Rha-Gnagna, by Gotlib

Marcel Gotlib was one of the most talented and influential artists in the field of humor comics. His virtuose and energetic style is instantly recognizable. A combination of quick-paced madcap humor, exaggerated expressions, pop culture references and snappy verbal comedy, much like a Looney Tunes cartoon. Gotlib made comics both for children ('Gai-Luron' 1964-1986, 'Les Dingodossiers' 1965-1967, 'La Rubrique-à-Brac' 1968-1974), as well as more controversial and risqué material for adults ('Hamster Jovial' 1971-1974, 'Superdupont' 1972-..., 'Pervers Pépère', 1976-1981). He was the co-creator of two groundbreaking comics magazines for a more mature audience, namely L'Écho des Savanes and Fluide Glacial. As such, his impact on adult comics, particularly in the French-speaking world, cannot be underestimated.

La Rubrique-à-Brac

Early life and career
He was born as Marcel Mordekhaï Gottlieb in 1934 in Paris as the son of Jewish-Hungarian-Romanian parents. His father was a house painter, while his mother made clothing. From a young age Gotlib enjoyed drawing. He frequently scribbled the walls with drawings, only to have his father clean everything off again on a weekly basis. During World War Two the Gotlibs went into hiding from the Nazis. His mother, sister and himself survived the war by keeping a low profile in the French country villages Vigneux-sur-Seine and Eure-et-Loir. Gotlib's father was less lucky. He was betrayed by the caretaker of their Parisian apartment and send off to Buchenwald, where he was executed. After the liberation Gotlib's mother picked up her former profession, while little Marcel and his sister finished their education. In 1951 17-year old Marcel left school and became a stacker for a pharmaceutical company. He followed evening classes at L'École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Dupetit-Thouard, where one of his teachers was Georges Pichard. At Sundays he performed as an amateur comedian. Gotlib's main influences were André Franquin, Mad Magazine (particularly the work of Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Jack Davis and last but not least Wallace Wood), Hara-Kiri (Charlie Hebdo), René Goscinny, Tex Avery and Robert Crumb. But he drew equally strong inspiration from comedians such as The Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Coluche and Monty Python, not to mention musicians like The Beatles, Georges Brassens and Frank Zappa, whom he frequently gave cameos in his comics.

In 1954 Gotlib applied for a job as a letterer at the Édi-Monde agency and the Opera Mundi agency, who provided French translations of American comic strips to French papers and magazines. He soon lettered speech balloons for the Disney magazine Le Journal de Mickey and the women's publication Confidences. In the late 1950s he illustrated several children's books with colorist Claudie Liégeois, whom he would marry in 1962. He didn't sign with his real name yet, but preferred pseudonyms like Mar-Got, Garmo or Marclau. In 1959 Gotlib published his first comic strip, 'Le Général Dourakine' (1959), a text comic based on the eponymous novel by the Countess de Ségur.

'Nanar, Jujube & Piette'.

The young artist joined the children's magazine Vaillant in 1962, where he started adventure series like 'Gilou et La Plume de Paon' (1962), 'Le Papoose' (1962), 'Puck et Poil' (1962) and the gag comic 'Klop' (1963). His longest running comic series in this magazine was 'Nanar, Jujube & Piette' (1962-1965), which he published under the pseudonym Garm. It centered around the jocular boy Nanar, his little girlfriend Piette, the malicious fox Jujube, farmer Laglume, poet Monsieur Joachim and Nanar's uncles Basile and Blaise. Gradually, most of these characters would be scrapped in favor of Jujube, who became more anthropomorphic in time. On 12 July 1964 he received a sidekick: the melancholic basset hound Gai-Luron. Obviously inspired by Tex Avery's 'Droopy' Gai-Luron's imperturbability provided a hilarious contrast with Jujube's more lively behaviour. The character gave Gotlib the opportunity to create more absurd gags and frequently break the fourth wall in an Averyesque manner. He also made the two canines rivals. Jujube was always trying to seduce Gai-Luron's girlfriend Belle-Lurette and extremely jealous of the fact that Gai-Luron received more fanmail than him. As a running gag all their fan letters were written by one and the same person: a little kid named Jean-Pierre Liégeois. Few readers at the time knew that there really was someone with that name around, namely Gotlib's father-in-law.

