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Comic Book / Seuls

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The children of Fortville. From left to right: Terry, Leila, Dodji, Camille and Yvan.

Seuls ("Alone") is an on-going Franco-Belgian comic series, written by Fabien Vehlmann and drawn by Bruno Gazzotti. Its first volume was published in January 2006, with a release schedule of one volume per year. It is currently composed of ten volumes divided into three cycles, and, according to the authors, should amount to a total of twenty volumes.

Seuls follows the adventures of a group of five children note  from a fictional town named Campton, who wake up one day to discover that everyone else has disappeared. All the adults are gone, and the only other living creatures they meet are animals and, later on, other children. Of course, the heroes attempt to discover what happened, while also trying to survive by themselves. There are many dangers to be faced, from animals gone wild to rival groups of children.


Over time, they discover that this world isn't what it seems. Mysterious forces are at work, and they end up dragged in a conflict between two warring groups, respectively called the First Families and the Last Families.

A movie adaptation has been released in France on February 8th, 2017.

Seuls provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Dodji's stepfather used to beat him up when he was drunk.
    • Implied to be the case with Edwige's parents, if the bruises on her back are any indication. That would explain her destructive behaviour.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Justified and enforced by some characters. Since there are no adults anymore, some children take their place and assume the leadership. Saul leads a group of children and thinks he should be the only leader, even if it means getting rid of the competition. Dodji also become a leader, even though he doesn't want to. The leaders of the First Families are children too and they want Saul to become the champion of their empire.
  • Action Girl:
    • Leila is the second-best fighter of the group, after Dodji.
    • Edwige, but the violence caused by her Ambiguous Disorder makes her somewhat of a deconstruction of the trope.
  • Action Survivor: Basically all the children are forced to become this.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Saul is far worst in The Film of the Book than his comicbook counterpart. In the movie, his racism is far more explicit. He nonchalantly kills the Master of the Knives when the latter outlives his usefulness. And his crush for Camille is displayed in a very creepy way. At one point, he locks her in a cage.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • It's clearly shown that the Master of Knives has a mental illness, with his inability to talk, the violence he can show and his reasoning which is sometimes more of a young child, in spite of the fact that he's a teenager. But what he has is not clear.
    • Also Edwige, who can be really violent and likes to havoc apartments For the Lulz.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • The Master of the Knives was ultimately only trying to protect a baby girl from the heroes. A Freeze-Frame Bonus on one of the last comic strip boxes shows that one of the windows Leila and Ivan exploded when, while drunk, they had fun shooting with Ivan's father's gun was a window of the building where he was living with the baby.
    • Alexandre and Selene, who try to kill the children of Campton, but only because they want to prevent another war between the Last Families and the First Families. They think that one of them will become the "Midnight-Child", aka the champion of the Last Families.
    • Arguably, the less extremist leaders of the First Families are this, mostly Diane and Lucius. On the one hand, they do advocate for harsh measures, they rule over a society based on a Fantastic Caste System in which a whole group is treated as slaves and they end up antagonizing the heroes because they suspect they may be linked to the Last Families. On the other hand, they do what they think is best to protect their subjects, while having to fight an enemy that turns children into zombie-like pawns.
    • Achille, the First Families' best warrior, is a Noble Demon who opposes the children of Fortville because they are suspected to be aligned with the Last Families. However, he wants to give the children of Fortville a fair chance of joining the First Families and of proving they're not a threat. A conversation between two soldiers also reveals that he strongly dislikes torture.
  • Bowdlerization: In the official English translation of the first volume, there was a panel of showing Terry fully naked, which was edited so that he was wearing underwear.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Terry often acts like a brat.
  • The Chosen One: The Last Families and the First Families each have their champion, a child who has supernatural powers. Saul is revealed in the seventh book to be the champion of the First Families. In the ninth album, we learn the identity of the "Midnight-Child" (Enfant-Minuit in French) of the Last Families. It's Camille.
  • Conflict Ball: Grabbed by Dodji and Leila at the beginning of tome 9 to justify Dodji separating himself from the rest of the group. You'd expect this kind of conflict to break out at the beginning when they didn't know each other well, not after months of surviving together.
  • Cowardly Lion: Ivan is not as brave as Dodji or Leila. But, when push comes to shove, he's capable of being just as heroic.
  • Dead All Along: Everyone. The other people didn't disappear. The characters are actually dead and stuck in an afterlife called the World of Limbo.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ivan has some moments.
    Leila: "It's a pity we don't go see that thing from closer..."
    Ivan: "Another time. We should keep some for the rest of the week. Or else we'll get bored."
  • Everyone Has Standards: Edwige doesn't like much Leila, as she feels that Leila never truly accepted her as part of her group of friends and she considers her a rival for Dodji's affections, but after seeing how Saul is treating her in tome 12, she agrees that she deserves to be helped.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The First Families use a rigid social structure where the numbers of 6 (aristocrats), 7 (commoners), and 8 (slaves) are given to the incoming/newly dead children based on their success in the game of trials.
