[By Jeroen Janssen in Doel, Belgium]
Some years ago I made a big graphic novel: 'Doel'. Doel is a village that is slowly losing its battle with the Modern Age. Lying next to the industrial harbor of Antwerp, one of the biggest European transits for seafaring vessels, Doel is destined to disappear as the harbor of Antwerp keeps growing.
From time to time I want to return, to make a new book. I've made some friends in Doel, people who never wanted to give up the battle, and who are still living there, amongst empty houses and streets, frequented every day and night by tourists, vandals, street racers and thieves.
And when I go on Thursday, I know Marina will make a big panful of chips for her husband Guido, and for me. So I call her.
I : Any news, Marina?
Marina : No news. Always the same history: tourists, vandals, street racers and thieves....
Oh! ... and another little thing. Another house has burned on the Engelse Steenweg. It must be arson.
Just as I told you: not big news.
The chips were delicious ...
Not big news. From Marina's window I see the nuclear plant where she works as kitchen help. Where she didn't have to work this morning. All the not essential staff has been sent home. There have been some troubles again. Reactor n°1 (not the famous one with the cracks) has been switched of for a mechanical fault. There has never been a safety risk, says Belgium's nuclear watchdog FANC. Not big news at all.
Everything seems very peaceful, from the garden. I decide to make a sketch, using only my felt tips.