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Entertainment: comic strip. Death of Jean-Claude Mézières, a creator of worlds

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Jean-Claude Mézières, l’un des pères de Valérian et Laureline. © Archives AFP Jean-Claude Mézières, one of the Fathers of Valerian and Laureline.

He was the man of a single series, Valerian, masterpiece for which he was inventor of images that inspired cinema. Awesome designer, Jean-Claude Mézières died on the night of Saturday 22nd to Sunday 23 January 2022.

with Pierre Christin at the scenario, Jean-Claude Mézières created - under the name of Valerian - A long drawn story that is both a masterpiece of science fiction and BD.

already, the meeting of these two holds the extraordinary. Pierre and Jean-Claude have known each other in a cellar of the Paris suburbs where their families had taken refuge, during a bombardment, in 1944.

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Lovers of the United States

Pierre Christin loves the words (he will win a doctorate of Letters), Jean-Claude Mézières prefers images. They discover a common passion for the "illustrated". Jean-Claude also likes cowboys and large American spaces. So, he draws Western and, as soon as he can, in 1965, flush out the United States.

There is Pierre Christin, become academic. Christin offers him to draw a first scenario. Once returned to France, their first series is not a western but science fiction. "The SF was then the ideal vector to evoke the big changes that affected the contemporary world," explains Pierre Christin.

A unique and innovative series

Valerian is an innovative series more than one title when it appears in 1967 in the pilot magazine, three years before being published in album, at Dargaud. In 2720, Valeran and Laureline spatio-temporal agents patrol in history to combat journey pirates over time. They explore distant planets to ensure new resources to land. Here, Tie ...

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For Pierre Christin, the drawing of his accomplice remains "in the strict respect of the tradition", but, he says, "only technical virtuosity in this clean graphic" . And he insists on his way of seeing "the fauna (space), the flora (of the cosmos), the non-humans (distant planets) treated with the strict respect which is necessary before the difference.

2.5 million copies

both truly invent a world - with humanistic values, ecological, feminists - that Jean-Claude Mézières puts in pictures with an imaginary whore and incredible characters. Discreetly, the cinema inspires, starting with Star Wars where there are multitudes resemblances.

later, the cinema finally comes to Jean-Claude Mézières. Luc Besson asks him to collaborate on the fifth element, before the director is working in 2017, to adapt Valerian, a deserved tribute.

The success was already there. In forty years, Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières published twenty-two adventures of Valerian (plus offsets) sold more than 2.5 million copies. With translations into a dozen languages.

Better, the first names of the two heroes entered the heritage. Valerian and Laureline have been given, each, some 2,000 times.

Its last release, the art of mezieres, is a panorama of its graphic creativity. Jean-Claude Mézières, died on the night of Saturday, 22 to Sunday, January 23, 2022. He was 83 years old.

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