illustration by Roger Brunel
Cover illustration of an America-themed parody comic book by Brunel. From left to right one can recognize Spider-Man (Steve Ditko, Stan Lee), Red Ryder (Fred Harman), Prince Vailiant (Harold Foster), Brick Bradford (William Ritt, Clarence Gray), Superman (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster), Terry (Milton Caniff), Blue Bolt (Joe Simon), Rip Kirby (Alex Raymond), Mandrake the Magician and The Phantom (Lee Falk), Dick Tracy (Chester Gould), The Spirit (Will Eisner), Dagwood Bumstead (Chic Young), Alley Oop (V.T. Hamlin), Popeye (E.C. Segar), Krazy Kat (George Herriman), Pink Panther (Friz Freleng), Pogo (Walt Kelly), Peter (Johnny Hart), Li'l' Abner (Al Capp), Buck Rogers (Dick Calkins), Little Orphan Annie (Harold Gray), Buster Brown (Richard F. Outcault), Little Nemo (Winsor McCay), Bugs Bunny (Tex Avery), Jiggs (George McManus), Tom & Jerry (Hanna-Barbera), Felix the Cat (Otto Messmer, Pat Sullivan), Perry Winkle (Martin Branner), Der Katzenjammer Kids (Rudolph Dirks), Tarzan (Harold Foster), Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse (Walt Disney). 

Roger Brunel is a French comics artist and cartoonist, based in the Dombes area. He is best known for his pornographic parodies of classic comic heroes, and as a writer of topical humor comics (often with art by Michel Rodrigue). As head of Glénat Concept, he is also specialized in promotional and educational comics.

He was born in Valence in 1944 and studied at the School of Fine Arts in Grenoble. He had his first job at a printing firm, and then became a designer in the advertising field. Throughout the 1960s, he made caricatures and humorous drawings for the newspapers Le Progrès de Lyon, La Presse and Le Hérisson. Brunel's first short comic story, 'Graphos et Mandou', appeared in Spirou magazine in 1972. He then began an association with the Grenoble-based publishing house Glénat, where he started out as a graphic designer.

Parody on Boule et Bill, by Roger Brunel
Parody of Jean Roba's 'Boule et Bill'

His 'Pastiches' made their first appearance in the latter magazine in 1978, and the artist continued to make these naughty parodies of famous comics until 1995. Sex parodies were very popular during the 1980s, when several not-so-subtle comic books saw the light, featuring well-known characters like Peyo's 'Smurfs', Hergé's 'Tintin', Morris' 'Lucky Luke' and Willy Vandersteen's 'Suske en Wiske' in promiscuous situations. It was a counter-reaction against the generally upright and infallible comic heroes, who had been straightjacketed by educators and censors in the previous decades. Brunel was specialized in short stories, and spoofed nearly every important Franco-Belgian and American comic hero. He tried to maintain the spirit of each series, and give an accurate reproduction of the original artist's style. Glénat published six book collections with Brunel's 'Pastiches' between 1980 and 1993, followed by a couple of "best-of" collections. The fifth installment, 'Le Pastiche des Pastiches' (1989), united more than hundred comics heroes in one long adventure. Brunel additionally made a special manga edition of 'Pastiches' for Vents d'Ouest in 1995.

parody on Li'l Abner, by Roger Brunel
Parody of Al Capp's 'Li'l Abner'

Brunel was also present in Glénat's children's monthly Gomme! with 'Tel et Matic' (1981-1982), an educational comic strip about gadgets and new technology. The feature was accompanied by an editorial page with more information about the subject of that issue. In 1984, Roger Brunel became head of Glénat Concept, a division aimed at the production of comics for promotional and communication purposes. Besides comics for folders and flyers, the label has also released a book about the history of the Isère department of France by Isabelle Dagallier and Bernard Dufossé (1987), one about employee savings by Jean-Charles Kraehn and Éric Stalner (1999), and one about the history of the Samse distribution group of construction materials by Brunel himself ('Bravo les hommes en bleu!!, 2011). Brunel also oversaw the production of 'Objectif Citoyen' (2005), a collective book to raise awareness about the reformation of the French National Service.

Tel et Matic, by Roger Brunel
Tel et Matic (Gomme #1, 1981)

He furthermore wrote the scripts for the adventure series 'Le Solitaire' (1987-1990), with was drawn by Alain Mounier, and the humorous rugby comic album 'Benjamin, Virgile, Socrate et l'équipe de Mezydugnac' (1991), drawn by Michel Rodrigue. In the early 1990s, Brunel returned to cartooning, and his work was collected in several albums by Glénat Humour throughout this decade ('Attention, École!', 'Ciel, mon Avion!', 'Papie Boum et Mamie Blue' and 'Attention, Prof!', etc.). By the late 1990s, Brunel started writing topical humor comics for so-called "guidebooks" by Éditions Albin Michel. Michel Rodrigue provided the artwork for 'Le manuel de survie à l'usage des bricoleurs' (1998) and 'Le Manuel du parfait jardinier' (1999), while Rip Holin drew 'Le Manuel du parfait campeur' (1999). With Rodrigue, and in the same tradition, he made 'La vérité sur le bébé...' (Albin Michel, under the pen name Bouzig, 1999), 'Le rugby en coupe (du monde)' (Hors Collection, 1999), 'Le foot par la bande' (Hors Collection, 2000) and 'Vins en fêtes!' (Jet Stream, with Serge Papagalli, 2003). He made another guest appearance in the collection 'La Vérité sur...' ("The truth about...") by Albin Michel/Éditions Drugstore with a volume about La Provence (2009), drawn by himself. The regular authors for this collection are Monsieur B and Sophie Dumas.

Cartoon by Roger Brunel

Brunel was also one of the writers of the series 'L'Équipe de Rêve' (2011-2013), which featured spoofs of famous sports and their heroes. The art was done by Michel Rodrigue, Jean-Marc Borot and Michel Janvier, while Maxime Malet and Christian Mogore participated in the writing. As regular attendees of the International Comics Festival of Chambéry, Brunel, Rodrigue and Janvier were assigned to make a comic about the history of the city ('Chambéry - Mémoires d'éléphants', 2016).

Between 1997 and 2003, Roger Brunel was art director of the magazines Rugbyman and Rugby Mag of the French Rugby Federation. He has also released the art books 'Vie et Fables d'Esope' (Editions du Grésivaudan, 1996) and 'L'Oeuvre Poétique de Georges Brassens' (Editions Martinsart, 2004), and worked as a writer of TV sketches for comedian Olivier Lejeune. At the Chambéry Comics Festival of October 2001, Roger Brunel won the "Eléphant d'Or" ("Golden Elephant"), a prize awarded to a personality in the comics industry.

Roger Brunel

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