NOMBRILS [LES]                                                                                                            aka BELLYBUTTONS

“La vie est cruelle. Et puis après?”                                                                              Original French motto.

“Life is Cruel. Deal with it.”                                                                                                  English adaption.

This serial which focuses on three teenaged girls, Jenny, Vicky and Karine, was co-created by the team of Maryse Dubuc (writer) and Marc Delafontaine (illustrator). It first appeared in 2004 Safarir 188 a Québec humour magazine and in 2005 was picked up by the Franco-Belgian weekly magazine Spirou. It has been collected into eight books in French and three books in English published by British firm Cinebook. It has also been translated into Czech, Danish, Dutch, Greek, Italian and Norwegian. It disappeared in late 2009 but returned in 2011 in Spirou 3802. However, Maryse and Marc do not see this as a life-long project.

“Jenny” and “Vicky” are glamorous, self-centered and nasty. “Karine” is plain, kind and smart but exploitable. Their friendships are in tension with their competition for boys friends. The title of the serial comes from the body piercing jewelry that Jenny and Vicky wear in their navels. These two also refer to themselves as the “world’s bellybutton”. Below the surface satire and comedy, however, the serial as well deals with social issues like suicide, depression drugs, alcoholism and homosexuality.


Article book:

The Canadian Alternative: Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels. Ed., Dominick Grace & Eric Hoffman. University Press of Mississippi, 2018: “Vicky.” Writ., Annick Pallegrin: 83-97.

Article newspaper:

La Presse, 12 Nov. 2013: Delaf et Dubuc: les nombrils du monde.”.


“The Bellybuttons.” . Accessed 19 May 2020.