Jacques Tardi is an illustrator (un dessinateur) well known for adapting French novels into graphic novels, as well as authoring historical graphic novels (des romans graphiques).
He has adapted novels by popular crime novelist (auteur de roman policier) Léo Malet. His detective hero (le héros détective) Nestor Burma is well loved character (un personnage très apprécié), and appears in a series of critically acclaimed graphic novels.
Tardi also created one of French comics’ most famous heroines, Adèle Blanc-Sec. In the Paris of the early 20th century, the heroine encounters supernatural events (des événements surnaturels), foils state plots (déjoue des complots) and uncovers occult societies (démasque des sociétés occultes). She is sufficiently famous that a film about her adventures was recently released.
Tardi’s books I particularly enjoy, are his take on history and wars in particular. His grandfather’s experience of living in trenches (les tranchées) was an influence and a starting point for some of his books. They tackle the European trauma of the First World War (C’était la guerre des tranchées, Le trou d’obus, Putain de Guerre…) as well as the Second World War (Stalag).He also completed an amazing four-volume series on the Paris Commune, entitled Le cri du peuple (the people’s call / the cry of the people).
His novels are often shocking, always thought provoking, and bring to life a sometimes forgotten history. Highly recommended!
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