Claire Bretécher, Creator of Agrippine, Has Died, Aged 79

Legendary comic creator Claire Bretécher has died, today, aged 79. Creator of comic books and strips such as Les Frustrés, unimpressed teenager Agrippine or les Naufragés. After breaking into comic books "to escape boredom", she became a comic industry pioneer through the twentieth century, in a French comics industry dominated by men, particularly for her portrayals of women and gender issues. In 1982, she received the Special Grand Prix of the Angoulême festival.

Bretécher was born in Nantes and got her first break as an illustrator when she was asked to provide the artwork for Le Facteur Rhésus by René Goscinny for L'Os à Moelle in 1963. She went on to work for several popular magazines and in 1969 invented the character Cellulite. In 1972 she joined Gotlib and Mandryka in founding the Franco-Belgian comics magazine L'Écho des savanes. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, she published successful collections, such as The Destiny of Monique (1982). In 2001, Bretécher's series Agrippine was adapted into a 26-episode TV series by Canal+. The eighth and last album of Agrippine was released in 2009.

Claire Bretécher, Creator of Agrippine, Has Died, Aged 79

Her publisher Dargaud notes that [translated] "she created a gallery of characters allowing her to tackle social issues that she very often identified well before most of her contemporaries. In 1976, Roland Barthes [French literary theorist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician] said that she was the "sociologist of the year". She also skillfully practices painting, producing a series of striking portraits of her loved ones and uncompromising self-portraits."

Claire Bretécher, Creator of Agrippine, Has Died, Aged 79

Claire Bretécher is the widow of French constitutionalist Guy Carcassonne, with whom she had a son.

Claire Bretécher, Creator of Agrippine, Has Died, Aged 79
Photo by Gilles Desjardins

 

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.