Jean-Claude MEZIERES

(1938 2022 )

Show the products of the artist

Jean-Claude Mézières © Le Monde de la BD

Jean-Claude Mézières © Le Monde de la BD

Jean-Claude MEZIERES is a French cartoonist and illustrator.
Mézières was born in Paris, in a family focused on artistic practice (his parents both paint); his sister, Evelyne Tranlé, was his colorist for many years.
It was during the bombing of the Paris region, during World War II that he met the son of his neighbors : Pierre Christin.

Around the age of 10, it was his older brother, a lover of comics, who helped him discover this world, notably through Albert UDERZO’s Arys Buck. Later, we offer him an album of Tintin and it is a love at first sight for the work of Hergé.

He begins to draw himself and at the age of 15, he sends to "Monsieur Casterman" The Great Pursuit, 16 pages in color of an adventure he imagined and conceived. It was Hergé who responded and encouraged him to develop the obvious talent he showed. In 1953, he joined the Applied Arts to become a designer of fabrics and wallpaper. Two years later he began to publish short stories in Coeurs Vaillants, then in Fripounet and Marisette, before publishing in Le Journal de Spirou. He then associates with Jean Giraud, Pat Mallet and finds Christin, before leaving for military service.
In 1965, he left for the United States, on a work visa for industrial design, but in the American West that fascinates him, he was mainly a cowboy, fulfilling a childhood dream. In Utah, he meets Pierre Christin, who teaches at the University of Salt Lake City and meets Linda, his future wife, and incidentally Christin’s student. With his co-worker in the screenplay, he draws two short stories that Giraud manages to publish in Pilote, where he works, with some success both with Gosciny who directs the magazine, and with readers. On his return to France, he is also hired by Pilote, where he will be a cartoonist, but also a layout designer...
Mézières and Christin (also back in France) are looking for the theme of what will soon be called "a series" to make live characters and a universe in length, as Morris does with Lucky Luke or as Giraud does with Blueberry. It is also because of these two western series (genre that he adores) that Mézières feels compelled to opt for another universe. The two friends chose science fiction and gave birth to Valerian and Lauréline, to whom Evelyne, Mézières' sister, would bring her talents as a colorist.
The team is formed, the series launched, it will impact well beyond what they probably expected. As the father of visual science fiction for French comics, Mézières and his work will have a lasting impact on generations of creators. From Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner to Luc Besson who will work with him on The Fifth Element and adapt Valerian for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets in 2018, Going through Enki Bilal, whose The Monster’s Tetralogy is reminiscent of certain aspects of Mézières' work, the Valerian series is at the origin of a new visual conception of science fiction!
Jean-Claude Mézières left us at the beginning of 2022.