This we know to be true: the award-winning architect Peter Zumthor designed the Therme Vals, the internationally famous hotel and spa complex in the Swiss Alps. Zumthor’s intention was not to have any clocks within the spa, so that time for its visitors was suspended. The project was completed in 1996.
And this is the legend that we’ve heard: there’s a mountain in the village of Vals that is said to have a mouth that periodically swallows people up.
In Lucas Harari’s artful, noirish graphic novel debut SWIMMING IN DARKNESS, a young man is at a crossroads. Following a breakdown, Pierre drops out of architecture school and travels to Vals to visit the thermal springs complex that had been the subject of his unfinished thesis. Sketchbook in hand, Pierre is drawn to the enigmatic powers of the mountain and its hotel. He discovers secret rooms deep within the Therme Vals and attempts to uncover the truth about them. And he also finds a mysterious man named Valeret who’s similarly obsessed, and who’d like nothing more than to eliminate his competitor.
Gorgeously illustrated, SWIMMING IN DARKNESS is a sexy and cerebral graphic novel and the first published work by Lucas Harari. The son of two Parisian architects, Lucas Harari was born in 1990 and briefly studied architecture before shifting his studies to cartooning. Arsenal Pulp Press—the award-winning publisher of graphic novels including Julie Maroh’s BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR—will publish SWIMMING IN DARKNESS in the U.S. and Canada on November 5th, 2019, introducing English-language readers to a major new cartoonist.
SWIMMING IN DARKNESS is existential horror at its finest, a psychological thriller without a corpse. It is a strange and dreamlike graphic novel that blurs autobiography and fiction while celebrating the real-world accomplishments of architect Peter Zumthor. The book is an open invitation to readers to disappear within its pages, forgetting what time and day it is around them, much like those visitors to Zumthor’s Therme Vals.
“This noirish modern of mysterious architectures, strange geometries and people drowning in obsession is eerily unsettling and completely mesmerizing.”—Warren Ellis
On sale November 5th from Arsenal Pulp Press
NEWS WATCH: Preview an Artful, Noirish Graphic Novel Debut With SWIMMING IN DARKNESS
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