November 28, 2022

Marie Leblon brings our cartoon heroes to life

How did you go from the world of dance to that of sculpture?
I met Eric Delienne who made wooden puppets. I started carving with everything that came to hand. I always had this desire to create.

When did you start carving Tintin pieces?
When Hergé died, it was as if I wanted to prevent him from dying. For many, this cartoon character was like a little brother. So I made Tintin in a yoga position, spontaneously, without asking permission from anyone. It was only after that I discovered the complexity of permissions to get brand owners. Fortunately, it pleased them.

Did you think of it as a fleeting work?
Yes it was just a tribute. In 1983, derivatives did not exist. I had not thought of doing anything commercial. But as I was asked to continue, I started to decline the different characters of Tintin. With Eric we put together a team and the adventure was born.

Did you imagine such a success?
Not at all, even if unconsciously, I felt that I was realizing something important. Given the success of the theme Tintin, we continued to decline the many heroes of our childhood, Asterix, Bécassine, Spirou ...

How do you work?
First, I immerse myself in the character by reading the work of its author. I never do drawing. With my fingers, I start by making a sketch in modeling clay or sometimes in clay. Then after I go to the resin and I polish the curves, the details. I like to revive a cartoon character under my fingers, look for how he lives in the heart of everyone. Then we make a mold, we cast the sculpture, we paint it with a gun or brush and we finish by assembling. I always create in the middle of my team, in the workshop. It is important to me that everyone sees what is happening, feels the same enthusiasm for a new creation.

When did you decide to embark on decorative objects?
To celebrate our 20 years, I created a line of objects (tables, pouf, lamps ...) with a very clean design called B.A-ba. I love all the emotion that emerges from sculpture, tenderness, love. It is very sensual. With the decor, I use as in my early days many materials.

Best of all, you have been chosen to sculpt the Angoulême Comics Festival trophy.
Yes, I was very moved by this request. I have to carve the Fawn, the cat designed by Lewis Trondheim. He won last year and will chair the jury of this 34th edition. This statuette will also become the trophy of festival for the next years.

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