Comic Book / Chlorophylle

Chlorophylle is a Belgian comic series created by Raymond Macherot in 1953 and published in the comic magazine Tintin until 1971.

The hero Chlorophylle is a dormouse living in an European countryside and fighting his Arch-Nemesis Anthracite the Black Rat.

In the middle of the series Chlorophylle discovers Coquefredouille, a Mediterranean-style island with a Mouse World full of Civilized Animals. He deals with predators and evil nobles before returning home.

The Coquefredouille arc would serve as a basis for an other Macherot (abrogate, then praised) series, Chaminou.

The series continued after him with other authors, such as Greg, Dupa and Bob de Groot.

Chlorophylle provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Alcatraz: Shark Island, where, despite being Tunnel King, it took more to Anthracite to manage Great Escape, like a subversion of a Sleeping Dummy where he was hidden in the dummy.
  • Ambiguous Gender: It was unclear in the first issues if Torpille la Loutre (Torpedo the Otter) is male or female. As loutre is a feminine noun, Torpille is often referred as a "she" but lacks feminine characteristics such as eyelashes. From la Revanche d'Anthracite, Torpille is clearly female.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: From Val Tranquille to Coquefredouille.
  • Arch-Enemy: Anthracite to Chlorophylle; both take their mutual opposition very clearly, and Anthracite makes it very clear he wishes nothing more than kill him.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Duke Bihoreau de Bellerente, who wants to kill his king to take his place.
  • Batman Gambit: Zizanion, unable to attack Mithron because of his guards, delivers a message announcing he will make the palace blow up at midday. Bouclette, as a precaution to protect the king, has him immediatly moved to a different, more isolated castle in the country. Turns out this is exactly what Zizanion expected them to do, as it makes it easier for him to place the bomb in this more isolated and unguarded castle before Mithron arrives. Fortunately, their car ends up with a damaged tyre and they arrive too late, causing the castle to blow up without them inside.
  • Big Bad: Anthracite, the man behind the murders in Les Croquillards.
  • The Good King: Mithron XIII is despicted as a benevolent ruler, a Reasonable Authority Figure, a very nice person and is adored by his people. When an attempt is made on his life in Zizanion le Terrible, it is a shock for both him and the population that someone would want him dead.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Anthracite tried to get rid of Chlorophylle by tiding him up to a firecracker rocket. But he got himself caught on the rocket and couldn't apparently jump before it explodes.
  • Humans Are Bastards: they have this vicious tendency to create a lot of things dangerous to animals.
  • Inspector Lestrade: Commissaire Bouclette. In Zizanion le terrible, he rejects out of hand the heroes' suspicions, and the start of the book shows he's more concern with finding "a culprit" than the truth.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Chlorophylle and Minimum in Zizanion le terrible. Zizanion exploits it by phoning their newspaper with a bomb threat.
  • Joker Immunity: Anthracite has been apparently blown up on a firework, imprisonned several times, including in a high security jail, but he always find a way to come back.
  • Moral Guardians: Easy to meet in the 50's. They complained that Macherot depicted, in stories for children, terrorist attacks on a King, fun presumably made of labor unions, and a woman wearing hair curlers.
  • Nice Mice: The protegonists, as well as Particule and her family.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: the viper is willing to trade Chlorophylle with Anthracite against ten other mice, knowing how much Anthracite values his enemy. Anthracite doesn't trust him.
  • Reverse Psychology: In one book, Anthracite starts a fight with a prisonner who is about to be freed next morning. When the Warden is about to punish him, he begs him to not see said prisonner again, and the Warden of course decides to have them share a cell. Turns out Anthracite wanted this to happen: the prisonner is his accomplice, and this allows them to plan an escape for him.
  • Sidekick: Minimum is Chlorophylle's.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Chlorophylle is male in all ex-Yugoslav translations.
  • Swarm of Rats: the black rats invade Val Tranquille (the Quiet Vale) after they've been chased away from an old mill.
  • Those Two Guys: Escalope and Fricandeau. Chlorophylle and Minimum, as well.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: While Anthracite does have some comedic moments, he is overall a surprisingly vicious character for a seemingly innocent story. His crimes include frequently murdering his own accomplices once they are of no more use to him, introducing the local equivalent of cannibals in Coquefredouille, and eventually becoming a fascist-like dictator.
  • Villain Episode: Zizanion le Terrible has the eponymous villain hog all the screen time.
  • Wham Episode: les Croquillards, which contains the shift from normal-sized environments to a Mouse World.
  • Wicked Cultured: Anthracite is one while living in Coquefredouille.
  • You Dirty Rat!: To say Anthracite is a nasty piece of work would be putting it lightly.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The last way Escalope and Fricandeau can be useful to Anthracite is by being killed by him so he becomes the hero and savior.
    • He also has the men who helped him introduce the two predators in Coquefredouille blown up with a bomb to ensure they won't talk.