'Monsieur Magie' magic trick feature in Pif Gadget #275 (1974).

Jacques Tabary was a French comic artist, best known for assisting his brother Jean Tabary on the series 'Totoche' and 'Corinne et Jeannot'. For Pif Gadget magazine, he also provided artwork and activity comics, such as the 'Monsieur Magie' feature (1973-1975), in which magic tricks were explained.

Early life and career
Jacques Tabary was born in 1926. His brothers were the future comic artists/illustrators Jean Tabary (1930-2011) and Pierre Tabary. Originally, Jacques stepped into his father's footsteps and became a plasterer. His career took a different direction when his brother Jean asked him to join him in his comic production for Vaillant magazine (which in 1969 changed its name to Pif Gadget).

Totoche by Jacques Tabary
Totoche - 'Le Narguilé d'Ali Baba', art by Jacques Tabary (Totoche Poche #5)

On 19 December 1965, Jean Tabary launched a spin-off based on his children's adventure series 'Totoche', starring the secondary characters Corinne and Jeannot. Published in Vaillant/Pif Gadget, 'Les Jeudis de Corinne et Jeannot' (1965-1972) featured the mean girl Corinne playing pranks on the naïve boy Jeannot. Jean Tabary scripted and penciled the majority of the gags, while Jacques lettered, inked and provided background art.

In June 1966, Éditions Vaillant launched a quarterly pocket book series around 'Totoche'. The first 24 issues were drawn by Jean Tabary himself, but afterwards his brother Jacques took over, mostly during the later 1972-1976 period. While many episodes were reprints, some stories were brand new. The 'Totoche' pocket books ran until March 1976.

'Histoire de Clo-Clo l'Hélico!', comic strip providing a back story to the gadget that came with the 15 March 1971 issue of Pif Gadget (#108).

Gadget, toy and magic trick comics
When in 1969 Vaillant changed its name to Pif Gadget, the magazine became known for handing out free gadgets and toys with every issue. To promote these gadgets, Jacques Tabary created several illustrations or comic strips, in which Totoche, Corinne or Jeannot explained how to construct or use these objects. In order to properly visualize these step by step explanations, Tabary deconstructed the gadgets, so he could draw every specific part. He also livened up several of the magazine's game and activity pages, often with his brother's characters.

In Pif Gadget issue #240 (1 October 1973), Jacques Tabary first drew 'Monsieur Magie' (1973-1975), one of the few characters he created himself, signing with "Jacques". The magician Monsieur Magie amazes children with his magic tricks. Afterwards, the trick is explained to the readers in a step by step visualization. The comics were usually written by Géo-Mousseron and Gil Das and ran on an irregular basis until the final episode was printed in issue #310 (3 February 1975). For the pocket books, he made a similar magic trick feature, but then starring the characters Thierry and Cathy.

Other work
Also for Éditions Vaillant, Jacques Tabary inked several of the 'Gai-Luron' pocket books, starring Marcel Gotlib's melancholic basset hound. Jacques Tabary remained active for Pif Gadget throughout the 1980s, inking stories with 'Pif le Chien' and 'Placid et Muzo' by Michel Motti. He also lettered the French-language translation of the first volume of Hal Foster's 'Prince Valiant' (Serg, 1970) and made a graphic contribution to 'Les Nouvelles de Dupa Grave et de la Petite Chatte Mimine' (Editions de la Débrouille, 2009), a one-shot collective album scripted by Rémi Campana. Later in his career, during the 1990s and 2000s, he also provided artwork for game pages in Le Journal de Mickey.

Jacques Tabary passed away in 2018. He was the uncle of Nicolas Tabary.

Cover illustration for 'Totoche Poche', 1973. 

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