The Power of Literature in the Changing World
Benjamin Legrand, Jacques Lob, Jean-Marc Rochette


Petra Matić

Snowpiercer (Transperceneige) is one of the most important sci-fi comic books in history. It was made according to the original idea by Jacques Lob about a world after atmospheric apocalypse. The lucky – or perhaps unlucky – survivors spend their lives in a train without a timetable or a destination, a train which speeds through snowy terrains and braking can lead its passengers to death. Naturally, even the disappearance of the world as we know it didn’t influence on human qualities, so the train contains upper, golden carriages for the elites, and back, overpopulated carriages filled with the poor, who occasionally revolt in attempt to improve their desperate circumstances. When the perpetuum mobile is disrupted and the train begins to slow down, one question comes to the forefront: where has conscience gone?

Translated into Croatian for the first time in its integral version, cult classic Snowpiercer encompasses three original volumes: Snowpierver (Lob/Rochette, 1984), The Explorers (Legrand/Rochette, 1999) and The Crossing (Legrand/Rochette, 2000). This series never lost its relevance, which led the Korean director Bong Joon Ho to release a film version in 2013. TV show was released in 2020. The critics have described the fascinating world of Jacques Lob, Marc Rochette and Benjamin Legrand thusly: “Attention, new reader: the journey is long, but it’s worth it!”

Benjamin Legrand
Benjamin Legrand, born in 1950, got his start in audio-visual arts (working as an assistant to the renowned directors such as Demy, Rivette and Molinaro as well as working in advertising and TV) where he collaborated with Philippe Druillet on an animated movie in early 1980s. Legrand started working on comic books in 1984 penning a script for Tardi’s Tueur de cafards. Since then, he has occupied an important slot in a magazine (À Suivre); in 1987 he started working with the illustrator Rochette on Requiem blanc, and a year lated, again collaborating with Rochette, he wrote a script for two episodes of a show L’Or & l’esprit. On the tail end of the 1990s, after the death of Jacques Lob, Legrand devised a script for two additional volumes of Snowpiercer, The Explorers and The Crossing, for Jean-Marc Rochette. Ten years later he will do the same for another one of Lob’s creations, Delirius, illustrated by Philippe Druillet: the Lone Sloane – Delirius 2. In addition to his contributions to the world of comic books, Legrand is a novelist (with twelve published titles), a translator of major Anglo-Saxon novels (among them the works of Tom Wolfe, Robert Ludlum and John Grisham) and a film and TV script writer. Film, television, comic books, novels… Legrand is a versatile author.

Jacques Lob
Jacques Lob, born in 1932, started his career in illustration in satirical print, more precisely in Hara-Kiri. Following the advice given by Charlier and Goscinny, Lob focused on writing script and became one the main contributors of Pilote magazine. He had worked with illustrators such as Mandryka, Giraud, Lacroix, Mézières and Pichard. In the early 1970s, Jacques Lob’s interest in speculative fiction and science fiction intensifies (with Delirius illustrated by Philippe Druillet). He participated in the making of the show Superdupont for Fluide glacial and then he started working on Snowpiercer, first with the illustrator Alexis, then Jean-Marc Rochette. Lob has won the d’Angoulême Grand Prix in 1986. He passed away on 24 May 1990.

Jean-Marc Rochette
Jean-Marc Rochette moved to the village Les Étage in the mountains of Écrins to work on the comic book Ailefroide in 2017. It took him 40 years to return to the mountains where he grew up and daydreamed as a young man of becoming a guide, before a serious accident prevented him from doing that. Rochette has returned to alpinism and continued to paint, draw and write. His graphic novels The Wolf (Le Loup), a bestseller translated into more than ten languages, and Dernière Reine spotlight this geographical area which is so near and dear to his heart, exploring the motifs of the mountains and the balance between man and nature. From tragedy to humour, realism to fantasy, Rochette is a painter and illustrator without equal.
Petra Matić

Petra Matić was born in 1978. She graduated with a degree in English and French language and literature from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb. She has been a freelance translator since 2000, translating audio-visual and literary works. Since September 2010 she has been a member of the Society of Croatian Literary Translators where she was a part of the board of directors from 2012 to 2014. Matić has started her career as a translator at Croatian National Television. She has translated more than 400 movies, a hundred documentaries, dozens of TV shows and more than fifty literary titles published by Algoritam, Školska knjiga, Meandar, Profil, ArtTresor, Bookglobe, Fibra and others. She is most prolific as a literary translator of graphic novels, among which are the works of Manu Larcenet, François Bourgeon, Terry Moore, Jason Lutes and Bryan Lee O’Malley. Since 2017 she has been on the board of directors of the Croatian Society of Audio-Visual Translators and since 2018 she has been on the board for AVT-Europe. Matić is a founder of the online dictionary of Croatian jargon Žargonaut Žargonaut