Monsieur Jean, by Charles Berbérian and Philippe Dupuy

Charles Berberian stands as one of the leading present-day comics authors, together with his writing companion Philippe Dupuy. Berberian was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and spent many years of his childhood in Lebanon. At the age of 18, he took courses in Fine Arts in Paris, where he met François Avril. Berberian's first comics works were published in the fanzine Band'à Part, where he developed a style influenced by Ralph Steadman and Tomi Ungerer.

In 1983, he met Philippe Dupuy, with whom he has worked on several projects ever since, each cooperating on both scenario and artwork. Dupuy and Berberian began their collaboration with an homage to Hergé and several works in P.L.G.P.P.U.R. These first efforts for the latter were collected in the album 'Les Héros ne Meurent Jamais' by L'Association in 1991. They then joined Fluide Glacial magazine, for which they created 'Red, Basile et Gégé' and most notably, 'Le Journal d'Henriette', the diary of a timid young adolescent girl. This series, which was later retitled to simply 'Henriette', was continued in Je Bouquine from 1995 and in Spirou from 2003.

comic art by Charles Berberian

In 1985, the duo published 'Le Petit Peintre' at Magic Strip, followed by the 'Chantal Thomas' portfolio, published by Michel Lagarde in 1987. Their work also appeared in the magazines of the juvenile press, such as Mikado, Fripounet and I Love English.

But their biggest claim to fame is the 'Monsieur Jean' series, in which they explore the humor of everyday life. 'Monsieur Jean' premiered in the Frank Margerin Présente anthologies in 1989, and was soon afterwards continued in the Yéti review. Book collections were published by Les Humanoïdes Associés and Dupuis. In 1997, Dupuy and Berberian made 'Le Monde est Fou', based on a script by Vincent Ravalec, for À Suivre. The 'M. Jean' comics portray a generation in a gentle, yet gripping way. As proof of the success of the books, Dupuy-Berbérian won the prestigious Angoulême Alph-Art Award for the Best Book of the Year 1999 for 'Monsieur Jean 4: Vivons heureux sans avoir l'air'.

panel from Monsieur Jean 4, by Charles Berberian and Philippe Dupuy

In addition to their careers as comics authors, Dupuy and Berberian are also active in the illustration field. They work for the advertising field (Canal +, Les Vins Nicolas), the press (Libération, The New Yorker) and publishing field. Throughout the years, they have also published several portfolios and illustrated books, such as their series about cities that were an inspiration to them, published by Cornélius. In 1998, they became creative directors of the collection Tohu Bohu at Les Humanoïdes Associés, in which they published the 'Monsieur Jean' spin-off 'La Théorie des Gens Seuls'.

In 2006, Oog en Blik published a beautiful retrospective of their work: The Complete Universe of Dupuy-Berberian.

Besides working with Dupuy, Berberian has done scriptwriting for other artists, such as François Avril ('Sauve qui Peut', Carton, 1985), Jean-Paul Aussel ('Des Mouches pour Némon', Futuropolis, 1986), Stanislas ('Le Pigeon', in cooperation with Götting, Futuropolis, 1998) and Grégory Mardon ('Cycloman', Cornélius, 2002). In 1986, he designed the monsters for the advertising cartoon 'Monsters of Space' for chewing gum Malabar, created by Alain Lachartre and François Avril.

Lambiek's Kees Kousemaker and Charles Berberian enjoying Little Lulu
Kees Kousemaker and Charles Berberian enjoying Little Lulu

Dupuy et Berbérian website
(en français)

Charles Berberian self-portrait

Last updated: 2014-09-01

Series and books by Charles Berberian in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

X

If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.