legend, where we see plants growing all over New York and wild animals roaming the streets. Again, in this film, Man is responsible for its own destruction : searching for a remedy to cancer, a terrible virus spreads, killing most humans.

The first part of the movie is wonderful, as it focuses on the main character's complete solitude at the heart of New York.

Another hugely influential movie : The road
A dark, depressing movie about a man and his son faced with a hostile nature. An unknown evil has destroyed both animals and plants but as always in such times, it's the survivors that are the real danger (cannibalism, murders and other "nice" stuff of this kind).

The permanent grey filter increases the feel of filth and pollution.

It's always the survivors you'll have to fear...

Last major reference regarding daily life turned upside down is the series Lost.
It's not really a post-apocalyptic world, but as survivors have to survive in a hostile environment, I think it has its place.
What I enjoy in Lost is this group of completely different people who have to cooperate to survive. In my opinion, John Locke is one of the most interesting characters. Why is that? Simply because while everyone tries to escape the island, he thinks this situation is a blessing and feels perfectly at ease with life in the jungle.

A group of survivors from all around the globe forced to cooperate to survive on a strange island.

Besides sharing the name of a philosopher, John Locke is an expert at blade weapons handling and hunting. He lives in perfect harmony with the surrounding nature.

In a more dreamlike genre, La Jetée by Chris Marker is often forgotten, to the benefit of its remake, 12 monkeys (to be fair, 12 monkeys is more than a remake since La Jetée barely explores the surface of a vague scenario about time travel while the plot of 12 monkeys mainly takes place in the past).
La Jetée is a black and white movie mainly made of pictures which focuses on human feelings. Leaving aside the idea of destruction, its strength comes from the parallel it draws between a dark and underground future and a bright past enlightened both by the sun and the loving smile of the woman.

The saturated contrast reinforces the dark and cold atmosphere.

A vision of the sentimental past as an opposition to the future.

Its remake is, to my eyes, a visual success. With Caro handling the project (cf. Alien 4, Delicatessen), the moist atmosphere, the rust and the sepia tones depict a stifling defeatist world.

A retro-futuristic setting typical of Caro.

As opposed to the underground world, the surface is covered with a thick layer of snow, as if the city were asleep. The "fallen Garden of Eden" look is strengthened by the presence of zoo animals freed from their cages little before the spreading of the deadly virus. Again, Man is responsible for its own destruction except that this time, i's been done on purpose in order to eradicate mankind, considered a nuisance.

Last example : Children of Men
In this film, Man has become sterile. Civil wars, terrorism embody the ever present chaos linked to the idea of end of mankind. One can find in this film obvious references to the main armed conflicts in History (like acts of violence during WWII) and declining societies.

Terrorism and civil disorder are daily life.

Absurd struggles and images of panic peculiar to survival.

Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#11 11 Sep, 2012 07:01:52


Thanks for the topic, it's nice to know more about your whaqt inspired you while writing "Aux Armes" wink.


♫ Tu veux publier ta BD sur Amilova ? Lis les instructions et envois moi un message privé wink.

#12 13 Sep, 2012 05:23:51


thank you so much ! I'm more "movies" fan than comics fan !

Next topic smile :

Article of the day : Zombie stories (and creatures of the like)

You like zombie stories but Romero's first movie scare you less than they make you laugh?
Don't worry, I'll tell you of what I consider to be among the best stories about undead. Keep in mind that, to me, what's most important is to talk about the survivalist's need to go beyond his limits rather than showing zombie killing for mere fun.

Let's start with the comic books The Walking Dead, in which we are introduced to Rick Grimes, waking up in a hospital. We discover at the same time as he that the world has plunged into horror. This comic series focuses on the psychological evolution of a man who gradually loses his marks, who tries to protect those dear to him and , in order to succeed, will have to make morally questionable choices. You therefore shouldn't expect a slaughter of zombies with a chainsaw (thankfully!).
Although the comic books are better than the TV show, I don't think the latter is a failure. One could enjoy both, which is my case. The TV show deals quickly with a different story even though it follows the main thread as to the geographical setting.
Besides, the actors are quite good, the zombies are well made and the survival aspect is dealt with quite well.

