comic art by Jacques Tardi

Jacques Tardi is without a doubt one of the most important artists of his generation. He invented a new variation within the clear line style and in this way inspired many artists. Tardi's expressionistic style is perfect for his stories about World War I and about the underworld of the city. Tardi is the father of "the new realism" and a master in depicting both the old city of Paris as the awful life in the trenches of the Big War.

Adieu Brindavoine, by Jacques Tardi (Pilote #700, 1973)
Adieu Brindavoine (Pilote #700, 5/4/1973)

After studying fine arts in Lyon and decorative arts in Paris, Tardi joined Pilote magazine in 1970. He started out illustrating several short stories written by Jean Giraud and Serge De Beketch, before he drew the political fiction story 'Rumeurs sur le Rouergue' (text by Pierre Christin). He also worked in the western genre for Record ('Blue Jackett', 'Cheval Gris'). For Dargaud, he produced 'Le Démon des Glaces' and 'La Véritable Histoire du Soldat Inconnu'. He expanded his activities in 1975, and drew for Libération, Charlie Mensuel and L'Écho des Savanes. Several of his short stories were collected in the album 'Mouh-Mouh' in 1979.

Adèle Blanc-sec, by Jacques Tardi
Adèle Blanc-Sec (1998)

For Métal Hurlant, Tardi created 'Polonius' with writer Picaret in 1976. That same year, he began his famous turn-of-the-century mystery serial 'Adèle Blanc-Sec' in the daily Sud-Ouest. Tardi made 8 installments of the series with long hiatuses until 1998 and a ninth story appeared in 2007. French director and producer Luc Besson started working on a trilogy of movies based on the books, and the first was released in 2010.

Tardi also began 'Griffu' (text by Jean-Patrick Manchette) in B.D. and 'Ici Même' (text by Jean-Claude Forest) in À Suivre. For the latter, he adapted Léo Malet's novel character 'Nestor Burma' to comics.

Ici Meme, by Jacques Tardi
Ici Même (À Suivre)

Tardi's books on World War I have become classics, like his most famous work, 'C'était la Guerre des Tranchées', which strikingly portrayed the disillusionment of the war. In the early 1980s, he produced such titles as 'Tueur de Cafards', 'Jeux pour Mourir', 'Le Trou d'Obus', 'Mines de Plomb' and 'Chiures de Gomme'. He also became an illustrator of books by Céline and he wrote his first novel in 1990.

Guerre des Tranchees, by Jacques Tardi
Guerre des Tranchees

In the 1990s, Tardi began painting and drew several portfolios. He continued his comics work with 'Le Cochon Enchanté' (based on a Rumanian tale), 'Le Sens de la Houppelande', 'L'Enfant de l'Absente', and 'Sodome et Virginie'. He teamed up with Michel Boujut to create several cinematographic stories for Charlie-Hebdo from 1993.

Adele Blanc-Sec, by Jacques Tardi (1994)
Adèle Blanc-Sec (1994)

He also created the radio series 'Le Perroquet des Batignolles' with Boujet. Although Tardi has repeatedly said that he hates drawing the modern world, his work 'La Debauche', scripted by Daniel Pennac, is a colorful satire of late twentieth-century Paris. In 2001, Tardi and writer Jean Vautrin created 'Le Cri du Peuple' about the rebellion of the Communards, of which four books were published by Futuropois between 2001 and 2004. Tardi then continued to make comic adaptations of Jean-Patrick Manchette novels for Les Humanoïdes Associés, including 'Le Petit Bleu de la Côte Ouest' (2005), 'La Position du tireur couché' (2010) and 'Ô dingos, ô châteaux!' (2011). In 2012 he told the story of his father, a French soldier who spent about five in a German prisoner camp during World War II, in the graphic novel 'Moi René Tardi, prisonnier de guerre au Stalag IIB'.

In 2010 a feature film called 'Les Aventures Extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec' was released, made with close cooperation of Tardi. Fantagraphics picked up Tardi's classic comic in the same year for publication in the US.

Nestor Burma, by Jacques Tardi
Nestor Burma, by Tardi

Laatste update: 2013-03-02

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