Authors, politicians and fans expressed their gratitude to the creator of the saga Valerian and Laureline, pioneer of French anticipation comics, who died on the night of Saturday to Sunday at the age of 83.
Praise of diversity, modernity even visionary dimension, optimistic science fiction, humour… If the Valérian and Laureline saga was the subject of a pharaonic film project orchestrated by Luc Besson, it owes it to the created universe by its two creators, Pierre Christin, on the screenplay, and the late Jean-Claude Mézières on the drawing. The designer, who died on January 23 at the age of 83, explored the virgin territory of science fiction in the 1960s, restoring the image of the genre in French comics. His elaboration of unforgettable decorations will have made a large public dream and travel.
Affected by the disappearance of a founding master of the ninth art, authors, politicians or simple fans wanted to pay tribute to him on social networks. “RIP Mézières… Thank you for making me dream and for the beautiful encounters“, posted on Twitter the designer Enrico Marini, creator with Stephen Desberg of the historical series The Scorpion. Touching words that he accompanied with a drawing representing Valérian and Laureline.
No less moving and restrained, screenwriter Jean-David Morvan, father of the fascinating space opera Wake, who inspired the film Avatar, a also expressed his emotion: “Thank you for everything, Mr Mézières… »
For press cartoonist Xavier Gorce, Mézières was “one of the greatest (…) He took me to 1000 graphic planets. A page of the drawing turns. But we can turn them again and again…“.
The director of the Cité de la BD in Angoulême, Pierre Lungheretti hailed a “Author with a dazzling imagination, it is a major part of French culture that is leaving, with a worldwide influence.»
Fans lulled by the cartoonist’s universe evoke fantastic children’s readings. “Comic book fan very sad to learn of the death of Jean Claude Mézières, a reference in the world of science fiction, he made me travel with Valérian and Laureline“.
“Farewell Jean-Claude Mézières and thank you for having made me dream when I was a kid.”
In the political sphere, Martine Aubry recalls that during Lille 2004 European Capital of Culture, the designer had decorated the rue Faidherbe, one of the arteries of the city centre, with a spatial decor: “The comic book designer, Jean-Claude Mézières, one of the fathers of Valérian and Laureline, has left us. The inhabitants of Lille will never forget the Chemin des étoiles which he was proud to have created to open Lille 2004, by transforming rue Faidherbe into a space take-off runway.”
David Lisnard, mayor of Cannes, bows to “the immense draftsman, father with the no less talented screenwriter (and great science fiction author) Pierre Christin, of the leaping spatio-temporal Valérian and the irresistible Laureline.»