  • Fauxshadowing: As the story goes on, Dodji is led to believe that he is the "Midnight-Child", the Chosen One of the Last Families. But it ultimately turns out to be nothing but a Red Herring to hide the reveal that it was Camille.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The five children of Fortville quickly become True Companions after having to survive and face threats together.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Even though at first glance, we are led to believe that Dodji is the "Midnight-Child" of the Last Families, some clues actually point towards Camille as soon as album four.
      • In the fourth album, Camille is the more sensible to the events happening in the "Zone", aka the (at the time still not known) stronghold of the Last Families. Alexandre and Selene even suspect her first. Later albums don't bring up that element again, but they never exculpate Camille either.
      • In the eighth album, Camille is questioned by the leaders of the First Families, who use an artifact known as Alderic's Hand to try to see if she has a connection with the Last Families. One of the leaders' Evil-Detecting Dog starts barking and the Hand is reacting. However, at the time, the leaders (and by extension the reader) assume that it's because of Lucy, the baby that was with Camille at the moment.
    • The revelations that the children were Dead All Along and the entire "World of Limbo" saga of the First Families and the Last Families were hinted at the second volume of the series, where Ivan remembered him being with his parents getting into the car the night to run away from "Fifteen Families" before everyone disappeared without realizing that he and his parents died in a car crash.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Camille loves animals and is implied to not eat meat (or at least not eat the meat of the animals she raises).
  • Good Is Not Nice: After his Heel–Face Turn, the Master of Knives becomes an ally of the children of Fortville. However, he's far more prone than them to use violent (and even lethal) ways to deal with their enemies.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Master of Knives, the antagonist of the second album, turns out to be a child himself, with an unspecified mental illness, who attacked the heroes because he thought they were a threat to the baby girl he was protecting. At the end of the album, they let him go and, in his subsequent appearances, he becomes an ally.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Saul alternates between an enemy of the children of Fortville and a reluctant ally. The reveal that his crush Camille was the Midnight-Child all along and his subsequent Jumping Off the Slippery Slope cements his status as an antagonist.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Ultimately Played With and Subverted. It turns out that the children were all Dead All Along. However, in the World of Limbo, since they are already dead, they can't die again. Those who die always come back. It's later revealed, however, that it's possible to die for real in the World of Limbo.
  • Knife Nut: The fittingly named "Master of Knives".
  • Knight Templar: The leaders of the First Families, to varying extents. The worst in that regard in Toussaint, their military leader, as he is the one who advocates for the most violent methods. Subverted with Diane, who's open to hear Anton's theories even though they are iconoclast. She does warn him to not talk about them to Toussaint, or else he might burn his works. And him with them.
  • Light Is Not Good: The First Families, what with their use of slavery and Fantastic Caste System.
  • The Load: Because of his young age, Terry is often useless in battle and sometimes even puts himself in danger by being too reckless.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Ivan came from a wealthy family, which his father happened to be a banker. Though he has schoolmates, his parents are often absent as they were too busy. At least he was with his parents in a car accident during the night where he and the children went to World of Limbo/died.
  • Manchild: The Master of Knives is actually a teenager whose disability made him more in level with the children in terms of mental maturity. Despite the World of Limbo accepting young children who died in tragic ways, his status as a teenager in such realm make it one of the mysteries on how it operates.
  • Morality Pet: Camille, for Saul, doubling as Puppy Love. Even discussed in-universe at one point, when Camille points out that Saul seems less harsh when she's with him.
  • Nice Girl:
    • Camille is the nicest of the group.
    • Also Zoe, who is met in the third album and later joins the group.
  • Noble Demon: Achille, one of the leaders of the First Families and their best warrior. He wants to give the children of Fortville a fair chance of joining the First Families and of proving they're not a threat. A conversation between two soldiers reveals that he strongly dislikes torture.
    Gaspard: "We can win some time... I'll make them say where their friends are."
    Soldier: "Forget it Gaspard. You know Achille wouldn't like that."
  • Puppy Love: Romance isn't the focus of the story, but there are some instances of this trope, even though they're very discrete.
    • Edwige and Leila both show an interest in Dodji. In the seventh album, they both kiss him.
    • Between Camille and Saul.
    • Between Ivan and Zoe. Clear on Ivan's part, but she seems more oblivious. However, in the seventh album, she sleeps on him.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The children never physically age in the World of Limbo (with the exception of their hair which become lighter and their eyes which become blue), but some of them are there since a long time. For instance, it's implied that the leaders of the First Families, like Lucius, are from Antiquity. And Achille and Toussaint may be even older.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Some animals have become feral and attack humans on sight. They're recognizable thanks to their red eyes. We later learn that this happens to those who've been corrupted by the Last Families.
  • The Reveal:
    • At the end of the fifth album, we learn that everyone has been Dead All Along and that the world they are in now (called the World of Limbo) is some kind of afterlife.
    • At the end of the ninth album, we finally learn that the "Messiah" and champion of the Last Families is not Dodji, as we were led to assume, but Camille.
  • The Smart Guy:
    • Ivan is the smartest of the five children of Fortville.
    • Anton, who's met in the third album and later joins the group, is even smarter.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Leila (Tomboy) and Camille (Girly Girl).
  • Wham Episode:
    • The 5th Album was an entire surprise to the cast of the storyline, which it was revealed that the protagonists were actually dead and ended up in the World of Limbo.


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