Valérian and Laureline

Valérian and Laureline (French: Valérian et Laureline), also known as Valérian: Spatio-Temporal Agent (French: Valérian: Agent Spatio-Temporel) or just Valérian, is a French science fiction comics series, created by writer Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières. First published in the magazine Pilote in 1967, the final installment was published in 2010. All of the Valérian stories have been collected in graphic novel album format, comprising some twenty-one volumes plus a short story collection and an encyclopaedia. Valérian is one of the top five biggest selling Franco-Belgian comics titles of its publisher, Dargaud.

The series focuses on the adventures of the dark-haired Valérian, a spatio-temporal agent, and his redheaded female companion, Laureline, as they travel the universe through space and time. Valérian is a classical anti-hero, kind-hearted, strong and brave but with a tendency to follow the orders of his superiors even if he feels, deep down, that it is the wrong thing to do. On the other hand, his companion Laureline combines her superior intelligence, determination and independence with sex-appeal, making her one of science fiction's most notable heroines. Influenced by classic literary science fiction, the series mixes space opera with time travel plots. Christin's scripts are noted for their humour, complexity and strongly humanist and left-wing liberal political ideas while Mézières' art is characterised by its vivid depictions of the alien worlds and species Valérian and Laureline encounter on their adventures. The series was a landmark in European comics and pop culture, and influenced other media as well - traces of its concepts, storylines and designs can be found on sci-fi films such as Star Wars, The Fifth Element, and Avatar.

Many of the stories have been translated into several languages, including English. The series has received recognition through a number of prestigious awards, including the Grand Prix de la ville d'Angoulême. An animated television series, Time Jam: Valerian & Laureline, was released in 2007.

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