Monsieur Jean, by Charles Berbérian and Philippe Dupuy

Charles Berberian stands as one of the leading present-day comic authors, together with his writing companion Philippe Dupuy. Berberian was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and spent many years of his childhood in Lebanon. At the age of 18, he took courses in Fine Arts in Paris, where he met François Avril. Berberian's first comics works were published in the fanzine Band'à Part, where he developed a style influenced by Ralph Steadman and Tomi Ungerer.

In 1983, he met Philippe Dupuy, with whom he has worked on several projects ever since, each cooperating on both scenario and artwork. Dupuy and Berberian began their collaboration with an homage to Hergé and several works in P.L.G.P.P.U.R. These first efforts for the latter were collected in the album 'Les Héros ne Meurent Jamais' by L'Association in 1991. They then joined Fluide Glacial magazine, for which they created 'Red, Basile et Gégé' and most notably, 'Le Journal d'Henriette', the diary of a timid young adolescent girl. This series, which was later retitled to simply 'Henriette', was continued in Je Bouquine from 1995 and in Spirou from 2003.

comic art by Charles Berberian
'Monsieur Jean'. 

In 1985, the duo published 'Le Petit Peintre' at Magic Strip, followed by the 'Chantal Thomas' portfolio, published by Michel Lagarde in 1987. Their work also appeared in the magazines of the juvenile press, such as Mikado, Fripounet and I Love English.

But their biggest claim to fame is the 'Monsieur Jean' series, in which they explore the humor of everyday life. 'Monsieur Jean' premiered in the Frank Margerin Présente anthologies in 1989, and was soon afterwards continued in the Yéti review. Book collections were published by Les Humanoïdes Associés and Dupuis. In 1997, Dupuy and Berberian made 'Le Monde est Fou', based on a script by Vincent Ravalec, for À Suivre. The 'M. Jean' comics portray a generation in a gentle, yet gripping way. As proof of the success of the books, Dupuy-Berbérian won the prestigious Angoulême Alph-Art Award for the Best Book of the Year 1999 for 'Monsieur Jean 4: Vivons Heureux Sans Avoir l'Air'.

panel from Monsieur Jean 4, by Charles Berberian and Philippe Dupuy
'Monsieur Jean'.

In addition to their careers as comic authors, Dupuy and Berberian are also active in the illustration field. They work for the advertising field (Canal +, Les Vins Nicolas), the press (Libération, The New Yorker) and publishing field. Throughout the years, they have also published several portfolios and illustrated books, such as their series about cities that were an inspiration to them, published by Cornélius. In 1998, they became creative directors of the collection Tohu Bohu at Les Humanoïdes Associés, in which they published the 'Monsieur Jean' spin-off 'La Théorie des Gens Seuls'.

Together with Dupuy and 18 other comic artists (Zep, Ptiluc, Frank Margerin, Yslaire, Cosey, Philippe Vuillemin, Milo Manara, Loustal, Gilbert Shelton, Max Cabanes, François Boucq, Gérald Poussin, Thomas Ott, Frank Pé, Frank Le Gall, Riff Reb's, Eric Buche, Enrico Marini and Valott) he illustrated a record single for the project '20 Vraies Fausses Pochettes De Disque Par 20 Vrais Dessinateurs de BD' (1995). They chose for a song by Juliette Gréco.

Besides working with Dupuy, Berberian has done scriptwriting for other artists, such as François Avril ('Sauve qui Peut', Carton, 1985), Jean-Paul Aussel ('Des Mouches pour Némon', Futuropolis, 1986), Stanislas ('Le Pigeon', in cooperation with Götting, Futuropolis, 1998) and Grégory Mardon ('Cycloman', Cornélius, 2002). In 1986, he designed the monsters for the advertising cartoon 'Monsters of Space' for chewing gum Malabar, created by Alain Lachartre and François Avril.

In November 2002 'Monsieur Jean' received his own comic mural in the Rue des Bogards / Bogardenstraat in Brussels, as part of the Brussels' Comic Book Route. 

Dupuy & Berberian were a strong influence on Maarten Vande Wiele

Lambiek's Kees Kousemaker and Charles Berberian enjoying Little Lulu
Kees Kousemaker and Charles Berberian enjoying Little Lulu.

Dupuy et Berbérian website
(en Français)

Charles Berberian self-portrait

Series and books by Charles Berberian you can order today:


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