There are very few car-guy movies, particularly ones which are ostensibly fiction, which stand the test of time. Grand Prix, Bullitt, and Le Mans are in a small and exclusive club. Though not a commercial success when released in 1971, Le Mans has since been elevated to cult-classic status. A new graphic novel rendition of the film, produced with cooperation from the ACO and Greenlight, came to life after McQueen visited its creator in a dream three years ago. A 64-page, large format hardcover edition is now available in time for the holidays.
Artist Sandro Garbo grew up reading both Marvel and classic Belgian comic books. The influence of the latter comes across in the artwork, which tends to feel much less crowded than the average American Superhero comic.
Garbo worked with the ACO to make each panel as authentic and recognizable as possible. Heritage Officials from the ACO contributed to ensure that correct details came through. Scenery, cars, and actors will be recognizable to fans of both the event and the film.
Each car is rendered faithfully, from the Porsche 917, 911 and 908, to the Ferrari 512. The surroundings received a similar level of attention, with period advertising and fashions visible throughout.
The movie’s innovative filming brought movie goers closer than ever to the fast-paced action. Garbo’s strategy was somewhat different. Per Garbo, “this large format allows everyone to contemplate the illustrations at their own pace, admiring the pages, panels and every detail.”
The novel finally came together after three years of work. The artist had been painting his friend’s cars for some time before McQueen visited him in a dream in 2013. In order to keep McQueen’s movie and legacy alive Garbo enlisted artists Florian Afflerbach, Jared Barel, Julien Dejeu, Sandro Garbo, Thomas Lebeltel, Guillaume Lopez and Pierre Ménard to help.
The end result looks to be stunning and would be a welcome addition to any Porsche fan’s library. The launch edition of the book is available in hard back (measuring 14″ x 10″) and four languages from the creator’s website.