"Le Genie des Alpages" (The Spirit of the Mountain Pastures) are extremly amusing French comic books by the artist F'murr. It is about a flock of sheep and their shepherd (and dog) in the French alps.

The things happening in the comic are often very strange. One time, for example, the ram decides to stop the night from falling by holding it up with his own hands, causing much disturbance. Another time, a bus with a hungry driver spontaneously appears floating in mid-air. And these are the more normal events - the comic becomes rather surreal at points - like a volcano erupting with lava that assumes the form of gigantic sheep, which then chase the shepherd...

The most important characters are:

  • Athanase, the shepherd, who does not really herd the sheep - they are far too individualistic for that. He only tries to keep them from doing anything even more disastrous than usual.
  • Romuald - The self-proclaimed leader of the flock, a black ram. The only male of the sheep, and the most individualistic. He usually keeps apart of the other sheep somewhat, reading, writing morbid poems, or talking to the shepherd.
  • Cabot - Occupied mainly with creating strange robots, robotic replicas of everybody else and other machinery. Actually, he is supposed to be the sheepdog.

So, you see, the sheep do not behave like sheep usually do. They walk on two legs, talk, and do not obey the shepherd at all. They only play normal for visitors. Think of that the next time you see some stupid, grass-munching, wooly baa-critters.

The comic books in order of appearance:

Le Genie des Alpages                   The Spirit of the Mountain Pastures
Comme des Betes                        Like Beasts
Barre toi de Mon Herbe                 Get off My Grass
Un Grand Silence Frise                 A Great Shorn (?) Silence
Les Intondables                        The Unshearables
Hi Yo c'Est l'Echo                     Hi Yo It's the Echo
Tonnerre et Mille Sabots               Thunder and Thousand Shoes
Dans les Nuages                        In the Clouds
Apres Nous le Deluge                   After us the Flood
Monter Descendre Ca Glisse Pareil      It's Slippery Anyway, Whether You're Going Up or Down
Sabotage et Paturage                   Sabotage and Pasture
Bouge Tranquille                       Move Silently

"Le Genie des Alpages" is published by Dargaud