Biographies of the Stars

Jean-Claude Mezieres

Jean-Claude Mézières was born in Paris September 23, 1938. A few years later he met his neighbor and future comics -scripter Pierre Christin in a WWII air-raid shelter.

At 15 Mézières entered the Parisian institute Arts Appliqués, where he studied textile and wallpaper design with fellow student Jean Giraud, later to become famous as the comics artist Moebius. While pursuing his design studies Mézières produced stories for the French comics magazines "Fripounette et Marisette", "Coeurs Vaillants" et "Spirou". After completing his mandatory term of military service, however, he became a commercial artist.

In 1965 Mézières went to the United States to pursue a dream of working as a cowboy in Montana and Arizona. Pierre Christin was also in the United States, teaching French literature at the University of Salt Lake City in Utah. In order to make money to pay Mézières' way back to France the pair produced their first collaboration, the six page adventure "Le Rhum du Punch", which was published in "Pilote" magazine in 1966.

After returning to France Christin and Mézières worked out a method of developing comic strips and in 1967 they created the science-fiction series "Valérian" for Pilote: "La Cité des eaux mouvantes", collected for album publication in 1968, was the first adventure. The strip became extremely popular, owing at least partly to France's first sci-fi heroine, Valerian's courageous female partner Laureline. A series of 18 Valerian adventures followed with "Empire of 1000 Planets" in 1970; "Les Habitants du Ciel", a guidebook to the Valerian universe, appeared in 1991.

Mézières received the "Grand prix de la ville d'Angoulême" in 1984. In 1995 he produced "Les Extras de Mézières", a two-volume set of illustrations he had produced for advertising, cinema, and comics over the course of his career.

Mézières continues to draw the Valerian strip for Christin: the most recent adventure, "Les mauvais rêves", was published in 2000, and centered on the adventures of Laureline.

written by Andy Etris

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