Jean-Claude Forest was a true innovator of the comics scene of the 1960s and the 1970s, mainly because of the classic 'Barbarella' series. He made his debut at the publishing house Élan, where he drew comics like 'Le Vaisseau Hanté', 'Hyppolite et les Diamants de Pésetas-City'. He then worked for the magazines O.K., Caméra 34 and Vaillant. For the latter, he created the 'Copyright/Copyrit' series. he joined the S.P.E. ('Société Parisienne d'Édition) in 1952, where took over the 'Charlot' character and began series like 'Mike Hagarth'. Throughout the 1950s, he was an illustrator for numerous magazines and pocket books.
In the second half of the 1950s, he drew for Mireille ('Princesse Étoile' and 'Cendrillon', written by Marijac), Suzette, and Nano et Nanette. After drawing three episodes of the Martin Branner creation 'Bicot' ('Winnie Winkle', written by Maric), Forest created his cult classic 'Barbarella' for V. Magazine in 1962.
By many, Jean-Claude Forest is considered the father of the adult comics, because of this comic. 'Barbarella' could be called the forerunner of both erotic and adult comic art. The series became so famous that Roger Vadim made it into a movie - which itself became cult classic. Also in 1962, Forest became artistic director of the C.B.D. (Club des Bandes Dessinées).
Editor-in-chief of Chouchou magazine since 1964, Forest created 'Bébé Cyanure' and wrote 'Les Naufragés du Temps (art by Paul Gillon) for the magazine. He developed 'Marie Mathématique' for the Dim Dam Dom television series in 1965 and produced the photo novel 'Le Magiciennes' in Plexus. He returned to Vaillant publishers in the early 1970s and created 'Mystérieuse, Matin, Midi et Soir' and an adaptation of Jules Verne's 'L'Île Mysterieuse' in Pif Gadget. At the same time, he created 'Hypocrite' for France-Soir and later Pilote, a series that featured another erotic heroine. Forest also began working for television and writing poems and songs. In addition, he drew 'Les Contes de la Barque Saoule' in Métal Hurlant and Fluide Glacial.
He worked for À Suivre since the magazine's first issue in February 1978. There, he wrote the scenarios of 'Roman de Renart' (art by Max Cabanes) and 'Ici Même' (art by Jacques Tardi) and drew several comics of his own. In 1981, he wrote a final episode of 'Barbarella', published in L'Écho des Savanes and this time drawn by Daniel Billon. In the late 1980s, he came in charge of the comics section of Okapi magazine. After writing the novel 'Lilia entre l'Air et de l'Eau', he wrote the long comic 'Il Faut y Croire pour le Voir' (about 100 pages, drawn by Alain Bignon) for the Long Courrier collection of the publishing house Dargaud.