The designer Jean Graton, creator of “Michel Vaillant”, is dead

Jean Graton alongside his character, Michel Vaillant, January 14, 2005.

The author of comics Jean Graton, creator of Michel Vaillant, died Thursday January 21 in Brussels at the age of 97, announced Dupuis editions. In a press release, they greet “A unique and admirable work which has amazed several generations of young and old comic book readers”.

Born in Nantes on August 10, 1923, Jean Graton was raised by a father who ran a motorcycle club that took him to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He was 8 years old when his first drawing appeared in the Belgian daily The evening : “It was my daddy fixing his motorcycle”, he remembered during an interview. Arrived in Brussels in 1947, he gave birth to his hero Michel Vaillant in the Tintin’s Journal, ten years later. In 1959 appeared the first album of the series.

“The last sacred monster”

Michel Vaillant recounted the adventures of a racing driver, which have been the subject of 79 volumes. The last nine albums were signed by Jean Graton’s son, Philippe, and since 2012, other writers and designers have perpetuated the hero’s adventures. In total, some 25 million albums have been sold worldwide.

And Michel Vaillant remains undoubtedly his most famous work, Jean Graton had also produced illustrations for the newspaper The sports, The Beautiful Stories of Uncle Paul, in Spirou, or the covers and full stories of the journal Tintin, Julie Wood, Les Labourdet.

Jean Graton had been made Commander of Arts and Letters, in France, and Knight of the Order of Leopold, in Belgium. For Dupuis editions, Jean Graton “Was the last sacred monster of the golden age of Franco-Belgian comics”, since the deaths of René Goscinny, Albert uderzo, Jean-Michel Charlier, Peyo, Jean Roba, or even André Franquin.

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