Cricri (Baby Journal #17, 1948)
Edmond-François Calvo was a grandmaster in animal comics, full of social criticism, such as his 1944 masterpiece 'La Bête est Mort', but also for his many series for the French press, like 'Patamousse' and 'Moustache et Trottinette'. While being a caricaturist for among others Le Canard Enchaîné, Calvo held several other jobs, including innkeeper and wood carver. In 1938, he started working for the Offenstadt/S.P.E. press group, contributing to the magazines Fillette (1938-41), L'Épatant (1938), L'As (1938-40), and Junior (with 'Le Chevalier Chantecler' and 'D'Artagnan', 1938-42), as well as to several anthologies.
Baptistou (Baby Journal # 17, 1948)
He also produced albums, such as 'Robin des Bois', 'Les Voyages de Gulliver' and three episodes of 'Patamouche'. He also contributed to periodicals like Les Grandes Aventures ('Tom Mix'), France-Soir Jeudi ('Le Capitaine Fracasse'), Hardi les Gars! ('La Panthère Blanche'), King-Kong and the post-War edition of Fillette ('Mike et la Pantoufle'). Besides his work for S.P.E., he made 'La Croisière Fantastique', 'Croquemulot' and 'Un Chasseur Sachant Chasser' in the period 1942-43 for Éditions Sépia.
Baby Journal 1ère annee #17, 1948
Between 1944 and 1949, he made several works for G.P., including his most famous work 'La Bête est Morte'. This brilliantly illustrated book, written by Victor Dancette and Jacques Zimmermann, depicted the second World War through the world of animals, in which the Germans appeared as wolves, the French as rabbits, Americans as buffaloes, and so on. Other publications Calvo made for G.P. were 'Anatomies Atomiques', 'Les Aventures de Rosalie', 'Monsieur Royal Présente', 'Grandeur et Décadente du Royaume des Bêtes' and several adaptations of fairytales.
"Avant le Depart", illustration in l'Armee Française au Combat (detail, 1946)
Throughout the 1950s, he contributed to comics magazines like Tintin, Âmes Vaillantes and Coeurs Vaillants, as well as to the juvenile press. He conceived animal series like 'Cricri, Souris d'Appartement' in Baby Journal and later Cricri Journal, Coq Hardi, Bravo! and Pierrot. He also made 'Moustache et Trottinette' in among others Femmes d'Aujourd'hui (from 1953) and 'Coquin le Petit Cocker', which was written by Marijac and published by Éditions Gautier-Languereau and in the magazines Pierrot, La Semaine de Suzette and Fripounet et Marisette. Edmond-François Calvo died in 1957, leaving behind a large oeuvre, both as comic artist and sculptor, which influenced among others Albert Uderzo, Florence Cestac and Pirus.