Melville #2 - 'L'Histoire de Saul Miller'

Romain Renard is an illustrator, designer, comics artist and musician based in Brussels, Belgium. He makes storyboards for films and advertisements, and is (co-)author of comics series like 'American Seasons' (2005) and 'Melville' (2013-...).

Designer
He was born in 1975 and got his artistic education at the Institut Saint-Luc in Brussels, where his father Claude Renard once ran his famous Atelier R. Renard has been mainly active in the field of commercial art and designer. Like his father, he has regularly worked as a designer with the Belgian theatre director Franco Dragone on shows in Belgium and the USA. Romain Renard furthermore participated in the development of the video game 'Amazonia'. In addition to his work in visual arts, Renard is a musician/songwriter/composer with the Belgian band ROM, of which the debut album 'L'Étoile du Sud' was released in 2007.

Comics career
Romain Renard made his debut as a comics artist with the first, and only, album in the series 'American Seasons' (Casterman, 2005). The graphic novel, written by Yves Vasseur, is set during the 1960s at the height of the Cold War.  Vasseur was also a regular companion of Romain's father and won the Festival Polar de Cognac prize. The plot revolves around an insurance company detective investigating a death in an Ukrainian circus in Maryland. For Casterman's collection 'Rebelles', Renard wrote and drew a comics biography about The Doors frontman Jim Morrison under the title 'The End: Jim Morrison' (2007). It appeared at the occasion of the 40th anniversary of The Doors' debut album. A couple of years later, Renard returned to the comics medium with 'Un Hiver de Glace' (Casterman, 2011), an adaptation of Daniel Woodrell's mystery drama novel 'Winter's Bone'. In 2013, Renard provided the coloring for '1914 1918 - Les Anges de Mons', a semi-graphic novel about World War I by Xavier Hanotte and Claude Renard.

Melville
Renard's biggest claim to fame as a comics author has been the series 'Melville' (Le Lombard, 2013-), which can be described as a mix between detective and modern western. Each volume centers around a different resident of an imaginary country town in the USA, and is interlarded with imposing landscapes, surprising plot twists and a strong sense of realism. The first volume, 'L'Histoire de Samuel Beauclair' (2013), about a novelist with writer's block, won not only the Prix Diagonale for best graphic novel of the year in Belgium, but also the Prix Espoir for best story at the Versailles Festival and at the International Comic Festival in Alger. The second installment, 'L'Histoire de Saul Miller' (2016), about a retired professor, won the best graphic novel award in 2016 at the Festival du Polar. The author didn't restrict himself to print however. Both albums came with a special soundtrack album, and Renard also adapted both albums into stage plays. An app called 'Les Chroniques de Melville' was developed for the Apple Store and Google Play, which provides backgrounds and allows reading to submit their own stories about an inhabitant of Renard's own little universe.


'Un Hiver de Glace'

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