Gai-Luron by Gotlib
'Gai-Luron, ou La Joie de Vivre' (Pif Gadget #6, 31 March 1969).

Gai-Luron was also popular in real life. He upstaged Jujube to the point that the series was eventually renamed after him in 1967. Gotlib drew an episode in which Gai-Luron and Jujube visit the head office of Vaillant, where the fox is shocked to learn that "his contract won't be renewed", while Gai-Luron receives a spin-off series. In 1969, when Vaillant became Pif-Gadget, 'Gai-Luron' also received a new title: 'Gai Luron, ou La Joie de Vivre' ('Gai-Luron, or the Joy of Life'). Yet at that point Gotlib had lost interest in the character and passed his creation on to his assistant Henri Dufranne, while he kept writing the gags. In 1971 Dufranne took over writing too and continued the series until 1976. 'Gai-Luron' was translated in other languages, such as Dutch ('Lobbes') and German ('Witzbold'). It took until 1975 before the comics became available in album format, but when they did they became immediate bestsellers. The second album, 'Gai-Luron en écrase méchamment' (1975), won the award for best French humor comic at the Festival of Angoulême, France, that year.

Les Dingodossiers by Gotlib and Goscinny
'Les Dingodossiers'.

Les Dingodossiers
In 1965 Gotlib drew a didactic comics series, 'Professeur Frédéric Rosebif' (1965), for the magazine Record. This led to a job at the bestselling French comics magazine of that time: Pilote. Together with its co-founder and chief editor René Goscinny he created the series 'Les Dingodossiers' (1965-1967), a funny parody of educational comics. Each episode centered around a question or a subject, usually asked by a little boy named Chaprot whose naïvité and rampant spelling errors were very reminscent of Goscinny and Sempé's 'Le Petit Nicolas'. As stupid as his remarks were, the answers he received were equally silly. A wide variety of topics were covered, including space travel, animal life, tourists and the correct way to feed a baby. Goscinny's love of verbal comedy, satire and stereotypes and Gotlib's talent for hilarious characterization and cartoony slapstick proved to be a golden combination. 'Les Dingodossiers' is still regarded as a classic in French comics history. But as Goscinny's workload became heavier he decided to drop all his scriptwriting in favor of just his three most succesful comics series, namely 'Astérix' (drawn by Albert Uderzo), 'Iznogoud' (drawn by Jean Tabary) and 'Lucky Luke' (drawn by Morris).

Commissaire Bougret by Gotlib
'Bougret et Charolles'. Note the cameo of René Goscinny in the flashlight. 

Gotlib continued 'Les Dingodossiers' on his own, but changed the title to 'Rubrique-à-Brac' (1968-1974), out of respect for Goscinny. While the 'Rubrique-à-Brac' had a similar tone, Gotlib took the format into a more personal and absurd direction. Fairy tales, films, songs, TV shows, cartoons, comics, history and commercials were frequently parodied and gave the artist the opportunity to create beautiful caricatures. The zany comedy was peppered with weird transitions and non-sequiturs which appealed more to teenagers than younger children. One of the series' most infamous running gags revolved around biologist Isaac Newton who'd always pop up out of nowhere, only to be hit on the head by apples and other objects crashing down from the sky.

'Rubrique-à-Brac' (Pilote #630, 1971)

Another recurring character was Professeur Burp, a zoologist whose so-called "facts" about animals were basically bogus. Two police inspectors, commissioner Bougret and his assistant Charolles, frequently tried to solve absurd mysteries but never looked further than their usual suspects, namely Aristidès Othon Frédéric Wilfrid and Blondeaux Georges Jacques Babylas. Wilfrid always looked extremely suspicious, while Babylas had an innocent aura over him and was cooperative with the inspectors. Yet the culprit was invariably revealed to be Babylas. Rather than look at all the obvious clues around him, Bougret always arrested Babylas for completely far-fetched and illogical reasons. Commissioner Bougret's name was a portmanteau of commissioner Bourrel from the TV series 'Les Cinq Dernières Minutes' (1958-1973) and - obviously - 'Inspecteur Maigret' by Belgian novelist Georges Simenon.

