Der große böse Fuchs / The Big Bad Fox
Der große böse Fuchs / The Big Bad FoxbyBenjamin Renner
Translation: Benjamin Mildner
Using minimalistic lines and colour washes, French artist Benjamin Renner tells the fable of the big bad fox. The protagonist’s efforts to terrorise the chicken farm are doomed to failure because of the hens’ courageousness and his own incompetence. Even the big bad wolf can’t turn the fox into a frightening assistant. He encourages the fox to steal eggs one night so that he can eat something other than just turnips. The robbery is a success, but then the fox has to incubate the eggs until they hatch. When the chicks arrive, they see the fox as their mother, and a sense of loving affection (which the fox initially refuses to admit to) grows between them. The fox defends his chicks against all outside attacks – from the big bad wolf, for instance – and against all political decisions made on the chicken farm. He even ends up allowing the feminist hens to use him as a punching bag for their training, just so he can be with his brood.
This is a story about a father’s love for his children and vice versa, and Renner tells it with superb wit. Though pared-down, his drawings perfectly express his characters’ emotions and allow us to experience them as well. An immense, profound delight for all parents and their chicks.