Alejandro Jodorowsky Prullansky (also written as Alexandro Jodorowsky) is one of the most famous contemporary comic writers, and the director of cult films like 'El Topo' (1970) and 'The Holy Mountain' (1973). Jodorowsky's comics are mostly surrealistic and futuristic, while his interest in alchemy, the tarot, Zen Buddhism and shamanism have brought his oeuvre elements of mysticism, symbolism and spirituality.
Jodorowsky was born in Iquique, Chile, as the son of Jewish-Ukrainian immigrants. Following an unhappy childhood, he found refuge in poetry, and began his professional life in several creative occupations. He started as a clown in a circus, and eventually focused on performing as a mime. He had his own theatre group, the Teatro Mimico, and wrote his first play in 1953. Jodorowsky spent most of the 1950s in Paris, where he toured as a mime with Marcel Marceau's troupe, and where he made his first film, 'Les têtes interverties', in 1957. Driven by anarchism and surrealism, Jodorowsky founded the performance art collective Panic Movement with Fernando Arrabal and Roland Topor.
In the 1960s, Jodorowsky settled in Mexico City, where he did his first comic book work, and were he established himself as a filmmaker during the 1970s and 1980s. He is known for several films, that he made in Mexico, France and the UK, such as the controversial 'Fando y Lis' (1967), the acid western 'El Topo' (1970), the mystical 'The Holy Mountain' (1973), 'Santa sangre' (1989) and 'The Rainbow Thief' (1990). Still heavily influenced by the surrealist movement, he made his comics debut in 1966 as the writer of the futuristic saga 'Anibal 5', that was drawn by Manuel Moro for Editorial Novaro. He also had his turn in drawing his own comics, such as the weekly 'Fabulas Panicas' feature in the Mexican magazine El Heraldo de Mexico, between 1967 and 1973.
He really made his mark as a comics author through his collaborations with Moebius in France. Their first collaboration was on Jodorowsky's ill-fated attempt at making a movie adaptation of Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi novel 'Dune' in 1975, which also included contributions by H.R. Giger. The movie was to star Savador Dalí and Orson Welles and have a soundtrack by Pink Floyd and special effects by Dan O'Bannon. The project fell through when most of the budget was spent on pre-production. A documentary called 'Jodorowsky's Dune', was made about Jodorowsky's failed attempt at an adaptation in 2013.
Jodorowsky and Moebius continued their collaboration with 'Les Yeux du Chat' at Les Humanoïdes Associés in 1978, but created a comics classic with 'The Incal', in which Jodorowsky introduced his own science fiction universe, later referred to as the "Jodoverse". The saga focuses on the P.I. John Difool, who receives the Light Incal, a crystal of enormous powers. After a first serialization in Métal Hurlant magazine, Les Humanoïdes Associés published six books under the title 'Une Aventure de John Difool' in the 1980s. John Difool's early years were later explored in 'Avant l'Incal', a prequel series that Jodorowsky made with artist Zoran Janjetov between 1988 and 1995. A sequel cycle called 'Après L'Incal' was started by Jodorowsky and Moebius in 2000, and completed by two more installments drawn by José Ladrönn in 2011 and 2014. Ladrönn also provided the artwork for the final cycle, 'Final Incal' (2008-2014).
Another famous creation set in Jodorowsky's space opera universe is 'The Saga of the Meta-Barons', about a dynasty of perfect warriors. Drawn by Argentinean artist Juan Giménez, the series was published in eight books by Les Humanoïdes Associés between 1992 and 2003. Two more cycles followed to complete the trilogy: two books of 'Castaka' were drawn by Das Pastoras in 2007 and 2013, while Travis Charest and Zoran Janjetov provided the art for 'Weapons of the Metabaron' in 2008. In addition, Jodorowsky and Janjetov, accompanied by colorist Fred Beltrán, cooperated on yet another sci-fi cycle, 'The Technopriests' ('Les Technopères') from 1998 to 2006.
In 1982, Jodorowsky had teamed up with artist Arno to create the magical fantasy series 'Alef-Thau'. The duo made seven albums, while a final installment was drawn by Al Covial in 1998. Remaining in the fantasy genre, he wrote 'Le Dieu Jaloux' (1984) and 'L'Ange Carnivore' (1986) for Silvio Cadelo, two books that were later reprinted under the title 'La Saga d'Alendor'. Jodorowsky has worked on several projects with the artist Georges Bess, starting with 'Les Jumeaux Magiques' in Le Journal de Mickey in 1986, and then followed by the fantasy series 'The White Lama' ('Le Lama Blanc', 1988-1993), the graphic novel 'Juan Solo' (1995-1999), and a restart of 'Anibal 5' (1990-1992). Jodorowsky and Bess have returned to Tibet for an esoteric follow-up to their best-known collaboration, called 'La Légende du Lama Blanc' from 2014.
From 1991, he started several stories serialized in magazine À Suivre, such as 'Face de Lune' (with François Boucq) 'La Passion de Diosamante' (with Jean-Claude Gal) and 'Le Coeur Couronné (with Moebius). Other notable creations are the hard-boiled western series 'Bouncer', that he makes with François Boucq at Glénat since 2001, and the historical fiction 'Borgia' in cooperation with Milo Manara from 2004 to 2010. He made a graphic novel about a mime player during World War II, called 'Pietrolino' (2007-2008), with Olivier Boiscommun, and a comic book sequel to his 1970 film called 'Les Fils d'El Tope' with José Ladrönn in 2016.
Further collaborations include 'La Vérité est au Fond des Rêves' with Jean-Jacques Chaubin, the detective comic 'Gilles Hamesh' with Michel Durand (1995), 'Aliot' with Victor de la Fuente (1996), the historical 'Le Pape Terrible' with Théo Caneschi (2009-2013), the heroic fantasy 'Sang Royal' with Dongzi Liu (since 2010) and more sci-fi series like 'Megalex' with Fred Beltrán (1999-2008), 'Showman Killer' with Nicolas Fructus (2010-2012) and 'Ogregod' with Zoran Janjetov (2010-2012). Back in France since 1990, Alejandro Jodorowsky was named an Officer in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettes in 2005.