The concept itself was based on the radio show 'Feu de Camp du Dimanche Matin' (1969), where the same characters appeared. They were also voiced by Gotlib and several of his colleagues, hence explaining why the comic book versions had the same looks as their voice actors. Bougret and Charolles' faces were caricatures of cartoonist Gébé and Gotlib himself, while Wilfrid was a lookalike of Fred and Babylas the spitting image of Goscinny. The characters inspired Patrice Leconte's police film comedy 'Les Vécés Étaient Fermés de l'Intérieur' (1976), starring Coluche. Gotlib co-wrote the script of the film and Jean Solé designed the poster. In 1997 Maëster and Gotlib created a reboot of Bougret et Charolles, where Charolles was now the commissioner (and still a caricature of Gotlib) and his sidekick assistant Inspector Piggs (a caricature of Maëster).

René Goscinny has another guest appearance in 'Rubrique-à-Brac'.

La Coccinelle (The Ladybug)
Another iconic character who debuted in 'Rubrique-à-Brac' was a tiny ladybug. It always appeared somewhere in the background, commenting on whatever insanity took place in the foreground. Gotlib re-used the character in many of his later comic strips. Despite never having a starring role – or a name for that matter – the insect did become somewhat of a signature character. In many of his self-caricatures it was usually closeby. In 1993 his unnamed ladybug character was adapted into a series of TV animated shorts, 'La Coccinelle de Gotlib', produced by Dargaud Films and Fantôme Animation and broadcast on the pay channel Canal+. The artist later admitted that he created this ladybug as mere page filler to avoid having to draw entire backgrounds. He got the idea from the first issues of Mad Magazine, where the artists usually filled up every panel with extra jokes hidden in the background. Later in his career Gotlib's backgrounds became increasingly more minimalistic, often being nothing more but a white void. This allowed the reader to focus more on the characters and their busy actions and gave the artist the opportunity to fill up the panels with more visual and verbal jokes.

Hamster Jovial by Gotlib

Hamster Jovial
In the early 1970s Gotlib drew his first genuine adult comic strip 'Hamster Jovial et ses Louveteaux' (1971-1974) for the music magazine Rock et Folk. The gag comic featured a well-meaning but incredibly naïve scouts leader whose totem name is "Jovial Hamster". Hamster is a firm believer in Baden-Powell's philosophy of doing good deeds. He tries to entertain his young cubs and lecture them in the field of ethics. Unfortunately the two little boys and girl are more interested in tormenting their teacher and having sex with one another. Already risqué back in the 1970s many gags are nowadays perhaps even more disturbing to those who are easily offended. In one gag the little girl asks Jovial to impregnate her. After dismissing her offer it turns out she's already pregnant and just wanted him to take the blame for it, rather than her prepubescent boyfriend. Another gag has Hamster and one of the boys visit a sperm bank where Hamster only manages to fill up the bottom of a cup, while the little kid's has a bucket full of it, too heavy to carry even. Gotlib liked the idea of a scouts leader appearing in a rock magazine, because the two worlds seemed so distant from one another. Yet he didn't forget his target audience. In several gags Hamster is listening to rock records or watching the artists in concerts or on television. He usually tries to imitate them afterwards, in order to appeal more to his young cubs. This leads to various cameos and winks to artists and bands like The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jethro Tull, Magma, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart.

Hamster Jovial by Gotlib
'Hamster Jovial'.

