Jacques Ferrandez was born in Alger, Algeria, but he and his family settled in Nice, France, when he was only a couple of months old. After a six year education at the National School of Decorative Arts, he embarked on a career in comics, starting with the story 'L'Homme au Bigos' in 1977. This comic, written by Rodolphe and prepublished in Télérama, introduced the character of 'Commissaire Raffini', whose further adventures appeared in four albums at Les Humanoïdes Associés between 1980 and 1988.
Ferrandez and Rodolphe additionally cooperated on a series of short stories for À Suivre, as well as 'Anne et Charles' in Circus (1982-85) and some works for Métal Hurlant and Pilote. Also for À Suivre, Ferrandez wrote and drew 'Arrière-Pays', a series of short and more intimate stories.
After a change of style in 1986, he began realizing his old dream: to tell a moving epic about his fatherland, Algeria, and its fight for independence. Over the years, he produced a series of five books, which depicted Algeria's modern history with sophistication in tasteful watercolors. This collection, called 'Carnets d'Orient', was prepublished in magazines like Corto and À Suivre.
While working on this project, Ferrandez found the time to put together a jazz band, which recorded a CD. His love for jazz is reflected in his work, where it is featured prominently He is unsurpassed in rendering jazzy bars and bands, as can be seen in his works 'Nostalgia in Time Square' (Futuropolis, 1987) and 'Blues, Histoires en Bleu' (Art Moderne, 1990).
His colorful work often captures the atmosphere of the sunny south of France, which is why Ferrandez' audience was not too surprised to learn the news about his comics adaptation of Marcel Pagnol's literary classics, 'Jean de Florette' and 'Manon des Sources', which are both firmly set in the region. With the writer Tonino Benacquista he did the one shots 'L'Outremangeur' and 'La Boîte Noire'.
Ferrandez is also active as an illustrator on a variety of projects. He has done book illustrations for the works of Benacquista, Rachid Mimouni, R. L. Stevenson, Pierre Christin and Philippe Carrese, and he is also active as an illustrator for the collection Pleine Lune of Éditions Nathan.