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Voivod und die Kunst von Michel Langevin / Voivod and the art of Michel Langevin
(Edition Roter Drache)
(184 pages, German translation)

When I discovered a note about this particular book on VOIVOD’s homepage ( and about two years ago, I was hooked immediately. A book by and about one of my all time faves from my early adolescence? This gave me nothing but shivers. All the more as I totally regret from time to time that I did not have the guts to write to the other side of the globe to join the glorious iron gang in the 80s. But what did I know about underground back then? And who of you VOIVODians does not dream of enjoying the art and artworks known from the band’s releases plus extra and maybe never before seen stuff in a proper format? A collection of Away’s art with all the mysterious and spooky characters he came up with? As I did not want to pay enormous sums for postage and did not want to hold the risk of loosing it while being shipped I fervently awaited the moment to get hold of it through a different channel. Alas, eventually it was released on March 20, 2012 in Germany (and Europe?) in a German edition. So what might the ‘Iron Gang’ expect? First of all some technical information: 24cm to 31cm (9’’ to 12’’) in size, weight 1400 gr., 184 pages, hard cover format, full colour printing. You know, as most of the artwork is meanwhile rather old dating back to 1976 the printing company resp. the bookbinder company payed attention to that too and gave the whole thing a certain old school feeling. At least my edition came along with some slight dust on several pages lasting from the production process. But a normal brush will do here. Coming to the contents, of course there are lots of graphic art to survey, known and unknown (did you ever see the back of VOIVOD’s skull from the "Killing Technology" area?), raw and primitive sketches as well as fully elaborated paintings, the well known VOIVOD themes as well as extracts from comics (very nice Lucky Metal Luke with a ‘RÖÖAARRRR’ sounding Eiffel Tower rocket in the background!), the cover motives of each record up to ‘Katorz’ (but in size smaller than the standard record cover format) as well as material Michel did for other bands and projects. Spooky images go hand in hand with gloomy illustrations, technical and mechanized things with sci-fi, organic forms with surrealistic shapes. Even though I saw the extracts from the book including pages with lots of text on the homepage I did not realize that the whole works is also meant as biography of Michel Langevin. Since receiving the book I just read the first chapter and took a random reading in the following sections. In chapter one you get to know among others how Michel came to his artistic expression, why he came up with such eerie and dark topics, his influences in developing his crafts, his painting for his grandmother, where the band’s moniker originates from, how every member came to his stage name and so forth. The content reads very fluently, is informative and humorous and deals with (surprise, surprise) Michel’s life in hindsight of becoming an artist and his development in connection with VOIVOD. Longer passages periodically deal with the band: from its forming to becoming an established underground entity, decisions made on the way, difficulties on their paths, developments of their members, the business’ side of things, the creational aspects of each record, the fictional story of the figure VOIVOD with its progression and journey, and so on. In addition to Michel also other members as Denis aka ‘Snake’, Eric or Jason join in with comments or anecdotes. As the notes for this book were made after the sad demise of Denis D’Amour you unfortunately won't find any quotations from him. Layout wise everything is presented aesthetically with either a single painting or several compiled pictures on one page and paintings, images or figures between the words. Each headline comes in the ‘Katorz’ font type. As far as I can judge the printing quality and the reproduction is fine. Although there is still so much for me to discover I can already say that I intensely would have liked to know soooo much more if not everything about one of my all-time faves. More in-depth facts, personal stories and experiences from every period. More about the complete tales the paintings and the lyrics relate to. The galaxy of VOIVOD and the persons involved, there is so much more behind it all that that this book can only but reveal a glimpse of what could be shown and written. It simply lacks of space... Further on I miss an appendix or register with all the names or detailed descriptions of each painting together with additional information as e.g. original size, material, colour and techniques Michel used. Moreover an inventory of all the printings Michel participated in with his art or words, be it comic series, books, music related releases or whatsoever. Despite of that criticism for me personally this work already is nothing but a gem and I am just glad considering the hours to come, enjoying looking at all the art works and reading all the contents. Hurray! The way I see it, this work is simply a must for every VOIVODian anyway. More information under

Thomas Georg

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