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Comic Book / Sasmira

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Le temps irrevocable a fui. L'heure s'achève... Mais toi, quand tu reviens et traverses mon rêve, tes bras sont plus frais que le jour qui se lève, tes yeux plus clairs... A travers le passé, ma mémoire t'embrasse...

Sasmira is a French-Belgian comic book series by Laurent Vicomte. The first tome was published in 1997, and it took the author until 2011 to finish the second one.

Stan is a young Parisian orchestra conductor. One day, in front of his door, he finds an old woman who tells him a mysterious sentence and gives him a beetle-shaped gold ring before dying. He becomes obsessed with finding out who she is, and traces her back to a now-abandoned mansion in the French countryside.

His girlfriend, Bertille, concerned that his single-minded quest is jeopardizing their relationship, decides to help him in order for him to move on eventually. They both go to the mansion, where Bertille puts on a period dress she found. In a room, they see a woman in a strange metallic sarcophagus, apparently in a state of suspended animation. While a storm rages outside, they find refuge in a cellar, and black out after having sex.

When they regain consciousness, they are in a bed. They are still in the mansion, but have somehow ended up in the year 1908...

Contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The first two books had a storyline set in the present day where Stan and Bertille's friends were investigating their disappearance. They unceremoniously vanish in the last two books.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Bertille is very short-sighted and only sees a blur when not wearing her glasses.
  • Cessation of Existence: Sasmira upon her resurection swore that there was nothing after death and that the Egyptian gods didn't exist. She was sentenced by her father to have her mouth gagged with a device in order to silence her.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: His quest turns Stan into one.
  • Costume Porn: The period clothing is drawn in lavish detail, down to every last frill.
  • Double Entendre: Stan describes an attractive Lady in Red while ostensibly talking about wine.
  • Driven to Suicide: At the end of the third book, Sasmira burns down the library where Prudence wrote her memories. The latter horrified decides to throw herself in the fire.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: To Bertille, this is what Belle Epoque ladies' wear feels like.
  • Landmark of Lore: It's hinted that the glass pyramid at the Louvre may have longevity-enhancing properties.
  • Literal-Minded: On several occasions, a character will take literally a figurative turn of phrase by another character.
  • Little Black Dress: In order to catch Stan's flagging attention, Bertille gets talked by her best friend into putting on a little black dress. It doesn't work but she does look gorgeous in it.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's unclear if Sasmira really temporally died and saw that there was nothing after death. Bertille theorized that she might have been in the coma but no one at the time could tell.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Bertille gets to wear a tight-laced corset in 1908.
  • Rapid Aging: Bertilla starts getting old faster as a result of the travel to the past.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Sasmira is over 4000 years old. She was the illegitimate daughter of a Pharaoh in Ancient Egypt and was cursed with immortality for reasons unknown to Prudence. It's revealed in the third book that a priest cursed her because she refused his advances.
  • Scenery Porn: The 1908 scenes are nicely drawn. The chateau in said scenes also looks considerably better than its present day form.
  • Sex Magic: In the second book, it's revealed that Stan and Bertille inadvertently performed the time travel by having sex in a pyramid during summer solstice. They have to do it again in Kheos pyramid in order to return to their time.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Bertille's default outfit is a plain T-shirt and jeans, and her looks are considerably improved when she dresses up... Though it comes off pretty quickly following the sex scene.
  • Stable Time Loop: As revealed in the last book, the dying old woman who gave Stan the ring was indeed Sasmira who set up Stan to travel back to the past in order for him to meet her past self..
  • Trapped in the Past: Stan and Bertille had no intention to travel back in time, and have no idea how they ended up in 1908.