La Lettre Foisée, by Jean-Claude Servais
'La Lettre Foisée'.

Jean-Claude Servais is part of the generation that modernized Belgian comics from the 1970s. He brings emotional, and sometimes magical, character-driven stories, set against the woody landscapes of the Belgian Ardennes or the Gaume. He studied graphic art at the École Supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc in Liège from 1974 until 1976. His first pages were published in the Carte Blanche section Spirou in 1975, and in the following year he made two short stories starring 'Ronny Jackson' with Jean-Marie Brouyère. His professional career really took off at Tintin magazine.

Iriacynthe, by Jean-Claude Servais

His first works for this magazine were several short stories on scenarios by Bom and Yves Duval from 1977. He began a series of short stories about mysticism and sorcery in 1980, that were collected in the album 'La Tchalette' in 1982. A year later, he drew a series of short stories starring 'Isabelle' in the magazine. During his military service in Stockem, he had met Gérard Dewamme, with whom he created 'Tendre Violette' in À Suivre in 1979. They continued their collaboration at Lombard and Glénat with 'Les Saisons de la Vie' (1985-86) and 'Les Voyages Clos - Montagne Fleurie' (1988). In 1989, he teamed up with the chansonnier Julos Beaucarne to create the epic 'L'Appel de Madame la Baronne' (1989). 

Lova, by Jean-Claude Servais

Servais began writing his own scenarios with the albums 'Iriacynthe' (Bédéscope, 1982), 'L'Almanach' (Casterman, 1988) and 'La Petite Reine' (Casterman, 1992).

In 1987-1988 the publishing company Brain Factory International released a four-volume comic book series where Franco-Belgian comic authors visualized several songs by singer Jacques Brel in comic strip form. The first volume, 'Le Plat Pays' (1987) featured a contribution by Servais. In 1990 he paid graphic tribute to François Walthéry in the collective homage book 'Natacha. Special 20 Ans' (Marsu Productions, 1990), which celebrated the 20th anniversary of Walthéry's series 'Natacha'. 

In 1992, he created a cycle about the wizard Merlin, called 'Pour l'Amour de Guenièvre', that appeared in Je Bouquine. He began his collaboration with the publishing house Dupuis in 1992 with the graphic novel 'Lova' in the collection Aire Libre. For the same collection, he drew 'Fanchon' in 1998, 'Déesse Blanche, Déesse Noire' in 2001, 'L' Assassin Qui Parle Aux Oiseau' in 2005, 'Le Jardin des Glaces' in 2008, and 'Le Dernier Brame' in 2011.

La Hache et le Fusil, by Jean-Claude Servais
'La Hache et le Fusil'. 

For the same publisher's collection Repérages, he began a series of authentic stories under the title 'La Mémoire des Arbres' in 1994. Several independent stories are collected in this series, such as 'La Hache et le Fusil', 'Les Seins de Café', 'La Belle Coquetière', 'La Lettre Froissée' and 'Le Tempérament de Marilou'. These stories are usually situated in the Belgian countryside in the early 20th Century, and are often based on local folktales or true stories. In addition he was present at Casterman with the diptych 'Les Diaboliques' in 2006. Again for Dupuis, he made 'Orval' in 2009-2010, 'Godefroid de Bouillon' in 2012 and 'Les Chemins de Compostelle' in 2014-2015.

In 2006 Francis Darras sculpted a statue of Violette, which can be seen in Florenville. On 12 May 2006 a comic book mural based on Servais' work was inaugurated in the Boulevard Georges Deryck 124 in Tubize. On 25 May 2010 his artwork became part of a permanent exhibition at Malvoisin in the Musée du Fourneau Saint-Michel in Saint-Hubert. Another comic book mural in Tubize was revealed on 28 August 2014, this time near the local station. 

Jean-Claude Servais' work was admired by veteran comic artist Marc Sleen.

Orval by JC Servais

Series and books by Jean-Claude Servais you can order today:


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