“Du Même Côté” (“On the Same Side”) by Mirko Ilić was published in Métal Hurlant #57 (November 1980), pp. 81-82, with the two pages that comprise the story printed back-to-back on the same leaf. Here’s what you would have seen if you had read the story thinking it was the usual comics fare:
[CLICK EACH IMAGE TO ENLARGE, or RIGHT CLICK > SAVE LINK AS…]
But “Du Même Côté” was not exactly the usual fare. Here, more or less, is what you would have seen if you had held the pages up to the light:
[AGAIN, CLICK EACH IMAGE TO ENLARGE, or RIGHT CLICK > SAVE LINK AS…]
My apologies to everyone, including the author, for any and all deficiencies in the above presentation, but I think — I hope! — my crudely photoshopped images are clear enough to give you the flavour, at least, of Mr Ilić’s formal experimentation.
However, if you’re still unsure what, exactly, is going on in the story, you could do no better than to read the description of “Du Même Côté” that Mr Ilić himself posted here at RCN on 21 September 2010 at 10:08 am:
At that time, I was into playing with comics as a media, and the idea of the comics was to be printed on both sides of the page. Because characters are two dimensional, they don’t have a sense of third dimension. When they are standing against a white wall / magazine sheet, and hearing voices on the other side, they don’t know that they’re actually hearing themselves on the reverse side of the page. When they are shooting / stabbing into the wall, they don’t understand that they are actually killing themselves as the knife comes through to them on the other side of the paper. Only when you hold the page up to the light, do you understand the full picture.
Not surprisingly, it was the above description that prompted me to hunt down a copy of Métal Hurlant #57 so I could present “Du Même Côté” here for your, and my, reading enjoyment. And though it cost me a few bucks — 8.25 EUR, to be exact — I think it was worth it. But then again, I have a real soft spot for black humour and bleak endings.
BONUS LINK (added 23 August 2012):
Mirko Ilić Blog > Metal Hurlant – as of today, 23 August 2012, you can now read “The Same Side” in English on Mr Ilić’s own blog. I am delighted to see that he used the same technique that I used above to simulate the process of holding the physical pages up to the light. Simple but effective.
4 thoughts on “Look Here, Read: “Du Même Côté” by Mirko Ilić”
Hey Li-An! I’m curious… were you faster than me?
You made it first 🙂
I ordered from an ebay seller in France, so I certainly can’t complain about the speed of delivery.
However, if I had purchased the magazine to read from cover to cover, or to fill in or replace a missing issue in my collection, I would not have been very happy as the previous owner snipped big pieces out of two pages and the ebay seller said nothing about the damage in the listing! Still… Mr Ilić’s story emerged from the previous owner’s hands unscathed, so… good enough, I suppose…
It’s a real pity. I’ve got the same adventure with a book about Kley’s work bought on Amazon reseller but the girl gave me my money back and gave me the book.