Les Rats Maudits by Jack Marchal

Jack Marchal was a French political activist and cartoonist, known for his activities for far-right publications in the 1970s and 1980s. He was a member of extreme-right political groups like Occident, Groupe Union Défense and Ordre Nouveau and co-founder of Le Front National and the Party of New Forces. Marchal was mostly occupied with the press activities, and designed the black rat mascot for the GUD. He was one of the driving forces behind the students' magazine Alternative in 1973. He created the serial 'Les Rats Maudits', about the battle between right-wing rats and their left-wing opponents, and 'Scènes de Chasse', a series in which he didn't shy away from expressing fascist views. His rat characters were a not-too-subtle rip-off of Anthracite the black rat from Raymond Macherot's comic strip 'Chlorophylle'. Marchal seemed in denial that Anthracite is the villain in this series. In a 2000 interview published in the magazine Devenir he even felt that Anthracite was more sympathetic than Chlorophylle, whom he described as a "little square bourgeois". He also expressed the opinion that Macherot's work "had no message", which most fans of Macherot would tend to debate.

In 1975 Marchal published his album 'Histoire de la Civilisation'. He was also cartoonist and editor for La Voce Della Fogna in Italy, and his work also appeared in political magazines like Vaincre Initiative Nationale, El Cadenzo (Spain), La Voz de la Rata Negra (Spain) and Rat Noir (Switzerland). The latter two magazines were even named after his black rat characters and featured them as mascots. Another far-right cartoonist who drew similar comics about black rodents was Otto d’Afe. Marchal quit his activities for the press in the 1980s and became a rock guitarist with the group Elendil. A collection of his work appeared in the book 'Kraaiepoten' (1978), which also featured work by Prik, Gommer, Korbo and Julius.

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