Michel Greg, one of the most prolific of French-Belgian comics creators, has worked in a variety of genres, from realism to humor. He is best known for such humorous series as 'Achille Talon', 'Rock Derby' and 'Zig et Puce', and as the writer of the realistic comics 'Comanche', 'Bernard Prince' and 'Bruno Brazil'.
Born in the Belgian town of Ixelles in 1931, Greg started his extremely productive career at the age of sixteen with 'Les Aventures de Nestor et Boniface' in the Belgian magazine Vers l'Avenir. He soon joined Héroic Albums, and began 'Le Chat' (1953-1956) under the pseudonym Michel Denys. In 1954, he improved his style alongside Franquin, working for the magazine Spirou. A year later, Greg began his own magazine, which he called Paddy.
He expanded his activities in 1956, when he succeeded Vic Hubinon on 'Fifi' in La Libre Junior and Uderzo and Goscinny on 'Luc Junior' (together with Sirius). Among his own creations of the time are 'Randy Rifle', 'Bison et Ouistiti', 'Fleurette' and 'Bronco et Pepito'. He also began a versatile career as a writer for others, such as Gérald Forton ('Tiger Joe'), Martial ('Alain et Christine'), Louis Hache ('Bob Francval et Djinn') Franquin (several gags of 'Modeste et Pompon') and Tibet (scenarios for several series). From 1958, he wrote some of the best episodes of 'Spirou et Fantasio' for Franquin, such as the Zorglub cycle and 'QRN sur Bretzelburg'.
He was the editor-in-chief of Tintin magazine from 1965 to 1974. During this period, Greg wrote a variety of scenarios for Maréchal (episodes of 'Prudence Petitpas'), Mittéï, Paul Cuvelier ('Flamme d'Argent'), Eduard Aidans ('Les Panthères'), Derib ('Go West') and Walter Fahrer ('Cobalt). He created such classic series in the realistic genre as 'Bernard Prince', the more mature western 'Comanche' (both drawn by Hermann), the science fiction series 'Luc Oriënt' (drawn by Eddy Paape) and 'Bruno Brazil' (drawn by Vance). In the humorous genre, he produced 'Olivier Rameau' for Dany, episodes of 'Clifton' for Jo-El Azara and Turk, 'Chlorophylle' for Dupa.
Zig et Puce
Apart from his large output of scenarios, Greg also continued to draw himself. He created the boxer 'Rock Derby' from 1960 to 1963, the journalists 'Babiole et Zou' from 1962 to 1966, and he revived the Alain Saint-Ogan creation 'Zig et Puce' in 1963. He also began 'Les As' in Vaillant/Pif Gadget in 1963. He continued this series, later with his studios, until 1973.
Les As (Pif Gadget #9, 21/4/1969)
Also in 1963, he began his most famous series, 'Achille Talon'. Soon, Greg would devote all his time as an artist to this character. He was involved with the comic adaptations of the 'Tintin' movies 'Le Temple du Soleil' and 'Tintin et le Lac aux Requins'. He became literary director of Dargaud publishers in France in 1975 and launched Achille Talon magazine. For this magazine, he created features like 'Frère Boudin' (drawn by Claude Marin), 'Jo Nuage' (drawn by Dany) and 'Papa Talon' (drawn by Hachel).
At the end of the seventies, he worked in the U.S. as a representative for publisher Dargaud, where he cooperated on several television projects. Back in France in the mid-1980s, he wrote several novels for Fleuve Noir's Hardy et Lesage collection. He also wrote the first episodes of the new 'Marsupilami' comics series, drawn by Batem. He then took on writing his old series again, such as 'Comanche' (this time drawn by Michel Rouge), 'Bernard Prince' (drawn by Aidans). He also took on new series, such as 'Colby' with Michel Blanc-Dumont and 'Johnny Congo' with Eddy Paape. Michel Regnier, who eventually obtained the French citizenship, passed away in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1999.