A budding friendship between two misfits unravels in the wake of school violence. Schoolyard outcasts Charlie and Astrid meet up after school near a cliff at the edge of the woods surrounding their sleepy town. They make a blood pact to jump together in five days time, before their thirteenth birthdays. Not that navigating the unspoken pecking order of the school quad makes it easy. Can the intensity of their bond survive the scrutiny of their peers, or will it crumble under the sum of each other’s disappointments? Manon Debaye’s characters live in a world just on the periphery of adult supervision, where kids prey upon one another with casual aplomb only to find themselves completely out of their depth. A deft use of colored pencils brings sleepy but barren suburban landscapes to the fore, further capturing childhood’s last pivotal moments as it teeters on the edge of adolescence with startling honesty in this devastatingly well-crafted debut. Winner of the 2023 Philippe Druillet Prize at AngoulÃªme, The Cliff is a moody, visceral glimpse into pre-teen life, unflinching in its portrayal of trivialized cruelties alongside simple joys.