Frédéric Leterreux and Jérôme Ého create an explosive sequel to the comic strip L’espion du Jour-D

Frédéric Leterreux (screenplay), Claire Dumas (colours) and Jérôme Ého (drawing) present volume 2 of the comic strip L’espion du Jour-D. ©Frédéric BOURGEOIS

After escaping the occupying forces and reaching England 1940, Franco-British spy Greg Honey is back in Normandy beginning June 1944. And not for sightseeing. But to prepare the ground, a few days before D day.

So the journalist and writer Frederic Leterreux and the designer Jerome Eho Start the plot of La Mission, volume 2 of the comic L’espion du Jour-D, presented on Bayeux (Calvados) Thursday 30 June 2022, a few days after the official release on Idées Plus Editions.

Inspired by a true story

Inspired by real events, The D-Day Spy comic shows the exploits of Greg Honey, a British secret service agent who, starting in the autumn of 1940 in Caen, got the Gestapo to see all colors. . Four years later, back in Normandy, Greg Honey faces a new mission as D-Day begins. Of course nothing goes as planned…

A journalist’s research

The journalist Frédéric Leterreux, who has written numerous special editions on the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy, prepared volume 1 of a supplement entitled “A century of different facts in Calvados” for the newspapers of the Publihebdos group in 2009, when he stumbles on the Hopper case. Unknowingly, he keeps the frame of his first novel.

I was drawn to a very catchy title about a motorist who opened fire on a Caen policeman at the beginning of the Caen occupation. In fact, it was the Hopper affair that would make headlines afterward.

Frédéric Leterreux, journalist and novelist

If we ask you… An English spy’s insane escape in 1940 was published by Editions Orep near Bayeux in 2013. Two more novels will follow (The D-Day Spy and Le Havre 44) which will chronicle the exploits of English spy Greg Honey before, during and after the 1944 landings.

pen and pencil

Within the walls of the Nonant-based publishing house, Frédéric Leterreux meets the designer Jérôme Ého. In 2016, the latter told the publisher Grégory Pique of his desire to recreate scenes from 1960s Normandy against the backdrop of paid vacations and old cars. And to tell stories about his drawings.

That’s good, the director of Orep knows a man who knows the history of Normandy! Jérôme Ého and Frédéric Leterreux deliver 48 unusual and illustrated stories in We’ll all go to Normandy published in November 2017.

Videos: currently on Actu

History, music, cinema, beautiful bodies… Fred and Jérôme stick together. The two friends will soon be signing two more books with Orep: We’ll all go to the Cotentin and Crime in Normandyin 2018.

The swarm

Comic screenwriter and illustrator Jérôme Ého also has a passion for cinema. Reading the novels of Frédéric Leterreux, he sees in them a scenario worthy of the big screen. “Comics are the movies of the poor! » The spy of D-Day, the escape, published by Idées Plus Editions in August 2020. It focuses the plot of the first novel by Frédéric Leterreux, who had to completely rewrite his story to adapt it to the comic boxes. The profession will return: “By the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 2024, the comic strip will be the subject of four volumes,” announces Jérôme Ého.

Beyond the D-Day Spy series, it’s a story about friendship. With her, I allow myself the luxury of favoring sweethearts and human adventures.

Jérôme Ého, draftsman

turn on

From the opening pages of The D-Day Spy: The Mission, the atmosphere becomes tense and the action accelerates.
From the opening pages of The D-Day Spy: The Mission, the atmosphere becomes tense and the action accelerates. ©Frédéric BOURGEOIS

Greg Honey is a Franco-British agent of the SOE (Special Operations Executive), a secret service founded by Churchill in July 1940.

The first volume of the comic takes place between Paris and Normandy. It is inspired by the true story of John Hopper. Jérôme Ého’s pencil line brings Greg Honey to life. It has a concrete ceiling. He is married to a Norman woman and is a merchant at TSF stations. But if he was sent to Normandy, he would set up one of the first resistance networks there, even if it meant acting like a gangster to fund it.

Discovered by the Gestapo, supported by the couriers of “good Frenchmen”, Agent Honey is on the run. If he manages to go out to sea, he will leave his feathers there.

Greg Honey returns to Normandy in 1944. The spy returns to duty by parachuting over Ranville. After receiving a warm welcome from her contact’s wife, Honey has an entirely different mission to fulfill.

“Reality is never far away”

From the first pages of The D-Day Spy: The Missionthe atmosphere becomes tense and the action accelerates.

“When reality is never far away, we deviate from the novel for a fiction,” states Frédéric Leterreux. The whistleblowing letter that will get Honey in trouble again is the perfect illustration of that. “It’s true, word for word.” But the exploits of the secret agent are romanticized. From his part of the legs in the air with his sister-in-law at the rectory of Pennedepie, between Trouville and Honfleur, to the ramp of V1 in Milleville destroyed by Honey, a commune invented for the occasion to which this sabotage operation belongs the fiction.

The historical plot is always straight forward for the journalist. Then the novelist comes into play.

Frederic Leterreux

Jérôme Ého also goes there with a good heart. “From the architecture to the characters, there’s a lot of tongue-in-cheek in this comic.” If the story takes place in Caen and its region, well-known buildings in Bayeux appear in the decor …

“Ordinary people who experience extraordinary things”

Secret agents are known to have charm.  And they don't have the rudeness to disappoint the fairer sex...
Secret agents are known to have charm. And they don’t have the rudeness to disappoint the fairer sex… ©Frédéric BOURGEOIS

Against a historical background, the narrative, fictionalized, gives an overview of what man has best, but also worst in so many wars. Informing, torturing, cold-blooded murders… Volume 2 of The D-Day Spy knows no downtime, giving small stories pride of place in the big. “Honey finds out he has a son. He is kidnapped by the Gestapo,” says Frédéric Leterreux.

As the greatest military operation of all time begins, the Franco-British agent must play on multiple fronts. “From resistance fighters to collaborators, I love telling the story of ordinary people making extraordinary things happen.”

We find “Momo”, the great accomplice of Greg Honey and his flowery language. With expressions from the notebooks of the reporter who has combed Calvados for a good thirty years.

I’m an old-fashioned journalist: I get the news on the street, at the hairdresser’s and in the bistros! If I still hear a counter-expression today, it doesn’t fall on deaf ears. But in my notebook!

Frederic Leterreux

“An ethnological work”

In addition to script and dialogue, Frédéric Leterreux uses expressions of the time to serve this series. The same applies to design and color. Jérôme Ého and Claire Dumas had to face the challenge. “It’s a real ethnological work,” explains the designer.

This type of work requires documenting people’s lives in the 1940s, their way of reacting. But also to the objects and materials of the time.

Jerome Eho

Research that can lead to errors: “Sometimes when we do reconstructions, we can rely on a model that is no longer what it was in 1944,” explains Claire Dumas. “With color, even documents colored with artificial intelligence can fool us.” That’s why the writers enlisted the help of a historical consultant for the series. D-Day Spy.

Two upcoming albums

The trio is already working on producing the third work of the comic strip. “The story takes place during the landings on D-Day. Greg Honey will still have missions to complete. Then a fourth and final album will be released, the plot of which will take place at the end of 1944. development of his space program.” And judging by the intensity of Volume 2, readers won’t be bored.

The D-Day Spy: The Mission, published by Idées Plus Editions on June 26, 2022. Screenplay: Frédéric Leterreux. Drawing: Jérôme Ého. Colour: Claire Dumas. €15 Autograph session with Jérôme Ého on Saturday 9 July 2022 from 1pm to 5pm at the MD Gallery, 17 rue Colonel René Michel in Arromanches.

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