Meet the Crew: Jérome Martineau

Portrait of Jerome as a not-quite-dead-yet publisher by Joseph Lacroix

Hey you, who are you?

I like stories and books.

As a kid, I went from Strange and Yoko Tsuno to L’Incal and Dark Knight and since then I’ve never stopped. I don’t remember a day without comics.
Every week, I kept putting stuffing my face full of comics. I like the episodes lining up into stories month after month like colonies of ants walking along my brain’s alleys. A continuous infusion, a semiotic fluid in which I am immersed, spiced with some epiphanies: V for Vendetta, Ikkyu, Den.
As in comics, literature or music, I love everything, everywhere, genre, style, form, an eclectic intoxication: Otis Spann, Alan Moore, Albert Camus, Jeff Noon, Pavement, Taiji Matsumoto, Colin Stetson, Ernesto Sabato, Bruce Springsteen, Warren Ellis, Jason, Lovecraft, William Blake, Edward Austin Abbey, Mignola, The Cure, Jordi Bernet, Corben, Joy Division, Jaime Hernandez, Darwin Cooke, Sonic Youth, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Ales Kot, Dostoïevski, Mazzucchelli, Sienkiewicz, Bisley, McKean, Ian Banks, Thomas Pynchon, Poe, David Mitchell, Moorcock, Rick Rememder, Chris Ware, John Burnside, Silas Hogan, Charles Burns, Hannu Rajaniemi, Kafka, Otomo, Moebius, Giraud, Leonard Cohen, Pratt, Tardi, Sonny Boy Williamson, Damazio, Jean-Philippe Jaworski, Bill Watterson, Thelonius Monk, The White Stripes, Pulp, Bruno Schultz, Led Zeppelin, Scarlatti, Constantin Cavafis…
It’s exhilarating. An endless list that’s always changing and that I can make over and over again.


As a kid, I went from Strange and Yoko Tsuno to L’Incal and Dark Knight and since then I’ve never stopped. I don’t remember a day without comics.
Every week, I kept putting my stack of comics in the oven. I like these stories to be followed in dotted lines, from month to month, like so many colonies of ants that walk the furrows of my brain.
A continuous infusion, a semiotic fluid in which I am immersed, dotted with some epiphanies: V for Vendetta, Ikkyu, Den.
As in comics, literature or music, I love everything, everywhere, genre, style, form, an eclectic intoxication: Otis Spann, Alan Moore, Albert Camus, Jeff Noon, Pavement, Taiji Matsumoto, Colin Stetson, Ernesto Sabato, Bruce Springsteen, Warren Ellis, Jason, Lovecraft, William Blake, Edward Austin Abbey, Mignola, The Cure, Jordi Bernet, Corben, Joy Division, Jaime Hernandez, Darwin Cooke, Sonic Youth, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Ales Kot, Dostoïevski, Mazzucchelli, Sienkiewicz, Bisley, McKean, Ian Banks, Thomas Pynchon, Poe, David Mitchell, Moorcock, Rick Rememder, Chris Ware, John Burnside, Silas Hogan, Charles Burns, Hannu Rajaniemi, Kafka, Otomo, Moebius, Giraud, Leonard Cohen, Pratt, Tardi, Sonny Boy Williamson, Damazio, Jean-Philippe Jaworski, Bill Watterson, Thelonius Monk, The White Stripes, Pulp, Bruno Schultz, Led Zeppelin, Scarlatti, Constantin Cavafis…
It’s exhilarating. An endless list that changes at any time and that I can make over and over again.

In the workplace though, it complicates everything. Especially when you make yourself a comic book publisher. Carabas was born in 1999 with the project to publish Leela & Krishna by Georges Bess.

And then there was chaos: revolutionary underground comics, contemporary blues, space and musical adventure, a Norwegian calles Jason who settled in Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast, opportunist projects, translations – Ashely Wood’s memorable Popbot, a little manga because everyone made one… an eccentric publishing UFO.
Lots of meetings, lots of friends, some of whom are here today.
But after 10 years, the situation was hard: economically unbearable, many incredible yet hard to find books. Since then, Carabas has refocused, just a book from time to time with friends.

In the meantime, I have turned to the press – mainly for a young audience, under license, because it’s still the fastest way to get some notoriety.
Then in 2012, it was the beginning of the Semic adventure. First with Marvel and then with Studio Ghibli. I have moved away from paper for resin, vinyl, textiles… in order to create derivative products of all kinds, on all supports, in all forms: from mugs to statues, from key rings to piggy banks, from paintings to stuffed animals…
Lots of new experiences, new jobs to learn, and always lots of people to meet!

Image result for Carabas prix angouleme bonhomme
The first Carabas album to win an award in Angoulême!

Why so Gryyym ?

Well, Gryyym is an opportunity to come back to stories and books. In a new way, with several people, even together I would say. An horizontal association of seasoned professionals.
Gryyym is the publisher, not a man behind his desk.
Gryyym in the service of Gryyym, stories inside Gryyym.
A different way of publishing, of putting artists at the centre and the rest around.
It changes a lot, this reversal of perspective. And it’s less lonely.

Also with Gryyym, I am satisfying an old desire: a comic strip adventure review. From comics to cool daddy, rock’n’ roll that we don’t know or don’t want to do on this side of the Atlantic. A genre and a form a little moribund, a little old-fashioned, but which sounds so right, an endless mug of a tipped yet deeply satisfying beer.

And then it’s the opportunity to build a hut in the shade of Corben. A grinning totem pole that has been with us for quite some time.

Jérome en interview à la boutique éphémère Ghibli, qu’il tient tous les ans à Paris.

And what do you do in Gryyym?

I fix, I ease up, I polish.
Figures, legal and administrative stuff, manufacturing.
Exchanging, observing, listening, staying the course.

Image result for carabas jason

Your favorite horror comic?

BPRD. Without hesitation.
An apocalyptic fresco of unprecedented scale. A gooey, terrifying despair that goes as much through the moods of the office agents – through little stories of a daily life that derails into nightmare – that easily goes epic, up to downright mythological. Dead people we can’t forget and monsters we’d do anything to forget. The Earth splits and men, civilizations disappear, engulfed by creatures the size of a continent.
And above all with seriousness and total commitment. There is (sometimes) humor, but the guys are total believers of their stories and characters. No one ever giggles over your shoulder, no distance, no mockery. This is beneficial.
Graphically, between Guy Davis’ vibrant and disturbing horror and Laurence Campbell’s tragic darkness, it is absolute happiness.
And it’s been going on for 17 years.

I have to add Hellblazer. God save John Constantine!

More recently Redland (Bellaire, Del Rey), three witches in the sticky south, three powerful women sinking.
And also the terrifying adaptation of Lovecraft’s hallucinated Mountains by Gou Tanabe. He succeeds in the unspeakable.

Among all the people to whom I would like to say “thank you”, I would especially like to thank David Lloyd and Tommy Lee Edwards. We didn’t know each other 20 years ago when they agreed to participate in the first “Vampire” collective published by Carabas. And now 20 years later, they are still there.

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