Script writing
From the 1970s on, Gotlib took a seat back and let other artists draw while he thought up stories. Between 1970 and 1974 he penned the gags for a series of parody comics illustrated by Alexis. In the tradition of Mad Magazine they spoofed various media, such as swashbuckler movies, the TV series 'The Avengers' and classics of world literature by William Shakespeare, Nikolai Gogol, Alexandre Dumas, the Countess of Ségur and Victor Hugo. All episodes were published in Pilote and later made available in book form under the collective name 'Cinémastock'. Gotlib and Alexis also teamed up to create 'La Publicité Dans La Joie' (1974-1977), which spoofed TV commercials in comic strip form. These gags were later collected in the album 'Dans la Joie jusqu'au Cou' (1978).

Superdupont by Gotlib
'Superdupont vs. Bruce Lee' (Fluide Glacial #2).

By far the most popular feature in Pilote (and in Fluide Glacial from 1975 on) was 'Superdupont' (1972-1995), which he created with Jacques Lob. This superhero parody starred a stereotypical chauvinistic Frenchman who fights for Francofone culture. He wears the French "tricolore" on his body, has a Gallic rooster for a pet, only smokes Gauloises cigarettes and always has a supply of baguettes, wine and cheese near. Naturally he is an expert in the French combat technique savate. Storylines have him fight off foreigners (basically anyone not born between his country's borders), the Euro and even the Chinese ink in which he is drawn. Yet whenever he hears the Marseillaise being played in reverse he loses his powers. As Gotlib's most political work, 'Superdupont' naturally had several cameos of well known French politicians of the day, including Jacques Chirac, Giscard d'Estaing and François Mitterand. Originally Gotlib drew the series personally, but he eventually passed the pencil to other artists while he remained the main scriptwriter with Lob. Readers enjoyed Superdupont's antics so much that it became Gotlib's longest-running creation, continued by artists like Alexis, Jean Solé, Neal Adams, Al Coutelis, Daniel Goossens, Lefred-Thouron and François Boucq. It eventually started to live a life of its own. Jérôme Savary adapted the character into a comedy musical named 'Superdupont Ze Show' (1982), which even played at the Odéon Theater in Paris. Roger Leiner based his own stereotypical Luxembourg superhero 'Superjhemp' on 'Superdupont'. Unfortunately some readers didn't get the satire. The French extreme-right party Le Front National started using Superdupont as a mascot, with their founder and leader Jean-Marie Le Pen even expressing his admiration for the character. As a result Gotlib and his artists quit the series in 1995 for a long while, but in 2008 the franchise was revived with new satirical adventures.

Les Clopinettes
Another comic strip by Gotlib published in Pilote was the odd gag comic 'Les Clopinettes' (1974), drawn by Nikita Mandryka. It featured nonsensical one-page tales with ridiculous morals. Over the years Gotlib also collaborated as a scriptwriter with artists like Loro, Claire Bretécher, Jean Giraud, Claude Poppé, Jean Guihard, Jean-Marc Reiser, Gébé, Fred, Martial, Jean Chakir, Philippe Druillet, René Hausman, Jean Mulatier and Zep. He also wrote a few gags for his hero André Franquin, such as 'Le Pétomane et le Renard' (1977), 'Slowburn' (1977) and 'L'Histoire de la Mouche qui Repeint Son Plafond' (1978). He also provided the foreword to Franquin's classic 'Idées Noires' ('Black Thoughts', 1981).

L'Exorcisme by Gotlib
'L'Exorcisme' (L'Écho des Savanes #10, 1974).

L'Écho des Savanes
As succesful as Gotlib was, he still felt frustrated that he couldn't always draw what he wanted. A man of his time, he supported the social changes brought along by the student protests of May 1968. He tried to convince Goscinny and his publisher Georges Dargaud to make more room in Pilote for mature content. When they insisted on keeping everything child friendly a heated argument took place. In 1972 Gotlib, Nikita Mandryka and Claire Bretécher left and created a magazine of their own: L'Écho des Savanes. Goscinny never forgave them for this. The fact that he was never able to reconcile his friendship with one of his mentors depressed Gotlib severely. He went into psychotherapy and the comics he made during this dark period of his life were an outlet for his thoughts and frustrations. Many were extremely provocative and obscene, such as the gag series 'Momo Le Morbaque' (1973-1974) about the adventures of a little pubic louse.

