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Biographies of the Stars

Pierre Christin

Pierre Christin was born July 23, 1936 in the Parisian suburb of Saint Mandé. During a WWII air-raid he met a younger neighbor, Jean Claude Mézières. The pair became lifelong friends, attending the same local school. Christin was the more studious of the pair, however; after graduating from France's famous university, the Sorbonne, Christin pursued graduate studies in political science and became a professor of French literature at the University of Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1965 his childhood friend reappeared. Mézières had been working in comics and commercial art for about a decade, but had run off to America to become a cowboy: now he wanted to return to France. He persuaded Christin to write the story "Le Rhum du Punch" which Mézières illustrated. It was published in Pilote in 1966, paying Mézières way back home. Christin returned to France the following year to become the director of the University of Bordeaux's journalism department. That year, writing under the pen name 'Linus', he collaborated with Mézières in creating the science-fiction series "Valerian, Spatiotemporal Agent" for Pilote. After a few episodes of the first story arc, "The City of Shifting Waters", the series became the most important European science fiction comic.

"Valerian" is an anti-establishment space opera exploring contemporary social issues in a science fiction setting. The title character is a dutiful agent of 'Galaxity', Earth's government/space agency. Valerian's female partner is Laureline, whose defiantly independent actions often save the day, or at least provide the tension which creates the dynamic between the characters.

Christin also created the popular series "Modern Legends", first illustrated by Jacques Tardi and afterwards by Enki Bilal. Christin went on to write regularly with Bilal, creating "Les Phalanges de l'Ordre Noir" and "Partie de Chasse", amoung other stories. He has also written for Tardi, Boucq, Ceppi and many other European comics artists, and is known to be especially interested in supporting new comics talent.

Pierre Christin has also written novels ("ZAC"), filmscripts ("Bunker Palace Hotel" with Bilal), and plays. He continues to collaborate with Mézières on the Valerian strip: The 18th episode, "Bad Dreams", was published in 2000.

written by Andy Etris

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