Jean Barbaud was born in Cholet and took courses in advertising art. He subsequently worked in the illustration field and also for the DIC animation studios from 1977. He made character graphics for productions like 'Il était une fois... l'homme', 'Inspector Gadget' and 'Le Monde Fou de Tex Avery' from 1977. In the early 1980, he made his first comic pages for Sapristi.
Barbaud is an artist specialized in aviation subjects. For more then 20 years, he drew cartoons for the monthly magazine Le Fana de l'Aviation. Some of these cartoons were collected in the album 'Gueules de Zings' by Vents d'Ouest in 2001. Barbaud's further comic and illustration projects have all dealt with the subject of aviation, such as the illustration books 'Pur Zinc' (with Thierry Cailleteau at Éditions La Sirène in 1993) and 'Les Pompiers en Zings' (with Alexandra Zainal for Mosquito in 2004. He also created the comic series 'Lieutenant Mac Fly' with Fred Duval for Delcourt between 1999 and 2003, and 'Les Dézingueurs' with Hervé Richez for Bamboo since 2009.