From: 'Contes de Gascogne'.

Jean-Claude Pertuzé was a French illustrator, comic artist and advertising artist. He worked for several magazines and newspapers, but was mostly known for his comic albums based on the history and legends from the South West of France and the Pyrenees.

Early life and education
Pertuzé was born in 1949 in Lectoure, a town in the southern Gers department of France. As a child he already collected books and articles about art and painting, while impressing his friends with his capability of reproducing movements, expressions and situations on paper. Fresh out of high school, at age 18, he enrolled at the School of Fine Arts in Toulouse. Upon graduation, he divided his time between illustration, comics and advertising.

Illustration work
At the start of his career, he made illustrations for the Sunday edition of the newspaper La Dépêche du Midi, while working as a graphic artist for the printing firm Bouquet in Auch and the Toulouse-based advertising agency PBC. In his further career Pertuzé worked for a variety of both mainstream and specialized newspapers and magazines. These included Tournesol, Les Clés de l'Actualité, Pyrénées Magazine, Le Journal de l'Animation and Généalogie Française, as well as community and corporate magazines. Book publishers like Loubatières and Milan also requested his services for both their adult and children's books. Among Pertuzé's own children's books were 'Le Conte de Jean de l'Ours' (1988), 'Rampono' (1992), 'Bos de Bénac' (1997), 'Pyrène' (1997), 'Dame Carcas' (1997) and 'Mirguette et Toustounet' (2005). 'Rampono', the story of a vegetarian ogre that parents call when their children don't want to finish their soup, was awarded with the 1993 Prix Beaugency for "Funniest Book of the Year". The artist also made posters for local music and theater festivals, and was for hire as a live cartoonist for seminars and congresses.

'La Nuit de Noël' (Métal Hurlant #46, 1979).

Early comics
Jean-Claude Pertuzé's first comics appeared in 1974 in fanzines like L'Ort Vert and Jean-Paul Tiberi's Haga. Later that decade he was present in the comic magazine Métal Hurlant with stories inspired by fantasy and esoterics. His comic strips 'Les Histoires de Papi Repapiol' (1978-1980) and 'Aventures de M. de Bistodéna' (1986) appeared in the local Toulouse publications TMP and L'Autan, respectively.

Comics based on folklore
The history and folklore of his region of origin, Gascony, were the instigators behind many of his comics projects. For his first and self-published book, 'Contes de Gascogne' (1977), he adapted tales of the local folklorist Jean-François Bladé (1827-1900) into comics stories. Years later he also provided the illustrations for new book collections with Bladé's stories: 'Les Nouvelles' (Loubatières, 2000) and 'Contes populaires de la Gascogne' (Aubéron, 2008). Pertuzé took inspiration from more "licentious" folk tales for his so-called "erotic-agricultural trilogy", consisting of the often reprinted books 'Galipettes' (1985), 'Culbutes' (1987) and 'Capotages' (1994).


Comics about the Pyrenees
The traditions and the history of the Pyrenees were the subject of his album series 'Les Chants de Pyrène' (four volumes, 1981-1984). On 19 July 1987 he climbed to the top of the Vignemale, the highest point of the French Pyrenees, and spent 24 hours in one of the Russell caves to draw the 32 pages of his comics portfolio 'Le Jour du Vignemale' (Loubatières, 1987). A completely revised edition in manga format was published under the title 'Vignemale, l'autre jour' in May 2011.

Further comics
Jean-Claude Pertuzé also contributed to a collective album with comics interpretations of Georges Brassens songs ('Brassens 1956-1962' by Vents d'Ouest, 1990). In 'L'Apôtre Zéro' (1993), Pertuzé told the Languedoc legend of the camel-riding Saint Aphrodisius, who wanted to become one of Jesus' disciples. Albeit historical, 'Vie et aventures de Sylve du Bazacle' (2004) was one of the author's few fiction works.

Other media
Besides printed media, the author also tried his hand at other outlets. Over the course of 1984 he had a daily column about tales and legends on Sud Radio under the title 'Le Crayon Voyageur'. His comic 'L'Apôtre Zéro' was adapted into a stage show by the Humani Theater group in 2003-2004. Pertuzé subsequently wrote several scenes based on the history of the city of Béziers, which were performed on location in the city during that summer's festival season. In 2009, he directed a theatrical adaptation of one of his unpublished works, 'Picoulin le Chafougnesque', which was performed by students from a primary school in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier.

Jean-Claude Pertuzé was guest of honor during the Festival BD-Comminges in Saint-Gaudens, Haute-Garonne. He hosted a conference on comics in Occitania during the first Basque comic book fair in Bilbao in November 2014. The artist passed away in Valence, Drôme, on 26 April 2020, at the age of 70.

'Vie et aventures de Sylve du Bazacle'.

Series and books by Jean-Claude Pertuzé in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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