A while ago Facebook honcho Mark Zuckerberg published the above photo of his wardrobe, and the internet went into a frenzy. How can anybody be so bland as to have only the same shirt and hoodie? At the same time, efficiency experts were quick to tell us that many successful people use the same technique so as not to waste time making choices.
As is so often the case, comic readers simply had a vague sense of deja vu. After all, French journalist-detective Ric Hochet has been wearing the same turtleneck, denim pants and grey jacket for more than 70 albums (and a reboot) now. Even the character’s creators, Tibet (pseudonym for Gilbert Gascard) and André-Paul Duchâteau admitted as much quite early in the series. In album 10, Les 5 Revenants, Hochet has ended up in a river while pursuing the bad guy. Luckily he has a spare jacket…
In Zidrou and Van Liemt’s reboot, RIP, Ric, the villain only has to put on said jacket (and have some plastic surgery) to very convincingly take the place of the hero. That’s a level of iconic that even Zuckerberg can only dream of.
Note: I understand that four months is an eternity in internetdom, but it took me a while to track down the actual book. And I really wasn’t intending on re-reading all of Ric Hochet, thank you very much.
(illustration Tibet and Simon Van Liemt, Ric Hochet © Tibet – Duchateau / Editions Du Lombard)