Jacques Tardi  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Jacques Tardi is a French graphic novel artist, born August 30, 1946 in Valence. He is often credited solely as Tardi, known for works such as Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec (1976-1998).



After graduating from the École nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris, he started writing comics in 1969, at the age of 23, in Pilote magazine. His first album was Rumeur sur le Rouergue, published in 1971 in Pilote, from a scenario by Pierre Christin.

A highly versatile artist, Tardi successfully adapted novels by controversial writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline or crime novelist Léo Malet. He also created one of French comics' most famous heroines, Adèle Blanc-Sec. This series recreates the Paris of early 20th century where the moody heroine encounters supernatural events, state plots, occult societies and experiments in cryogenics.

Tardi's obsession with the First World War and the pitfalls of patriotism spawned several albums (Adieu Brindavoine, C'était la guerre des tranchées, Le trou d'obus...) and was brought on by his inability to come to terms with his grandfather's involvement in the day-to-day horrors of trench warfare. He also completed a four-volume series on the Paris Commune, Le cri du peuple.

His style can at times seem similar to Hergé's early ligne claire style (clear line), paired with meticulous research and typically feautirng an asexual hero (Adèle Blanc-Sec can be quite a misandrist at times), but Tardi's work also satirises the concept of the flawless hero by using a series of inept, naive or anti-heroic main characters. His audience is mainly the literary, French-speaking adult public.


Scenario and artwork




  • Le voyage d'Alphonse (artwork by Antoine Leconte) (Duculot, 2003)


Illustrated novels

Céline adaptations:

Jules Verne adaptations:


  • Rue des Rebuts (Alain Beaulet, 1990)

Books about Tardi

  • Olivier Maltret, Presque tout Tardi (Sapristi, 1996), ISBN 2-911429-01-X
  • Michel Boujut, Tardi par la fenêtre (Christian Desbois, 1996)


- Grand Prix for Black Humor<ref name=Casterman/>
- Knighted in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France
- Best German-language Comic/Comic-related Publication at the Max & Moritz Prizes, Germany
- nominated for the Prix de la critique and the Canal BD Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
  • 2003: nominated for the Audience Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
  • 2004: nominated for Best American Edition of Foreign Material at the Harvey Awards, USA
  • 2005: nominated for Award for a Series at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
  • 2006: nominated for the Award for Best Comic Book and the Audience Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
  • 2006: Special Prize for outstanding life’s work at the Max & Moritz Prizes, Germany
- nominated for the Grand Prix Saint-Michel

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jacques Tardi" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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