God's Club
'Gods Club' (L'Écho des Savanes #6, 1974).

One of his most infamous one-shot comics was 'God's Club' (1974), which features the world's most famous gods (Zeus, Jesus Christ, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha and Wodan) getting drunk, playing vulgar pranks on one another and watching porn. As Gotlib once said with some understatement: "You wouldn't be able to publish something like that today". At the same time he also drew more psycho-analytical comics like 'La Coulpe' (1973), in which he portrayed himself going through an identity crisis and meeting both his signature characters as well as people from his personal life. Still, his trademark humor was never far away.

La Coulpe by Gotlib
'La Coulpe' (L'Écho des Savanes #3, 1973).

Fluide Glacial
Early issues of L'Écho des Savanes only contained material by its founders, but the magazine unexpectedly struck a nerve among readers. Many artists whose daring or controversial work couldn't be published elsewhere joined Echo's ranks: Jean Solé, Alexis, Georges Pichard, René Pétillon, Yves Got, Paul Gillon, Martin Veyron, Jacques Lob, Daniel and Alex Varenne. As the magazine gradually became more lucrative, its founders were still forced to sell it to a publishing concern, because they lacked enough commercial experience. After the eleventh issue Gotlib left and, together with Alexis and Gotlib's childhood friend Jacques Diament, launched yet another adult comics magazine on 1 April 1975: Fluide Glacial.

Fluide Glacial finally gave Gotlib the independence he craved for. Not for nothing did the magazine eventually receive the nickname "Le journal de Gotlib" ("Gotlib's paper"). He went all out in creating gag comics and one-shot stories with depraved violent, scatological, sexual, blasphemous and political content. He enjoyed giving many celebrities and cult heroes cameos, such as Georges Brassens, Bruce Lee, Tarzan, Tina Turner, Frank Zappa and the Marx Brothers. Even himself and his own signature characters weren't spared.

Fluide Glacial 75
Covers for Fluide Glacial #36 and #75.

Pop et Rock et Colégram
While many of his comics were one-shots, he did create two more longer-running series as well. The first was 'Pop et Rock et Colégram' (1975-1978), where Gotlib and Jean Solé drew literal French translations of English rock lyrics in comic strip form. The translations themselves were done by rock journalist Alain Dister and deliberately kept as literal as possible, for comedic effect. If proof was ever needed that English song lyrics are just as corny and nonsensical as those in other languages then here it was. Among the artists whose lyrical qualities were contested were the Beatles, The Who, Pink Floyd, Patti Smith, Frank Zappa, Genesis, Magma and Roxy Music.

Pervers Pépère
'Pervers Pépère'.

Pervers Pépère
Gotlib's second popular series for Fluide Glacial was 'Pervers Pépère' (1976-1981). The pantomime comic centers around a dirty old man whose nose is always dripping. Pépère takes sadistic delight in tricking people. In one gag he eats garlic soup, then pretends to faint while walking in the street. As scoutsleader Hamster Jovial gives him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation the disgusting taste causes Jovial to throw up afterwards. Another gag has Pépère pull off the pants of a friendly priest while the man is dozing off on a bench in the park. Pépère then fetches a policeman to expose the priest as a child molester. Sometimes the pervert unexpectedly does something innocent or totally different, leaving his victims confused. One gag has him visit a prostitute to "show her his stamp collection", which he literally does. Another has him invite a little girl to sit on his lap and put her hands in his pants… after which she gets snapped by a mouse trap! Every final panel has him explode with laughter over his malicious "jokes". Gotlib claimed that the character was inspired by Uncle Pervy from Cheech & Chong's records. Pépère himself also inspired Eric Schreurs' 'Adrianus'. 

