Jean-Claude Mézières - Legacy

Legacy

zières' arrival on the French comics scene with Valérian was contemporaneous with the debuts of other notable French science fiction strips including Luc Orient by Greg and Eddy Paape and Lone Sloane by Philippe Druillet. The success of these strips would eventually lead to the creation of Métal Hurlant, the highly influential French comics magazine dedicated to science fiction. Mézières' influence has been noticed in such strips as Dani Futuro by Víctor Mora and Carlos Gimenéz and Gigantik by Mora and José Maria Cardona. His visual style has also had an impact on some American comics artists notably Walt Simonson and Gil Kane. Sometimes this has gone beyond mere influence – following a complaint by Mézières, the artist Angus McKie admitted that several panels of his strip So Beautiful and So Dangerous were copied from the Valérian album Ambassador of the Shadows.

Outside of comics, Mézières' art has been particularly influential on science fiction and fantasy film. In particular, several commentators, such as Kim Thompson, Jean-Philippe Guerand and the newspaper Libération, have noted certain similarities between the Valérian albums and the Star Wars film series. Both series are noted for the "lived-in" look given to their various settings and for the diverse alien creatures they feature. Mézières' response upon seeing Star Wars was that he was "dazzled, jealous... and furious!". As a riposte, he produced an illustration for Pilote magazine in 1983 depicting the Star Wars characters Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa meeting Valérian and Laureline in a bar surrounded by a bestiary of alien creatures typical of that seen in both series. "Fancy meeting you here!" says Leia. "Oh, we've been hanging around here for a long time!" retorts Laureline. Mézières has since been informed that Doug Chiang, design director on The Phantom Menace, kept a set of Valérian albums and Les Extras de Mézières in his library.

Mézières has also noticed similarities between some of the sets in the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian and the planet seen in Birds of the Master and between some of the production sketches for the alien fighters in the 1996 film Independence Day and Valérian and Laureline's astroship.

Read more about this topic:  Jean-Claude Mézières

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