Romain Slocombe, born in Paris in 1953, began his career as an illustrator working on comics and counter-culture magazines such as Métal hurlant in the late seventies and early eighties. As an artist, he was closely involved with the punk Bazooka collective, having studied alongside many of its members at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1983 he wrote a graphic novel, produced by the same publisher as Métal hurlant. He went on to write many books for children and young adults, returning to novels for adults after his numerous trips to Japan in the 1990s. Un été japonais was published in 2000 as part of Gallimard's Série noire, inaugurating a prolific writing period which saw another 15 novels published.
Common themes run through Slocombe's various fields of work, with the different artistic disciplines - visual and literary - informing one another. His interest in pre-1960 photography, cars and clothing allowed him to build a very clear picture in his mind when writing Monsieur le Commandant, his first novel to be published in English (published by Gallic Books in Sept 2013) and a huge success in France. War, eroticism and medical fetishism, in particular the notion of female beauty under threat, are photographic interests which have also made their way into his writing.
His latest book, Première station avant l'abattoir (First Station before the Slaughterhouse), inspired by his grandfather British journalist and writer George Slocombe's adventures as the London Daily Herald's correspondent in Paris during the twenties -- where he seems to have been an agent for the first Russian spy ring in Britain, run by William Norman Ewer --, has been published by Editions du Seuil in September 2013 and has received enthusiastic reviews in the French press (see : http://www.lefigaro.fr/livres/2013/11/20/03005-20131120ARTFIG00446-romain-slocombe-ou-le-retour-de-rouletabille.php ).
BRITISH REVIEWS of "Monsieur le Commandant" :
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