'Les Musicos'.

Michel Janvier is a Belgian comic artist, illustrator and photographer. During the 1980s, he worked with 'Lucky Luke' creator Morris on a spin-off series starring the stupid prison dog 'Rantanplan' (1984-1997). He later became known for his rock-themed humor comic 'Rob, Wed & Co', AKA 'Les Musicos', his realistically drawn comics based on historical characters and cities, and his many participations in collective and promotional projects.

Early life and illustration career
Michel Janvier was born in 1954 in Meaux, a town on the river Marne, 40 kilometres east of Paris. At age 20, he had his first comic pages published in the fanzines La Claque and L'Abcès, before turning to a professional career in illustration. By 1977, Janvier was making realistically drawn illustrations for the green Michelin touring guides, Larousse encyclopedias and dictionaries, Reader's Digest and the publishing houses Nathan, Hachette and Hatier. Assuming a more cartoony style, he later ventured into children's illustrations. Between 1980 and 1984, he worked for Éditions des Deux Coqs d'Or on artwork for French editions of 'Maya the Bee', 'Tom & Jerry' and 'Daffy Duck' books, as well as other licensed products with Disney, MGM and Warner Bros characters. In 1982, he illustrated two novels in the collection 'Lecture et Loisirs' of Éditions Dargaud.


Rantanplan - 'Le Parrain' (Dutch edition).

Rantanplan
Advised by comic writer Jean-Michel Charlier and Dargaud's editorial director Claude Moliterni, Janvier was directed back towards the comic industry. In 1984, he began his association with Morris, creator and artist of the humorous cowboy comic 'Lucky Luke'. Around this period, Morris was planning a spin-off series based on one of the comic's most popular characters, the stupid prison dog Rantanplan. Initially supported in the art production by Frédéric Garcia and Morris himself, Janvier became the main artist on this feature. Along with the scriptwriting team Xavier Fauche and Jean Léturgie, he drew 544 half-page gag strips for publication in the press. Under guidance of Morris, Janvier also drew the 1986 'Lucky Luke' episode 'Le Ranch Maudit'. For the 'Rantanplan' book series, launched in 1987, the team also created several longer adventures with the dog. Janvier drew the series until 1997, after which the 'Rantanplan' comic was continued by Vittorio Leonardo and Bob De Groot. Between 2008 and 2010, Janvier made the cover illustrations for four books collecting previously unpublished 'Rantanpan' gag strips.


Early appearance of Rob, Wed & Co.

Les Musicos and other humor comics
When his regular contributions to the 'Lucky Luke' productions ended, Janvier began working on his own comics, initially in the humor genre. Together with Véronique Brissaud and Gilles Ratier, he created 'Rob, Wed & Co' for the weekly 'Bédé Philes' section in the newspaper L'Écho du Centre. The comical adventures of a young and loud wannabe rock band were first collected in some self-published landscape-format comic booklets, and then picked up by Éditions Bamboo, known for its many thematic humor series. Covering the publisher's venture into rock music humor, 'Rob, Wed & Co' (1999-2002) appeared in three albums, drawn by Janvier with scripts provided by either Véronique Brissaud, Henri Jenfèvre or Erroc. Between 2004 and 2008, the series continued under the title 'Les Musicos'. Translations of the books were released in China, Egypt, Greece and Turkey. The main characters were also the mascots for the bimonthly brochures promoting of the French National Railway Company, promoting the TER railway service in the Limousin region.

Also for publisher Bamboo, Michel Janvier created a parody comic album that explored the essential (and nonsensical) questions about rock 'n' roll life, 'Rock'n'Vrac' (2010). Among the contributing gag writers were Erroc, Christophe Cazenove, Bloz, Jean-Luc Garréra, Philippe Chanoinat, Jenfèvre. Between 2009 and 2010, Michel Janvier worked with scriptwriter Stéphane Bein on 930 gags of the series 'Les Trentenaires', a parody of people in their thirties, published in the daily Le Populaire du Centre. Two book collections were released in the same period. Succeeding Thierry Capezzone, Michel Janvier drew the second book of Michel Rodrigue's soccer humor comic 'P'tit Chabal' (Vents d'Ouest, 2018).


'Madame Bovary'.

Realism
In 2006, Michel Janvier succeeded Éric Chabbert as the artist of 'Docteur Monge', an historical thriller series written by Daniel Bardet for Éditions Glénat. Janvier drew the sixth and final installment, 'La Part d'Ombre', marking the release of his first realistically drawn comic. In 2008, Janvier joined writer Daniel Bardet and fellow artist Yolaine Vallet in creating an adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's 19th century novel 'Madame Bovary' for the collection 'Romans de Toujours' of Éditions Adonis.

Collective projects
Over the years, Janvier has participated in many collective tribute, parody or thematic comic book projects. In 1996, he was one of the contributing artists to 'Uderzo Croqué par ses Amis' (Soleil, 1996), a comic book honoring 'Astérix' artist Albert Uderzo. In the following year, he was one of the artists for 'La Bande à Julien' (Soleil, 1997), a book with comic visualizations of Julien Clerc songs. Another Soleil tribute project with Janvier's participation was 'Les Amis d'Atalante' (2003), dedicated to the 'Atalante' comic by Didier Crisse.

