By Benoît Cohen and Christophe Chabouté. Published by IDW.
Softcover, 168 pages, B&W, 2022.
A burnt out filmmaker finds new inspiration behind the wheel of an iconic New York City taxi cab, exploring a world where he is the stranger and the city his new workplace.
After 20 years working on film and series shoots, Benoît Cohen is drained. His enthusiasm gone, a desire to stop writing and put down the camera takes over. In the city for a year, he still wonders about how best to absorb the rich diversity of the cosmopolitan metropolis, settling on a simple idea: he will become a taxi driver.
Behind the iconic Yellow Cab, behind the fantasy of freedom and independence, behind the faces of his thousands of passengers, Benoît discovers a world in which he is a stranger. First, the administrative maze that leads to the taxi driver’s license. Then the world behind the scenes. And, finally, the prejudices that surround the profession and lead the customers, cops and entire city to look at it, quite randomly, either with indifference, kindness, or aggression.
Benoît Cohen dives into his new life with the idea of turning it into a screenplay for a future film, but the material he collects from this social experiment marks him deeply, leading down unsuspected paths. The project transforms into an autobiographical novel interspersed with reflections on the creative process.
With the help of Chabouté, it is now a sensitive, deeply human graphic novel, with breathtaking illustrations that pay vibrant tribute to the most famous of American cities.
“Eisner winner Chabouté captures the restless spirit of New York City in this comics odyssey adapted from the 2018 memoirs of filmmaker Cohen. Chabouté’s wide, detailed panels and hallmark silhouetting portray the diversity of the five boroughs, with exquisitely lined architecture, subway cars, and vehicles in backdrop. It’s a truly cinematic study of the grit and glory of the city.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review