The French cartoonist and American superstar actor met on the track in 1970, in the vital environment of their shared passion. Steve McQueen had just finished runner-up in the Sebring 12 Hours, and Jean Graton was in the Florida motorsport to find inspiration for Michel Vaillant’s new adventure, Engine massacre. In the picture of their meeting, Graton stands with his hands folded, the actor looks at the camera with a smile, holding an open comic book by Michelle Vaillant; Ghost 24 hours. They also sat across from each other at a dinner and talked about their love for “Le Mans,” the famous endurance race that takes place near the French city every year and also the name of the legendary movie that McQueen will make there.
Jean Graton was born in Nantes in 1923, more than two months after the first 24 hours of Le Mans. In several of his 70 comedy albums, Racing, which he watched closely with his father at the age of 14, played a role. In 1997, the Graton at Le Mans testified that the car that came to life from his comic book lasted a full 24 hours there. In the pit box wait for the blue car with the Vaillante emblem. Number 13, a nod to Graton’s album Number 13 at the beginning. One important difference from comedy: Michel Vaillant defeated Blouman four times, and the real Vaillant finished fourth. “it’s greatMichel Vaillant’s “father” rejoiced – his hands deep in his trouser pockets and his large stomach straight.
Graton died on Thursday at the age of 97 at his home in Brussels. In the presence, among others, of Philip’s son, who has run the family business Graton éditeur since Jean’s retirement (as a painter) at the age of eighty. In 1947, Graton moved from Brittany to “The Comic Tape Capital”, where he moved to live with his aunt. He was initially an advertising artist, and landed a job at the illustrated magazine Thieves, Turned into a weekly comedy competition Tintin Michel Phelan established there in 1957.
Big challenge (The Big Match), the debut is called, with Michelle Vaillant on the cover and a fellow driver running to their cars at the start at Le Mans. Many of its young readers later became racing drivers or sports journalists.
Graton’s racing albums were full of onomatopoeia – onomatopoeia like “ROOAR” or “VROOMM”. With this, he brought his cars back to life on paper. He gave his cars and motorcycles painted in fine detail (as in the album series about Julie Wood) by drawing long lines behind and next to them. His knowledge was the result of numerous business visits to racetracks around the world, as well as conversations with drivers. Jackie Ickes, for example, appears regularly in The Adventures of Phelan. The Belgian also received his Vaillant dossier, and its theme with “50 percent journalism, 50 percent comic” as it was made in the 1990s by greats like Enzo Ferrari, James Dean, Ayrton Senna, Soichiro Honda and Steve McQueen
In 1967, Vaillant presented his own series on French television, with actors and real cars, and in 2003 a film written and produced by Luc Besson, he became famous for comedy. Taxi. Ultimately, more than 20 million copies of Michelle Vaillant were sold, and thanks to (screenwriter) Philip Graton and his team of illustrators, the ending for the comic book hero is nowhere near.