Mangeur de Feu by Gérald Gorridge
Mangeur de feu

Gérald Gorridge was a teacher in Comic Art at the European School of Visual Arts in Angoulême, as well as a graphic novelist and comics promotor. One of his passions was Vietnam, and he sometimes signed his monogram drawings in Vietnamese: Ma Xó Hà Nội.

Born in 1957, Gorridge started out making his own comics in the 1970s in cooperation with writer Francis Subercaze. Their first work was called 'Histoire sans titre' (1976) and it was published by Paul Lamontellerie as a supplement to his magazine Loubot. The first version of their historical comic 'Olycka, la Dame de Lettonie' was published under the title 'Urok' in Métal Hurlant #39 in 1979. It was reworked and published in album format by La Litote in 1986. With the same writer, he subsequently made 'Les Tristes Conséquences d'un Échec du Sire de Bougainville', dealing with the Falklands War. It was one of the first comics to integrate digital processing, and appeared in Métal Hurlant in 1983.


Urok (Métal Hurlant, 1979)

His first solo work was 'Plein large' ('In die Ferne', 1991). An eponymous exhibition of his comics and illustrations was held in Angoulême in that same year. He returned to comics in 2006 when Casterman released his travelogue/city chronicle 'Les Fantômes de Hanoï'. Vietnam was also the theme of his sketchbook 'Rivière des Parfums' (Éditions des Carnets du Viêt Nam, 2009) and his "gourmet" autofiction comic book 'Mangeur de Feu', published by Les Enfants Rouges in 2016. His work has additionally appeared in magazines like Bang! and Beaux-arts magazine.

He joined the Angoulême School of Visual Arts as a teacher in Comic Art in 1980. In this capacity, he oversaw collective works by his students, which were published in the series 'Les Enfants du Nil' (1990-1994) by Éditions Delcourt. Among the contributing artists were Jean-Luc Masbou, Turf, Alain Ayroles, Claire Wendling, Mazan, Joël Mouclier, Philippe Riche, Olivier Boiscommun, Abdel Belhadi, Dominique Bertail, Benoît Springer, Algésiras, Marc Riou and Tanitoc. Among his other famous students are Nicolas de Crécy, David Prudhomme, Gabrielle Piquet and Laureline Mattuissi.

Besides the art form, Gorridge was also a connaisseur of the medium's history, and treated his students with lectures about pioneering authors like Rodolphe Töpffer, Cham and Gus Bofa. He organized several related expositions, including one about travel comics and comics journalism in the Centre Pompidou in 2006. He was particularly interested in Chinese and Vietnamese comics, and a driving force behind the promotion of Asian comics in France. He coordinated the book 'Ké Moï, la Nouvelle Bande Dessinée Vietnamienne' (Kim Dong, 2004) as well as the exhibition and catalogue 'Le Traité des Images Liées et des Fumées Parlantes' (2006). He also got the work of Chinese grandmaster He Youzhi published in France by Éditions de l'An2. He was furthermore the author of the guidebook 'Créer une BD pour les nuls' ("Drawing comics for dummies", 2010).

Since 1999, he also organized thematic comics masterclasses in Vietnam, based around childhood memories, popular imagery and portraiture. Other masterclasses organized by Gorridge were held in Germany (Kiel, Hamburg, Erlangen), Italy (Florence, Rome), Indonesia (Djodjakarta, Bandung) and Jerusalem (Bezalel School of Art). Gérald Gorridge passed away unexpectedly from a stroke in March 2018, at the age of 60.


Flyer for the Plein Large exposition (1991)

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