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Idées noires (Dark Thoughts) is a collection of Black Comedy comic strips by Andre Franquin and Yvan Delporte. Deeply cynical and the result of Franquin's struggle with depression, it's one long parade of industrial recklessness, suicides, executions, military recklessness, ecological disasters and other accidents and contrast hard with his work on Gaston Lagaffe, the Marsupilami and Spirou and Fantasio. Apart from the obvious, the title is also a play on the unique art style which uses so much black that it almost looks like a negative of a regular black and white comic.
Idées noires provides examples of the following tropes:
Accentuate the Negative: And how! Franquin eventually quit the series because it all became too depressing and formulaic.
The Alcatraz: Three gags feature a man desperately trying to escape from an impossible-to-escape prison.
Alien Abduction: The Human is only collateral damage though; they're not endangered yet. The aliens are really interested in that nice Lynx she's wearing.
All Crimes Are Equal: one famous gag shows a man being executed because he murdered someone. Afterwards the executioner is executed for the same crime and his executioner as well, as well as his executioner and his executioner, and... well, you get the point.
Twice a Catholic priest can be seen acting like an idiot while carrying his crucifix in the background.
Another gag features a bus with people who just paid a visit to a place of pilgrimage driving off a cliff. Back home the priest is informed that everyone on the bus died, except for a little pet dog. He concludes: "Brothers, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. His ways are mysterious!"
Berserk Button: After 30 years of working a jackhammer, Carlos does not like woodpeckers.
Black Comedy: Both literally (everything is drawn in black-and-white) and by figure of speech.
A man kissing his girlfriend ends up devouring her.
A man feeding seagulls ends up being eaten up by them, unto his skeleton!
In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: One gag features two flies talking about the technological achievements they made so far. One of them fears that they might start making the same mistakes as "them". "Them" turn out to be the human race, since all insects now live inside human skulls.
Karmic Death: A lot of people die trying to prevent themselves from being killed.
Laser-Guided Karma: A politician is merrily walking around town looking up at the military jets he scored the contracts for and gets run over by a car. It's implied that the ambulance won't get there in time, since what with the budget being reallocated towards the military, there are five for the whole city...
Mayincatec: One gag is about the human sacrifices done in Middle American civilizations.
A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: One guy goes to a party and leaves a small audio device behind so he can listen to his walkie talkie afterwards and find out what his friends say about behind his back. This doesn't go too well. He becomes so depressed that he throws himself between two garbage cans so that the garbage men can throw him away.
No Smoking: A smoker is informed about the many awful diseases you can get from smoking and eventually gets so frightened he hangs himself, as "yet another victim of tobbaco".
A Nuclear Error: Two military experts taking pride in the rapid increase of new nuclear power plants. One of them gets so excited that he says: "Soon the nuclear power plants will grow from the ground like... like...." The next image is the mushroom cloud of an atomic explosion.
Nuclear Nasty: And those who work there still claim nuclear power is good because they sure as hell don't want to remain the only cases of mutation.
Our Monsters Are Different: Franquin was known for his numerous little drawings of horrifying monsters, something he used in this comic strip as well.
Precursors: Parodied. A post-apocalyptic fly civilisation sees Humans as such, but the advanced cities they left behind are just piles of skulls and bones, and besides one of the two flies discussing this considers us to be stupid cunts who blew ourselves up.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Some gags are fantasy-oriented, but other are more disturbing since they take their inspiration from real-life fears like nuclear energy, world war, epidemics,...
Savage Wolves: One gag has a man lost in the snow wandering around thinking he is doomed. Then he sees lights in the distance and thinks it's a city, but it turns out to be the Glowing Eyes of Doom of a group of wolves.
Self-Immolation: As a protest against waste. Naturally, onlookers are horrified at the anti-social wasting of gas.