I read a graphic novel once, and I have lost track of it. Google has been unhelpful.

Here's some details I remember:

  • It was published in a single volume, in full color, in that intermediate-length size between door stoppers like V for Vendetta and staple-bound Donald Duck. (Quite certain)
  • It was published sometime in the latter half of the twentieth century. (Uncertain)
  • It had a realistic art style. (Quite certain)
  • It was tonally similar to e.g. the Nikopol trilogy. (Debatable)
  • The main plot concerned a “fake” city with Drosera (Sundew) plants as its motif. (Quite certain)
  • The city was made up of cardboard facades akin to theatre flats, which could move on rails. (Quite certain)
  • The main character was a cartographer. (Uncertain)
  • He went from his home city across a desert, to the “fake” city. (Quite certain)
  • He crossed the desert in a triple-decker airplane. (Uncertain)
  • In the end he realized his folly, and stumbled back out into the desert towards his home town. (Quite certain)
  • 1
    What was his folly about?
    – Broklynite
    Feb 14, 2018 at 9:59
  • 2
    You have a good memory for prominent details, and I appreciate you noting which items you were most certain about so that I could weight my search terms.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 14, 2018 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


I believe this is Les murailles de Samaris (1982).

Cover of Les murailles de Samaris

Franz Bauer, a clerk in Xhystos, is asked to visit Samaris and research the rumors about this city. Some people have left for Samaris but did not return: Mark and Clara (youngest sister of Anna), and someone called Pierre. Despite opposition from his friends, Franz leaves for Samaris, which he reaches after a long journey.

He stays in the only hotel of the city, meeting one woman called Carla in a club. The days pass, but they seem all similar to each other. In the end Franz tries to break out of the daily routine and finds out that the whole city is built with panels. He discovers that the whole city is fake, and its inhabitants either cutouts or simulacra. Making his way to the center of the city, he finds an altar with a book on it, describing the city as like a carnivorous plant that captures outsiders and consumes them, forever extending its roots. Franz returns to Xhystos to warn them, but nobody seem recognizes him. Many years seem to have passed since he left. Eventually he is able to meet the city's council, but they deny that they have sent him on his mission. Franz leaves Xhystos to return to Samaris.

Here is an image of the facades on rails:
Protagonist viewing facades on rails

The Goodreads summary for the French edition mentions that the city's emblem is a Drosera, which is indeed the Sundew plant.

I found this searching for "graphic novel" sundew plants facades rails

  • This is exactly the one! I tried graphic novel dorsera fake city and permutations thereof — English isn't my first language so I didn't know the common word for Dorsera and didn't think to use it when I found out for writing my question. Feb 14, 2018 at 16:24
  • ^_^ I'm glad I could help. As I said in my comment, credit to the number of details you provided and which ones you were more definite on.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 14, 2018 at 18:51

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