Michel Janvier has also contributed to the collective biker spoof 'Bikers' (Soleil, 1997) and two books ridiculing French President Jacques Chirac for Pictoris Studio: 'Chirac Dans Tous ses États' (1997) and 'Le Pere Noël Dans Ses Petits Souliers' (1997). Together with Frédérique Avril, Jean-Claude Morchoisne and Michel Rodrigue, Janvier spoofed the world of horoscopes and fortune tellers in 'Horoscomics' (Jet Stream, 2002). In 'Belmondo s'affiche' (Lombard, 2008) - a project supervised by Phillippe Chancinat and Michel Rodrigue - actor Jean-Paul Belmondo was parodied. More serious was the anthology 'Paroles de Taule' (Delcourt, 2001), collecting stories of prisoners in comic format, under supervision of scriptwriter Éric Corbeyran. Michel Janvier was also a contributing artist to 'La Cuisine de Bertheline' (BD Lire Éditions 2005), a regional comic cookbook from Poitou-Charentes.

Other collective comics with Michel Janvier's participation were for healthcare projects, for instance 'Pas Sang Toi' (2009) by the Vaudois blood transfusion service, or 'Physio' (BD Force, 2009), a book released in several languages for the 90th anniversary of the Swiss physiotherapists assocation Physioswiss. In 2018, Michel Janvier illustrated the comic book 'La Téléassistance, Ma Sérénité au Quotidien' ("My Serenity in Everyday Life: The Comic Strip on Remote Assistance"), in commission of the Association Nationale de la Téléassistance de Proximité ("National Association of Proximity Teleassistance").


'Jo Siffert' (2018).

Car and cycling sports
Since the 2010s, Janvier has worked on several, mostly collective, comics dealing with the heroes and history of the car and cycling sports. Together with writer/spoof specialist Roger Brunel and caricaturist Jean-Marc Borot, he created the comical books 'Légendes du Cyclisme' (Vents d'Ouest, 2012) and 'Légendes du Sport Automobile' (Vents d'Ouest, 2013). In 2014, he created a three-page comic story about the 24 Hours of Le Mans race for the petrol company Picoty Avia. For Éditions Paquet, he made a comic book about the Swiss car racer Jo Siffert in collaboration with writer Olivier Marin (2018). In 2020, Janvier joined the team of Graton Éditeur - homebase of the comic creations of Jean Graton - for a documentary comic about the Circuit of Magny-Cours, published in May 2021. Also in 2021, he participated in a collective comic book about the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps circuit (Point Images, 2021).


'Prince de Lu' #1 (1994).

Promotional and communication comics
In 1995, Janvier worked with 'Lucky Luke' scriptwriter Jean Léturgie on a series of landscape-format comic booklets for the chocolate cookie brand Prince de Lu. Four realistically drawn booklets were released, starring the medieval adventures of the brand's mascot, the Prince of Lu. Coming with packages of Prince Lu biscuits, the books had flip covers and offered the same story recto verso in the two main Belgian languages, Dutch and French. Together with scriptwriter/artist Michel Rodrigue, Michel Janvier has worked on a couple of regional comics for Rayclame, a communication agency specialized in comics. In 2015, they created 'Puget sur Argens - Une Épopée Provençale' (2015), covering the history of the commune Puget-sur-Argens in the French Var department. Accompanied by Roger Brunel, Janvier and Rodrigue produced 'Chambéry - Mémoires d'Éléphants' (2016), an exploration of Chambéry's history through the city's monuments. Also in 2016, Janvier and Rodrigue created 'Faure, 168 Ans de Transport', in commission of the FAURE Transport company. For this comic, Michel Janvier was assisted by his son Aurélien Janvier on the background art.


'Puget sur Argens - Une Épopée Provençale' (2015).

Illustrator and cartoonist
Also continuing his work as an illustrator, Janvier has made drawings for the non-fiction books 'Contrechamps - Tracteurs, Batteuses & Vieilles Ferrailles' by Rémy Beurion (CPE, 2011), 'Metalorama - Ethnologie d'une culture contemporaine 1983-2010' by Nicolas Bénard (Camion Blanc, 2011) and 'Le Patois Berrichon Expliqué aux Enfants' by Daniel Bernard (CPE, 2012). In 2015, he launched a daily news cartoon on the website of the France Bleu Creuse radio channel, and additionally created drew flyers for comic festivals in Saint-Rémy (Saône et Loire), Fabrègues (Hérault) and Labourse (Pas de Calais). In 2018, Janvier made the drawings for a summer puzzle and game book by the Avia petrol company

Photographer
Besides comics and cartoons, Janvier is additionally notable as a professional photographer, initially specializing in glamour photography, before switching to capturing rock shows and other performances on camera. Since 1989, his photographs have been exhibited throughout France. In that same year, he ended third among 48,000 participants in an international photography contest organized by Nikon. His photographs have also appeared in rock music books published by Camion Blanc.

Other activities
Between 1989 and 2005, Michiel Janvier was additionally the letterer of the 'Astérix' comics, written and drawn by Albert Uderzo. Michel Janvier is based in the Limousin province in central France, where he organizes workshops in comics and cartooning. In November 2017, his residency as cultural mediator for comics in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region began, an initiative of MJC social center of La Souterraine.


'La Téléassistance, Ma Sérénité au Quotidien' (2018).

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