Le joli matin tout plein de lumièreLe joli matin tout plein de lumière
Morning rituals in 'Le joli matin tout plein de lumière' (L'Écho des Savanes #1).

L'Écho and Fluide Glacial's other cartoonists
Gotlib's work for L'Écho was collected in the album series 'Rhââ Lovely!' (1976-1978), while his work for Fluide Glacial became available in book form as 'Rhâ-Gnagna' (1979-1980), both by Fluide Glacial's publishing imprint Audie. The line 'Rhââ Lovely!' was borrowed from Alfred Hitchcock's thriller 'Frenzy' (1975), where a rapist shouts the same thing at his victim. Both L'Écho des Savanes and particularly Fluide Glacial gave Gotlib a springboard for all of his uncensored ideas. At the time there were no French comics magazines exclusively aiming at an adult demographic. The closest predecessor was Hara Kiri/Charlie-Hebdo, but this was never devoted to just cartoons and comics alone. L'Écho des Savanes and Fluide Glacial thus attracted many interested readers and equally plenty artists and writers. Fluide Glacial's pages were a home for Jean Solé, Francis Masse, Claude Lacroix, Jean-Claude Forest, Christian Binet, Édika, Jean-Pierre Hugot, Jean-Marc Lelong, F'Murr, Lucques, Bruno Léandri, Yves Frémion, Andre Igwal, Phil Casoar, Philippe Foerster, Patrick Moerell, Al Coutelis, Maëster, Coyote, Manu Larcenet, Michel Gaudelette, Jean-Yves Ferri, Blutch, Tronchet, Jean-Michel Thiriet, Relom, Daniel Goossens and foreign authors like André Franquin, Guido Buzzelli and Carlos Giménez. Translations of Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder's comics for Mad Magazine and underground comix were also welcome.

Humor by Gotlib for Fluide Glacial

Gai-Luron (2)
Yet as he grew older, Gotlib became more preoccupied with writing editorials for Fluide Glacial such as 'La Parole Bien Sentie', 'Sous Le Coup De La Loi', 'Salut Les P'tits Clous' and 'Editiotide' for which he also designed the logos. He wrote about many topics, but free speech was dearest to his hart. In 1979 he and Georges Wolinski created and illustrated a text 'À bas la censure hypocrite', which was published in several magazines at once, namely À Suivre, Fluide Glacial, Pilote, Métal Hurlant, Charlie Mensuel, BD et L'Écho des Savanes. However, he resuscitated 'Gai-Luron' in Fluide Glacial between 1984 and 1986 when the back-catalogue was re-published by Audie and needed promotion. Yet these new Gai-Luron stories were far more crude than the originals. In the first episode, 'Gai Luron en Slip', the dog realizes that – throughout all those years – he has always appeared in the nude. He quickly puts on some underpants, even though his large fallus is still visible underneath it. Gotlib drew enough new stories for a final album, 'La Bataille Navale', but after 1986 he basically quit drawing. In 2016 Pixel Vengeur and Fabcaro created a new series of comics about Gai-Luron, with Gotlib's approval but without his involvement.

'Durandal' (Fluide Glacial #7).

Radio, music and film career
Gotlib was also active in other media. Together with Goscinny, Gébé and Fred he hosted the short-lived radio show 'Le Feu de Camp du Dimanche Matin' (1969-1970) on Europe 1. In 1973 he designed the album cover for French guitarist Marcel Dadi's record 'La Guitare à Dadi' (1974). Gotlib too wrote two songs once, namely 'Je Suis Un Mauvais Français' and 'Les Bougresses', both which appeared on a single performed by Albert Montias. The record came with a small comic strip in which Gotlib illustrated the song lyrics. He acted in two films by Patrice Leconte, namely 'Tout à la Plume, Rien au Pinceau' (1970) and 'Le Laboratoire de l' Angoisse' (1971). Gotlib also played a small part as a chemist in Jacques Doillon's cult classic 'L'An 01' (1973), which was based on Gébé's eponymous comic strip and also featured Daniel Auteuil, Miou-Miou, Coluche, Gérard Depardieu and well known comics authors such as Gébé, Cabu, François Cavanna, Georges Wolinski and Professeur Choron from Hara-Kiri (nowadays Charlie-Hebdo) and even Lee Falk and Stan Lee in supporting roles. Gotlib animated the opening titles to Pierre Tchernia's comedy 'Le Viager' (1972) - which was co-written with Goscinny - and played the store owner in Doillon's film 'Les Doigts Dans La Tête' (1974). He also designed the French movie poster for the first Monty Python film 'And Now For Something Completely Different' (1973) and met the Python actors in person during the Paris premier of their film 'Monty Python's Life of Brian' (1979) in 1980.