Rick wakes up.

Just like in most stories set in an apocalyptic world, many people become bad and/or crazy, like the Governor, kissing his zombie girlie.

The TV show is nice with "real-looking" zombies.

The movie 28 days later takes place in England, which is a change, the ever-present setting. In this film, human beings are not zombies per se but rather crazed people. However, the means of contamination (biting, blood contact) have the same consequences.
Strange coincidence : just like Rick, the protagonist wakes up in a hospital and wanders in a deserted city of London before finding out what has happened to the other inhabitants. We'll follow a group of endearing survivors who try to find a secure place, between hard times and moments of solace.
A special note to Cillian Murphy who turns from scared pizza delivery boy to survivor killing with his hands bare.

The first 15 minutes in deserted London are wonderful.

Survive the overwhelmed military.

The remake Dawn of the Dead is a good classical zombie movie. There are dead, lots of zombies and a couple of blondes.
It's good for, among other things, its moments of simple fun (locked up in a supermarket, the survivors let loose).
There's a bonus video in the DVD of Andy the arms dealer locked up in his shop facing the supermarket.

Synder trying to help his now-zombie wife give birth

Zombies don't attack the animals.

Andy records himself everyday, therefore giving us a vivid vision of his degeneration.

The Resident Evil saga are the video games which renewed the zombie stories.
I will not explain the story of each game as it would take ages, aside the fact that only the first ones are the best. And I will certainly not talk about the pseudo movies adapted from the games which are an insult to the series' lovers.
Resident Evil made the survival-horror genre fashionable in the video games industry. In the first game, the story is set in an old manor hiding a secret laboratory.
Several elements use the classical mechanics of horror films : chosen music, old  abandoned house in the middle of the woods, darkness, dog howling,... The scheme and the hidden experiments improve the scenario. In order to still improve the atmosphere, you can find several documents to read, like the diary of a infected scientist degenerating as days go by.

The player characters are soldiers but they are completely overwhelmed by the events.

Haunted house with cracking floors make the atmosphere stifling.

Slow and dumb zombies, just like we like them.

The RPG Z-Corp is a good mixture of Resident Evil and The Walking Dead. You can choose to play a lambda guy, a Z-Corp or a mercenary employed by OneWorld, some sort of benevolent Umbrella Corp (the evil company of the Resident Evil series). I can tell much of the story as I am a player myself but I know that there are quite a few secrets around OneWorld and not only secrets about the origins of zombies.
To sum up, something good for those who like when zombies are only the upper part of the iceberg.

Questionable experiments on zombies : trying to find a cure to "zombification" or to make it worse?


Zombie territory survival guide and World War Z (which is to be adapted on screen it seems), by Max Brooks are must-read as well. The main positive aspect of these books is that they take place in various places worldwide, which provides an alternative to  USA/civilised settings.
You can find many practical informations for survivalists in case of zombie attacks (what weapons to choose, places to avoid, how to get prepared) in the guide. There's a small bonus at the end of the book consisting of witnessed "genuine" attacks.
World War Z is about a worldwide zombie apocalypse in 3 phases :
1)The beginning of the contamination, with military more or less controlling the situation.
2)The Great Panic, when military are overwhelmed and civilians try to flee  (that part is quite gory).
3)Survivors manage to reverse the tide with a stern planning, proper military equipment, the use of animals,...

I strongly advise reading them to those of you who want more detail on survival and are curious about what may take place at a global level in case of a massive zombie attack, instead of following a small group in a restraint setting.
Besides, WWZ taks you to the resolution of the problem, as opposed to most other stories.


Have a look at that for its graphical beauty : FVZA, a 4-books comic.

Have a look for the old-fashioned hero : Zombies (peru-leoni)


These are not zombies but act the same way : they are infected and are aggressive towards humans : I am a legend in which a cure for cancer has become a terrible virus.

P.S : Please don't talk about High School of the Dead, I beg you!!!

Last edited by Marialexie (13 Sep, 2012 05:25:28)

Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#13 13 Sep, 2012 06:58:49

Marialexie wrote:

thank you so much ! I'm more "movies" fan than comics fan !

