Tico, by Henri Dufranne (Pif Gadget #6, 31/03/1969)
'Tico' (Pif Gadget #6, 31 March 1969)

Henri Dufranne is a French comic artist who for a long time worked mainly as an assistant for other artists. He is best known for taking over 'Gai-Luron' from Marcel Gotlib between 1969 and 1976. His longest-running comic series by his own hand was 'Pamphile et Philéas' (1978-1986).

Early life and career
Born in Paris, Dufranne began his career in 1964, drawing 'Thermogène' from scripts by Jean-Marie Pinçon in Record magazine. He then drew the adventures of the gondolier 'Tichioli' for the publishing house Aventures et Voyages, as well as several short stories for the SPE comic books Le Journal de Bibi Fricotin and Le Journal des Pieds Nickelés. In 1967 and 1968 he was present in Pilote as the artist of several short stories, which were written by Fred, Linus, Lob, Jean-Marc Reiser and René Goscinny. He additionally worked as an inker and letterer on the 'Martin Milan' comic by Christian Godard, which was published in Tintin, in the late 1960s.

Gai-Luron by Henri Dufranne
'Gai-Luron' (Pif Gadget #168, May 1972)

Also in 1967 Dufranne became a regular artist for Le Journal de Pif (later Pif Gadget) of Éditions Vaillant. He started out making game pages with 'Gai-Luron', the melancholic dog created by master humorist Marcel Gotlib. He continued to assist Gotlib on the inking of this comic in the following years. He was also responsible for most of the artwork in the 37 issues of Vaillant's pocket publication Gai Luron Poche from 1967 until 1976. He took over the artwork of main series in Pif Gadget in 1969, and became the sole author after Gotlib started to focus on more adult-oriented comics for Pilote in the following year. In addition to his work on Gotlib's 'Gai-Luron', he also drew the adventures of the little Indian 'Tico', and inked many pages of 'Pifou' for Roger Mas. Dufranne ended his association with Pif Gadget in 1976 after a conflict with the publisher about his status as an author. Thus ended the long run of 'Gai-Luron' in the magazine, although older episodes were reprinted later on.

Pamphile et Philéas by Henri Dufranne
'Pamphile et Philéas' (Kuifje #40, 1979)

Other comics
Dufranne had additionally created the caveman comic 'Réhak l'Idiot des Cavernes' with Michel Motti as a back-up feature in the SEPP comic books Agent Spécial and Fantastik in 1975. He started working for Tintin magazine after his tenure with Pif Gadget ended, drawing the series 'Pamphile et Philéas' (1978-1986) from scripts by Christian Godard. In 1977 and 1978 he also created the frog 'Plop' with scriptwriter Serge le Tendre, for a magazine of the same name financed by the oil company Antar. The magazine lasted only six issues, and also featured 'Norbert le Lézard' by Régis Loisel and Patrick Cothias. Another creation was 'Les Aventures de Bédé' with Dominique Rocher in Télé Junior in the early 1980s. These stories were subsequently collected in albums by Glénat, which remained Dufranne's only book publications for over twenty years. Dufranne has drawn many one-page gags and game/riddle pages with 'Mickey Mouse' and other Disney characters for Le Journal de Mickey from 1978 until 1994, the year of his retirement.

Book publications of Dufranne's 'Gai-Luron' work are published by La Vache qui Médite from 2012. This publishing label also released a complete collection of 'Pamphile et Philéas' in 2013.

Mickey Énigme page from Le Journal de Mickey 26, 1989


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