Le Mot Faux – one last chance to get it right, but at what cost?
Le Mot Faux
“One more time. One more night. One more chance to set things right.”
That’s the idea behind Matthew Craig’s latest comic, something a little different from his usual fare at first glance. But this tale of technology allowing the grieving one last day with the dead has, at it’s heart, the same vein of sentimentalism that I loved in Hondle and has made fleeting appearances in his other work.
Le Mot Faux, literally “the wrong word”, is a technological marvel that allows, for just that one more night, the dead to walk again, as a memory implanted in an artificial man. This artificial man, this doll, takes on an artificial skin of whoever they’re meant to be and is dropped back into someone else’s life for one final day to make things right, to say goodbye, to allow the living some closure, to make that wrong word right at last.
(The chance everyone wishes they had – one last chance. But what would you do? That’s the question behind Matthew Craig’s Le Mot Faux.)
But who created this final chance to get things right? And why? Is this an altruistic act of a sentimental genius or is it perhaps something more sinister? The support staff of the Le Mot Faux team certainly seem to live in fear of their mysterious boss and the doll’s creator; Monsieur Telemacque. And what if this artificial skin designed to support anothers mind suddenly gets one of it’s own. No doubt in future episodes we’ll discover more.
(Just who is the mysterious Monsieur Telemacque and is he on the side of the angels or the other guy? Time will tell. From Matthew Craig’s Le Mot Faux.)
Le Mot Faux is designed as a continuing series – something to hook stories onto, an “anthology engine” as Craig puts it. This first one sees the doll revisiting a still grieving wife to allow her some sense of closure. It’s sweet but not sickly, and Craig does a fine job of making his characters far more than the simple two dimensional ciphers they could have been. It’s a very interesting idea this sci-fi melodrama, with interesting characters and some of the best art I’ve seen from Craig so far.
On the basis of this introductory issue, this is, with the exception of Hondle, which shall forever hold a special place in my heart, the best Matthew Craig’s done so far, mixing some fascinating sci-fi ideas with sentimental personal stories. I’m looking forward to seeing which directions Craig will take it. And hopefully, so will you. The comic is available to read here and the print edition is available from Craig’s website or from the wonderful Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham. It’s certainly well worth it.