October 20, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Jean Gratton 1923-2021 | Michelle Violent was in mourning

Jean Gratton 1923-2021 |  Michelle Violent was in mourning

Jean Graton is the “last holy monster” of Franco-Belgian comics. But his commercial success never earned him the respect he deserved. Looking back on cartoonist life, his career has grown rapidly.


Jean-Christophe LawrenceJean-Christophe Lawrence
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(Brussels) The race for Jean Gratton is over. Michelle Violent’s father, the most famous racing driver in the comics, died in Brussels with his family on Thursday at the age of 97.

“He has been ill for a long time. He is in a nursing home and we can no longer see him,” said Jean-Claude de la Roere, former curator of the Belgian Comic Strip Center.

It goes without saying that Jean Graton is a big engine. This is evidenced by its commercial success. Over 60 years, 25 million copies of Michael Violent’s 79 albums have been sold worldwide.

“This is the last sacred monster of Franco-Belgian comics. His friends and colleagues are known as Goskin, Uderzo, Charlier, Payo, Roba, Frankwin, ”said DuPont, the publisher who has been operating the Violent brand since 2019, in a press release on Thursday.

Born in 1957, the Michel Violent series describes the adventures of a French driver who became the standard carrier of the Violet family car brand. His successes have been a lot on the circuit, but off track as well. Because along with the driving ace, this character is a loyal and courageous, respectable son, a faithful husband, an understanding brother and an honest friend.

Photo from Michael Violant’s official website

Jean Gratton (left)

Errors? Point. His friend, the American Steve Warson, has all the vices: a fiery, angry, unrepentant Don Juan. Or his sworn “The Leader”, who comes to chase him more than once.

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Image from Michael Violent album

Extract from the album in the Michelle Violent series

Interesting: Graton does not hesitate to rub his shoulders with real personalities like his fictional heroes Jackie Ikes, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher or Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve. In the episode Steve Warson vs. Mitchell Violent, Gilles Villeneuve also won the Drivers’ Championship.

Gratton machine

Born in Nantes in 1923, Jean Gratton was raised by a father who ran a motorcycle club, taking him to Le Mans 24 hours a day, so his fascination with motor sports. At the age of 16, he entered the shipyard, where he worked as a fitter, a job he hated and “what to do” [il a] Jealousy means taking risks ”.

Fascinated by comics, he moved to Brussels in 1947. From 1951 to 1953 he wrote for the magazine Spiro A lot Beautiful stories from Uncle Paul, There his realistic style thrives. Then the rival magazine takes him, Tintin, There he created the character of Michelle Violet in 1957.

The series’ first official album was released in 1959 (The big challenge), Young readers, mainly men, receive it quickly. This is the beginning of a long success for Michael Violent who will soon be adapting to the small and big screen.

Gratton himself created the first eight stunts of the series with the help of his wife Francine. But the demand is so strong, he takes a team of collaborators 8thE Pilot, In 1962. The Graton machine now operates on a turbo. For Jean-Claude de la Royre, this “more industrial” choice was a turning point in Michelle Violant’s adventures. And describes the snowball that the designer has experienced throughout his career.

“Because of this, we did not recognize him as a good designer. Yet it has great layouts. He can draw anything,” he says.

The cartoonist retired in 2004, a year after the film’s release Michelle Violent, Co-written by filmmaker Luke Besson. He left his legacy in the hands of his son Philip Gratton, who wrote several scripts. The character was also revived in 2012 for the “new season”. Cars, more advanced issues and values: Michelle is in the car for the Violent XXIE Century.

– With Agence France-Press