Lewis Trondheim is one of the most prolific authors of his generation, and has published more than thirty-five books in a period of ten years. He is one of the innovators of the French comics scene, along with such artists as Jean-Christophe Menu, David B., Killoffer, Joann Sfar and Mattt Konture. After a brief stint in the fanzine world, he co-founded the renewing publishing house l'Association in 1990. That same year, Lézard published his first comic, called 'Psychanalyse'. His first works for l'Assocation are 'Moins d'un Quart de Seconde pour Vivre' and several small books for the Patte de Mouche collection. Trondheim's book 'Lapinot et les Carottes de Patagonie' (L'Association, 1992) introduced his most famous character, a rabbit-like creature, originally conceived as a parody of Jean-Christophe Menu's 'Lapot'.
The 'Lapinot' series has an open, associative, improvised structure, and moves freely between different genres, such as science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy. In the next 'Lapinot' book, called 'Slaloms', Trondheim further developed his own narrative style. In the following years, Trondheim divided his time between more experimenting works in black and white, usually published by l'Association, and the more traditional 'Les Formidables Aventures de Lapinot' series. He has also worked for the publishing houses Rackham ('Gare Centrale'), Autrement ('Promenade') and Cornélius (the autobiographical 'Approximate Continuum Comix') and the magazines Psikopat, Lapin and Spirou.
Kaputt & Zösky
Trondheim also published two graphic novels at the prestigious literary publishing house Seuil. The first one, entitled 'Mildiou' (1994), tells a Lapinot story which is set in the Middle Ages. The second, entitled 'La Mouche' (1995), is a wordless comic which depicts the world as seen through the eyes of a fly. The 'Lapinot' series was continued at Dargaud and at he continued his collaboration with l'Association with Pays des Trois Sourires'.
With Joann Sfar, he launched the 'Donjon' series in 1998, which became a hype in the comics world. This series, about a fictitious kingdom, has been added up with several sub-series. Where Trondheim and Sfar did both scenario and the artwork on the main series, several befriended artists were assigned to draw the spin-offs.
Christophe Blain did the 'Donjon Potron-Minet' series, situated 100 years before the main title, now called 'Donjon Zénith'. The 'Donjon Crépuscule' series was situated in the future, and drawn by Sfar. 'Donjon Parade', is set between two first 'Zénith' stories, and drawn by Manu Larcenet. 'Donjon Monstres' features stories about the several side characters, and is drawn by several guest artists, such as Menu, Mazan and Andreas.
Top Ouf (Spirou #3746, 27/1/2010)
'Donjon' was published at Delcourt, a publisher for which Trondheim also created 'Monstrueux' and 'Kaput & Zosky'. Lewis Trondheim is also a versatile writer for other artists, such as Fabrice Parme ('Le Roi Catastrophe' and 'Vénézia'), Manu Larcenet ('Les Cosmonautes du futur'), José Parrondo ('Allez Raconte' and 'Papa Raconte'), Jochen Gerner ('Politique étrangère') and Thierry Robin (the silent comic 'Petit Père Noël'). Several works by Trondheim have been published in the USA by Fantagraphics and First Second. He won the career-spanning Angoulême International Comics Festival Grand Prize in 2006. Trondheim's opera adaptation of his 2001 comic 'Politique étrangère' was performed in Montpellier in 2009.
Lewis Trondheim was invested with a knighthood in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2005.