Ted Benoît (1947-2016)

While not the most famous of French comics artists, Ted Benoît was a significant contributor to the “ligne claire” school in the continuation of Hergé and Jacobs. His masterpiece is called Berceuses électriques (1982), published at a time when I regularly read comics magazines like A Suivre, l’Écho des Savanes or Métal Hurlant (besides Charlie). The story itself is surrealistic or just plainly irrelevant, while the dialogues and drawings are both brilliant, set in an America borrowed from the 1950’s Noir novels, plus a dose of cynism from the 1980’s. A decade later, Benoît also contributed to the “Blake and Mortimer” series, after Jacobs’ death, drawing “L’Affaire Francis Blake” (1996) and “L’Étrange Rendez-vous” (2002). Both impeccable graphical outcomes, if somehow weak in the plots.

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