In 2015, French film director Benoît Cohen decided on a career change: he would become a New York City taxi driver. His journey into that world, and how his experiences there changed his life, are chronicled in his 2018 memoir Yellow Cab: A French Filmmaker’s American Dream. Now French cartoonist Christophe Chabouté‘s graphic novel adaptation of that book, titled simply Yellow Cab, is set for release from IDW Publishing next week. The English version of the graphic novel is translated by Edward Gauvin and lettered by Nathan Widick. Today The Beat is pleased to present an exclusive five-page preview of the book, in which Cohen takes his first steps into the world of cab-driving.
Here’s how IDW describes Yellow Cab:
After 20 years working on film and series shoots, Benoît Cohen is drained. His enthusiasm gone, a desire to stop writing and put down the camera takes over. In the city for a year, he still wonders about how best to absorb the rich diversity of the cosmopolitan metropolis, settling on a simple idea: he will become a taxi driver. Behind the iconic Yellow Cab, Benoît discovers a world in which he is a stranger. First, the administrative maze that leads to the taxi driver’s license. Then the world behind the scenes. And, finally, the prejudices that surround the profession and lead the customers, cops and entire city to look at it, quite randomly, either with indifference, kindness, or aggression.
Benoît Cohen dives into his new life with the idea of turning it into a screenplay for a future film, but the material he collects from this social experiment marks him deeply, leading down unsuspected paths. The project transforms into an autobiographical novel interspersed with reflections on the creative process. With the help of Chabouté, it is now a sensitive, deeply human graphic novel, with breathtaking illustrations that pay vibrant tribute to the most famous of American cities.
Cartoonist Christophe Chabouté has produced dozens of short stories and graphic novels, including adaptations of Herman Melville‘s Moby Dick and Jack London‘s To Build a Fire. Yellow Cab is Chabouté’s first memoir adaptation, and marks the first time Cohen’s work has been adapted into the comics form.
Check out the exclusive five-page preview of Yellow Cab below. The 168-page graphic novel arrives in bookstores on Tuesday, May 17th, and in comic shops on Wednesday, May 18th.