Geneviève Gautier is a French lady who gained fame in December 2017 for publishing her first comic book at age 95. This makes her the oldest known woman and person to make a debut as comic author! Gautier's comic book, 'Les Aventures du Pingouin Alfred' (2017), is in essence fan fiction based on Alain Saint-Ogan's character Alfred the penguin from 'Zig et Puce'. Its charming artwork evokes the innocence of children's comics from the interbellum between the two world wars.

Life and career
Geneviève Fulcher was born in 1922 in Paris. Her mother was French, her father American and her grandfather had Russian roots. In 1943 she graduated in English, complimented by a master in the same language a few years later. Geneviève always had a passion for flying and married a pilot after World War II. After his death she moved to Brest in 2001. There she kept contact with the local poetry company An Amzer Poésies which publishes a semestrial magazine. She participated with numerous poetry collections and published her first written novel, 'Sous l'aile du Destin,' at Edilivre in 2013. Gautier was 92 years old at the time. The book was followed by 'A la Découverte d'un Monde Oublié' in 2014.

Les Aventures du Pingouin Alfred
In 2013 Fulcher (since her marriage Gautier) took a drawing course at Kerangoff in Brest, where she received lessons from painter Robert Fily and illustrator Julien Lamanda. This resulted in her first comic book, 'Les Aventures du Pingouin Alfred' (2017). The work is inspired by her childhood love for Alain Saint-Ogan's comic strip 'Zig et Puce' (1925), a comic strip which didn't exist yet when she was born but which she grew to love as soon as she was old enough to read.  Zig and Puce are two young boys with a pet penguin, Alfred. Gautier always felt fondness for Alfred and felt the character could use a comeback in the 21st century. Therefore her story centers around him. The plot kicks off with Alfred hitchhiking along the road. Tired of waiting he suddenly discovers he is able to fly. He decides to travel back to his home country on the South Pole, where an exciting aventure awaits him. The story is drawn and painted in a rudimentary, but charming style. Gautier said that she wanted to bring back the feeling of escapism she experienced as a child while reading comics.

Oldest active female comic artist
'Les Aventures du Pingouin Alfred' was published by the local gallery POD on 18 December 2017. It received instant media attention because of her old age. At age 95 she was the oldest in France to ever publish a comic. Gautier is additionally the oldest known woman (and person) to debut as a comic author. The oldest known man to ever debut as a comic artist was Rao Pingru, best known for 'Our Story' (2013) created at age 90-91. The second oldest known is Dutch illustrator Cor Blok, who was 82 when he debuted with 'The Iron Parachute' [2015]. The third oldest known is Klaus Voormann, famous for designing the cover of The Beatles' record 'Revolver' (1966). Voormann was 79 when his graphic novel 'Revolver 50. Birth of an Icon' (2016) was published. The fourth oldest man known to debut with a graphic novel is the Dutchman Martin Ruijters, who brought out 'Toestanden in Suriname' (2011) at age 75. At the time of her debut, Gautier was one of the oldest active comic artists of the moment, only surpassed by Kenneth Bald (1920-2019) and Al Jaffee (1921), though she still remains the oldest known active female comic artist in the world. As of 2021 her record still stands.

Series and books by Geneviève Gautier you can order today:


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