Algerian-born artist Jean-Marie Ruffieux was originally an architect, but eventually shifted focus to creating comics in 1971. His first book was 'Escalade', which was created in cooperation with Éric Losfeld, which was followed by two comic stories for France-Soir. Ruffieux was a specialist in historical comics, of which the first was a biography of Egyptian leader Nasser. The book was published in Arabic by Jeune Afrique in cooperation with Muhammad Nu'Man al-Dhâkirî.
He contributed to five books in the collection 'Il était une fois' by Éditions Fayolle between 1977 and 1983, including 'De Gaulle' (1977), 'L'Europe' (1979), 'L'Afrique-Le Togo en bref' (1981), 'L'Afrique' (1982) and 'L'Afrique - Le Cameroun en bref' (1983). He created the western story 'Violences à Blue River' for Futuropolis with writer Jacques Prévot in 1979.
By 1982, he teamed up with Claude Moliterni to contribute to the Dargaud collection 'Les Religions de la Bible'. Some of his installments for this series have later been published as regular comic albums, such as 'David et Salomon' (1986), 'Hérode le grand Roi des Juifs' (1986) and 'Massada' (1988). For the same publisher, he came up with a comic adaptation of Georges Duby's book 'Guillaume le Maréchal' in 1987. He continued with comic biographies of Alexandre le Grand (1989), Alain Gerbault and Charles De Gaulle (1990).
He was one of the illustrators for the book series 'La Révolution Française' by Laurence and Castellar for Éditions Atlas, and also made book illustrations for the publishers Hachette and Hatier-L'École des Loisirs. With his sense for historical reconstruction and his good documentation, Jean-Marie Ruffieux was a well-respected comic artist among historians and teachers. He died on 1 April, 2002.