Jean-Claude Mézières, Co-Creator of Valerian and French Comic Legend, Dies at 83

French comics legend Jean-Claude Mezieres, co-creator of the hero Valerian and his universe, has died at the age of 83.

Legendary French comic artist Jean-Claude Mezieres, known internationally as the co-creator of Valerian, He has passed away at the age of 83. Throughout a decades-long career in francophone comics, Mezieres worked almost exclusively on Valerianallowing him to create a rich body of work that has influenced numerous science fiction comics and films, the Star Wars franchise between them.

The characters of Valerian and Laureline are better known to the North American public thanks to 2017 Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, directed by Luc Besson and starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne as Valerian and Laureline respectively. The film, which debuted to lukewarm critical reception, was only a modest box office hit, but it helped bring more attention to the Valerian franchise, which has a rich history in France. The character first appeared in the November 9, 1967 issue of Pilot, and quickly became a fan favorite. The book, set in the 28th century, follows Valerian and Laureline’s adventures across the universe as “space-time agents”, allowing for a series of colorful adventures in a variety of eras. Mezieres co-created Valerian and his universe with his old friend Pierre Christin, and the two produced 24 complete editions (called “albums”) between 1967 and 2010.


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As reported by The Beat, Mezieres has passed away at the age of 83. Mezieres was born on September 23, 1938 and published his first art when he was only 13 years old. At 15, he enrolled in the prestigious Institute of Applied Arts, where among his classmates was the legendary artist Moebius. Mezieres was fascinated by the United States and its culture and spent time hitchhiking across the country. When he returned to France, he met his childhood friend Pierre Christin, creating the first Valerian story, entitled “Bad Dreams”. Mezieres worked exclusively on Valerian-related projects, devoting his career to the exciting saga.

Valerian comic book cover

In Francophone countries, comics are sometimes referred to as “the ninth art”, communicating equal status with poetry, film and dance, and artists like Mezieres are part of the reason comics have such a reputation and history. By focusing solely on ValerianMezieres was able to create one of the richest universes in science fiction, one whose influence can be felt in North American comics and media, ranging from Star Wars to the Fifth Element. While Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets it was not a huge box office success, however it spread awareness of Jean-Claude Mezieres and Francophone comics in general.

Jean-Claude Mezieresthe celebrated artist and co-creator of Valerian He passed away at the age of 83, leaving behind a body of work that stands as testament to the status of comics as true art.

Next: Valerian Comic Source Material Explained

Source: The Rhythm

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