02.09.14 > 19.10.14

Barly Baruti & Christophe Cassiau-Haurie

Madame Livingstone (Glénat)

Artist Barly Baruti, the standard-bearer of comic strip creation in Africa, heads an oeuvre unequalled in the Green Continent. Baruti’s works were published regularly in Europe before he decided to devote several years to promoting artistic creation and comic strip to the inhabitants of his native country at local level. He is now back on the comic strip scene with an album which is indisputably his most personal work to date. This is a major work with a scenario written by Christophe Cassiau-Haurie for the publishing house Glénat. Rarely illustrated other than in the cinema, the first World War – as experienced in the African Great Lakes – here provides the backdrop for a sensitive encounter between human beings treated with equality. Humanity is at the heart of the tale, and it is multicoloured. For the central character in this powerful narrative, this hymn of respect is also a quest for identity.

To mark its publication – and our own 25th anniversary – the Belgian Comic Strip Center is proud to exhibit a selection of very fine drawings in direct colour from this unmissable album.

Jean Auquier, Belgian Comic Strip Center.


In Central Africa during World War I the pilot Gaston Mercier, a lieutenant in the Belgian Royal Army, is given the task of sinking a German battleship on Lake Tanganyika. To find its exact position, Mercier is assigned a rather strange guide... This enigmatic, kilt-wearing figure of mixed race, who seems much better educated than the other natives, claims to be the son of the famous explorer David Livingstone. Gradually, while the war between the Belgian and German colonial forces rages in the heart of the Dark Continent, the young Belgian pilot tries to find out more about this man known as "Madame Livingstone".

In this story based on a tale of Apollo, Christophe Cassiau-Haurie combines adventure and friendship against the backdrop of the first World War in Africa. The exoticism of the location is magnificently recreated in the direct colour drawings of Barly Baruti. The album includes a bonus 16-page pull-out explaining the historical context.

Born in 1959 in the Belgian Congo, Barly Baruti first entered the comic strip world when he created nine albums for NGOs from 1982. Further works then appeared in the African comics Koakou and Calao and his illustrations were published in the Brussels Le Soir, Tam-Tam, Autrement and others. His meeting with Frank Giroud led to the publication of Eva K in 1995 by Soleil and then Mandrill in 1998 by Glénat. A very dynamic figure, he has been endeavouring to make the comic strip better known in Africa by organising Afro BD, the first African comic strip festival, in Kinshasa. Baruti lives in Belgium.


Robin JOLLY, Glénat

Tags : Museum / Strip / Exhibition / Publication


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