The comic series Valerian, a true pillar of French science fiction, loses one of its creators. Cartoonist Jean-Claude Mezieres died at 83 on the night of Saturday January 22 to Sunday January 23. With the screenwriter Pierre Christin (whom he had met in 1944 in the middle of the Second World War) and the colorist Évelyne Tranlé, Jean-Claude Mézières gave birth in 1967 to one of the most beautiful series of SF, one of the most advanced on its time too, as some of the topics covered are so topical (ecology, feminism, inclusiveness, etc.).
The sure line of Mézières, whose mastery refers to those of the great designers of Comics Americans, will thus give birth to the characters of Valerian, to Laureline, and to a myriad of extra-terrestrial worlds which will influence a number of renowned artists – George Lucas obviously borrowed many elements from Valerian for his Star Wars -, without forgetting the film adaptation of Valerian by the French director Luc Besson.
Dargaud, the publisher of Valerian, paid tribute to the artist and recalled that “Jean-Claude Mézières was also a great traveler and even lived in the United States where he was a cowboy in Utah during the 1960s, fascinated like his friend Jean Giraud by the landscapes of the American West. Sensitive to the environment without being an activist, he liked to rest in his house in Aveyron, surrounded by nature. »