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Jean-Claude Forest (1930 - 1998)
Jean-Claude Forest, born September 11, 1930 in Le Perreux-sur-Marne and died December 30, 1998 in Paris was a French author of comics. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Claude_Forest [Aug 2005]
Barbarella (1962) - Jean-Claude Forest
Barbarella (1962) - Jean-Claude Forest [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
"Barbarella recognized Lythion by its three satellites. The galactic charts showed it as being a relatively hospitable planet. Beneath the spaceship, a continent unfolded, which at first appeared to the traveler to be nothing but a volcanic desert. Suddenly, nestled in a giant crater, Crystallia, the great greenhouse, appeared..."
Thus, began Barbarella's adventures in the French magazine V. The strip's "father," Jean-Claude Forest, was born in 1930, near Paris. A graduate of the Paris School of Design, Forest made his mark in French art circles during the late '50s and early '60s. His illustrations appeared in numerous French newspapers and periodicals. Additionally, he had become well known to the SF world through his many covers for genre paperbacks and magazines. It was this contact that led to the creation of Barbarella.
"George Gallet, the editor of the science-fiction imprint Le Rayon Fantastique for which I was drawing covers, was also in charge of a quarterly adult publication called V Magazine," Forest told French comic journalist Guy Delcourt. "One day, he asked me if I wanted to do a strip for him -- no holds barred! Twenty years ago, we were living in a time of complete censorship in the comics. In fact, that's why I was doing mostly illustrations and book covers. Everything was forbidden, and in particular, the female form. Fantasy was also frowned upon, because it was felt that it would corrupt the morals of children.
"Gallet had asked me to do a kind of female Tarzan, Tarzella, but that idea didn't particularly interest me. It led me to come up with Barbarella. For the next two years, at the rate of eight pages every three months, I told her adventures, going with the flow of inspiration, without any pre-planning."
The first saga of Barbarella in 1962 is comprised of eight episodes. The young heroine is introduced as a space wanderer in a solar system far from Earth. Crash-landing on planet Lythion, Barbarella becomes involved in a war between the Crystallians, who inhabit a giant greenhouse, and the barbaric Orhomrs, who live in the frozen wasteland outside. With a little bit of love, she prompts them to make peace with each other.
Two years after the start of Barbarella's publication in V-Magazine, French publisher Eric Losfeld, who specialized in fantasy and erotic literature, offered to collect the stories in book form. Published in 1964, the album was a phenomenal success. It quickly sold more than 200,000 copies, despite the censor's ruling that the book could not be publicly displayed.
Dubbed the "first comic strip for grown-ups," Barbarella attracted rave reviews from a varied assortment of magazines including French literary weekly Arts ("a modern epic"), Newsweek ("a mythic creature of the space age"), and Playboy ("the very 'apoptheosis' of eroticism"). --JEAN-MARC & RANDY LOFFICIER, STARLOG #92, March 1985 via http://www.hollywoodcomics.com/forestint.html [Feb 2005]
Barbarella was originally a French science fiction comic book created by Jean-Claude Forest, who originated the character for serialisation in the French magazine V-Magazine in 1962. The comic stars Barbarella, a young woman who has numerous adventures, often involving sex, while journeying around the galaxy. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbarella [Feb 2005]
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