Patrice Pellerin is a French illustrator and comic artist, known for the highly detailed and well-documented artwork of his historical comic 'L'Épervier'. He was born in the Britton town Brest as the son of a French gouvernor. Because of his father's work, young Patrice spent his childhood in over twenty different towns. He eventually settled in the Britton commune Landivisiau, a town that gave him the setting for his future comics. After studying Classical Languages, he graduated in comics and animation from the School of Applied Arts in Reims in 1974. He began his career under the guidance of Pierre Joubert, and even spent several years in this well-known French illustrator's house in Meudon.
Pellerin initially made illustrations for educational and historical books. These include a series of youth books about French regions for Ouest-France, novels in the collection 'Signe de Piste' and historical books for Hachette and Ouest-France. It was Jean Giraud who introduced him to veteran comics writer Jean-Michel Charlier, which launched his career as a comic artist. Charlier asked him to take over the pirate comic 'Barbe-Rouge', that he had created with Victor Hubinon in the late 1950s. Pellerin gave the comic a more modern and realistic look. He worked with Charlier on a cycle about a slave rebellion, while Charlier picked Christian Gaty to continue the more classically oriented storyline he had started with Jijé, who had passed away in 1980.
Pellerin and Charlier only made two 'Barbe-Rouge' comics together, 'Trafiquants de bois d'ébène (1983) and 'Les Révoltés de la Jamaïque' (1987), that were published by Novedi. Pellerin's highly detailed artwork makes him a slow worker, and Charlier was loaded with other work. While working on 'Barbe-Rouge', Pellerin had tried his hand at scriptwriting with the first three episodes of the historical series 'Les Aigles Décapitées' for Jean-Charles Kraehn at Glénat (1985-1988). He agreed with Charlier that he would write the plot for a new 'Barbe-Rouge' story himself, while Charlier would take care of the dialogues and finished script.
Unfortunately, Charlier passed away in 1989. Pellerin was appointed as the new author of 'Barbe-Rouge', but the the subsequent demise of Novedi cut this plan short. Pellerin ended up at Dupuis, where he reworked the story he had already started to a new series, that he would write, draw and color on his own. The character of Erik Le Rouge was transformed to Yann de Kermeur, a noble Breton with a dark past. It was the start of Pellerin's masterpiece, the historical saga 'L'Épervier'. The first cycle was situated in Brittany and Guyana, and consisted of six books (1994-2005). Pellerin took his hero to Versailles and eventually Québec for a new cycle, that he started at Éditions Soleil in 2009.
With 'L'Épervier', Pellerin has established himself as a skillful author of historical and naval comics. His wide knowledge of naval history and highly detailed drawings result in historically correct reconstructions of the Britton region of the 18th century. For the representation of ships, he mainly uses the writings of naval historian Jean Boudriot as documentation. Besides Pierre Joubert and Jean Giraud, Pellerin ranks among his influences American artists like Frank Frazetta, Alex Raymond and Hal Foster, and storytellers like Charlier and French novelist Michel Zévaco. In addition to his comics work, Pellerin does illustrations for museums, historians and archeologists.