I see, I see smile. I'm happy to discover that you know so much about movies and zombie culture smile.

Have you seen a french/italian movie called "Dellamore Dellamorte" ?
It's a zombie tragic comedy, tainted with dark humor and cynism... an horror movie from the italian master Michele Soavi, one of my favorite movies !

There's also Lars Von Trier serie "The Kingdom" that's totally weird and insane and cool smile.


♫ Tu veux publier ta BD sur Amilova ? Lis les instructions et envois moi un message privé wink.

#14 13 Sep, 2012 13:07:38


yeah I'm a huge fan of zombies stories but it's not my only inspiration.(X files, Lost, Lovecraft, David Lynch's movies)

I don't know "dellamore dellamorte" ! thank you. !!\^^/

And "The kingdom" I have it of course. smile  It's crazy I love it, so sad we'll never see the end of this TV show >_<

Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#15 14 Sep, 2012 04:44:11


Article of the day : the human unconscious.

We can have a glimpse of it especially through dreams. In Aux Armes! you can see it in Marco's nightmare. Dreams allow me to explore the personality of a character without having to comply with the classical story telling codes. Everything is possible in a dream! You may have noticed Marco's repressed guilt as to his parents' death as well as his feeling of guilt. In his dream, he mixes his real situation (the general's briefing speech about the mission in chapter 4) and what he's feeling in the present (slaughter of innocent civilians).

Marco feels weak and that's why in his bad dream, he sees a toy instead of a real gun.

Many works use dreams and the unconscious to express characters' buried fears and fantasies. David Lynch has mastered that art.
His two movies, Mullholland Drive and Lost Highway, should be seen as dreams awake.
Lynch's films are disconcerting and are free from conventional cinematographic codes. They can start right in the middle of the story and give elements of the scenario at random, have the setting evolve in an awkward way or even rewrite a scene in a different way.
Just like our own dreams, they are difficult to describe, only the feelings (uneasiness, fear, desire) stand out clearly.

In the firs film, the heroine believes she's saving her lover from killers. She feels distressed and the heroine seems to be her only hope. The reality is yet quite different. She is a mercenary hired to kill her unfaithful lover and feels very guilty about it. The whole film is based on her guilt and on her not accepting the break-up.

In Lost Highway, the main character thinks his wife cheats on him. his jealousy will eventually make him kill her. He will have no memory of his actions which will be revealed to him thanks to a video. Repressing his crime, he changes personalities to meet his wife in whole new garments.

Same woman,  2 sides.

In Jabob's Ladder, the hero is faced with threatening, eerie creatures which he calls demons. People and places around him keep changing so much so that he thinks he's going crazy. This film can be seen as the path of a soul towards redemption. Jacob Singer suffers because, in real life, he is dying and yet clings to life. The creatures are embodiments of him not letting go and not accepting death.
When he eventually accepts to give up life, an heavenly vision comes to his eyes. It's obviously no fantasy movie and everything is said metaphorically.

Misshapen creatures seem to harass him but he ignores why, at least at first.

Jacob singer can't figure if he's dreaming, awake of mad.

This film is often compared to the game Silent Hill 2, which is my absolute favourite game as it is built like a reverse movie. We travel both in the mind and soul of the character.
Indeed, in this game, the hero is faced with his own nightmare and suffers from guilt. He gives substance to monsters around him through his fears because he tries to punish himself for the crime he committed against his wife. Just like in Lost Highway, it is a video which will fill in the blanks of his memory.

Who really is James Sunderland? A loving widower mourning or just a man exhausted to see his wife slowly dying?

The pyramid headed monster is James' torturer. He's nearly invincible and appears suddenly to punish James.

Born of his fantasies, Maria is the idealised version of Mary, James' wife

Une Apocalypse Zombie, Deux frères solidaires... Lisez "Aux Armes !"
Venez découvrir 30cm de Bonheur avec Roberto Fellassionni
Des zombies, un huit clos lisez " Nzumbe "

#16 03 Jul, 2019 14:54:02


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