Because his communist parents were convinced there was no bread to be earned in drawing, Hervé Baru first became a gym teacher before embarking on a career in comics. In his early thirties, he decided to devote his time to making comics, drawing subject matter from his teenage years in France and his travels in the 1960s. Soon, he proved his parents wrong by becoming a full-time, established comic artist, making his debut in the magazine Pilote in 1982.
Thoroughly influenced by the raw humor of Reiser and the expressionist drawings of Muñoz, Baru's album debut, 'Quéquette Blues' was an instant classic. A moving semi-autobiographical tale of everyday life of French working class youth, it represented all Baru's later work in a nutshell. Two other episodes of 'Quéquette Blues' were published by Dargaud. The publishing house Futuropolis released his subsequent works 'La Communion du Mino' (1985) and 'Vive la Classe' (1987).
Les Années Spoutnik
He was present in L'Écho des Savanes with the stories 'Cours Camarade' and 'Le Chemin de l'Amérique' (with Jean-Marc Thévenet) that were published in book format by Albin Michel in 1988 and 1990. In 1995, Baru finally broke through to a larger comics audience with the stunning euro-manga 'L'Autoroute du Soleil', which won the prestigious Alph' Art award for the best original French language comic.
Le Chemin de l'Amérique
Baru then continued his comics output with Casterman with the impressive sixties tribute, 'Sur la Route Encore' (1997), the cynical apocalyptic drama, 'Bonne Année' (1998), and the series 'Les Années Spoutnik' (1999-2003). His next graphic novels were published by Astiberra ('La Autopista del Sol', 2003) and the Aire Libre collection of the publishing house Dupuis ('L'Enragé', 2004-2006).
He returned to Casterman with the Pierre Pelot adaptation 'Pauvres zhéros' (2008), and another social observation called 'Noir' (2009), while Les Rêveurs released his 300-page graphic novel 'Villerupt 1966' in 2010. In that same year, Baru published his tale about immigration and crime, 'Fais péter les basses, Bruno!', with Futuropolis. Baru was invested with a knighthood in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2013.
Fais péter les basses, Bruno!