Proud Mary by Gotlib
Tina Turner performing 'Proud Mary'.

In 1982 Gotlib and Jean Solé designed the movie poster for the Snow White parody 'Elle Voit Des Nains Partout!' (1982) by Jean-Claude Sussfeld. He teamed up as a scenarist with Pierre Tchernia again for his comedy film 'Bonjour l'Angoisse' (1988), in which Gotlib also has a small cameo near the end during the buffet scene. Together with Gérard Krawczyk he co-wrote the script of Sylvain Madigan's 'Strangers Dans La Nuit' (1991). Futher acting parts could be seen in Krawczyk's film 'Je Hais Les Acteurs' (1986) - where Gotlib played a bar keeper - and Didier Tronchet's 'Le Nouveau Jean-Claude' (2002), a movie adaptation of his own comic 'Jean-Claude Tergal', in which Gotlib performed a taxi passenger. The comics legend played himself in Laurent Baffe's 'Les Clefs de Bagnole' (2003) and Ferdinand Dupont in the film 'Belgique For Sale (Sans Le "T") (2006) by Stefan Liberski and Frédéric Jannin. Together with Albert Uderzo he illustrated Richard Gotainer's book 'Vive la Gaule' (1987).


His work has been exhibited several times, including an expo in the Museum of Jewish Art & History in Paris in 2014. The same exhibition also ran in the Jewish Museum in Brussels between 2014 and 2015. The National Cartoonists Society in New York honored Gotlib with a Mad Award in 1972, while he received the Grand Prix de la Ville d'Angoulême (1991) and the Prix Raymond Poivet (2001) at the comics festival of Angoulême. Brussels gave him the Grand Prix Saint-Michel for his entire oeuvre in 2007. The highest honour in Gotlib's life was his elevation to Chevalier (1975) and Officier (1990) des Arts et des Lettres and his induction into the Légion d'Honneur in 2000. The university of Québec awarded him Doctor Bédéis Causa in 1990 and his name also lives on in the form of an asteroid since 2005. 

Final years and death
In 1995 Gotlib sold the rights to Fluide Glacial and Audie to the publisher Flammarion spent most of his final years writing autobiographical books: 'J'existe, je me suis rencontré', about his youth (1993), and 'Ma Vie-en-Vrac' (2006), a more thorough overview in cooperation with journalist Gilles Verlant. In later decades Gotlib also published in magazines such as Actuel, Charlie Mensuel, Métal Hurlant, A Suivre and the Spirou supplement Le Trombone Illustré. Gotlib passed away in 2016. He received an official homage from French minister of Culture Audrey Azoulay.

Legacy and influence
Gotlib was a strong influence on Alexis, Maëster, Coyote, François Boucq, Kamagurka, Édika, Bruno Le Floc'h, Tronchet, Daniel Goossens, Ptiluc, Dupuy and Berberian, Eric SchreursHanco Kolk, Jérôme D'Aviau, Ian Dairin, Manu Larcenet, Blutch, Marc LegendreLewis Trondheim, Geoffroy Monde, Rudy, Paul Schenk, Zep, Thierry Van Hasselt, Pixel Vengeur, Fabcaro, Roger Leiner, Elsa Brants, Bastien Vivès, Xavier Delucq, Zep and Kim Duchateau.

La Coccinelle de Gotlib

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