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East-West East-West


Prolific comic book author Pierre Christin, who penned the game-changing classic sci-fi series "Valerian and Laureline," switches to autobiography here to bring us the thoughtful, enlightening tale of two vastly different lands, the American West during the civil rights movement and the counter-culture phenomenon, and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War, as seen through the eyes of an inquisitive French artist and journalist with a love for travel, intellectual query, gypsies, and jazz. Christin and his faithful road companion and "Valerian" co-creator Jean-Claude Mézières drive across landscapes ranging from Utah to Bulgaria in a series of cars each more dilapidated than the next, encountering people and adventures of all kinds in a story that is part travel journal, part geo-political documentary, and part artistic coming-of-age.

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Résumé

Prolific comic book author Pierre Christin, who penned the game-changing classic sci-fi series "Valerian and Laureline," switches to autobiography here to bring us the thoughtful, enlightening tale of two vastly different lands, the American West during the civil rights movement and the counter-culture phenomenon, and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War, as seen through the eyes of an inquisitive French artist and journalist with a love for travel, intellectual query, gypsies, and jazz. Christin and his faithful road companion and "Valerian" co-creator Jean-Claude Mézières drive across landscapes ranging from Utah to Bulgaria in a series of cars each more dilapidated than the next, encountering people and adventures of all kinds in a story that is part travel journal, part geo-political documentary, and part artistic coming-of-age.

Biographie de Pierre Christin

Pierre Christin was born in suburban Paris in 1938, and studied at both the Sorbonne and Sciences Po in Paris. Alongside his jazz music and his first jobs in journalism, he set off to America's West Coast in the '60s, where he discovered the joys of life on a ranch and the open highway, as well as sci-fi, crime fiction, and the richness of African-American music. In 1967, he and Jean-Claude Mézières released the first of many "Valerian" adventures. From 1970 to 1980, with "Pilote" magazine, he wrote for various aritists, including Tardi and Boucq—totaling nearly 60 comics—dealing with all kinds of themes, adapting his style to each collaborator. He always kept his optimistic, even utopian, side for his old friend Mézières, whose narrative clarity and humor he always enjoyed working with. Christin tended to save his more serious subjects for Enki Bilal, producing such classics as "Les Phalanges de l'Ordre Noir" and "Partie de chasse." Yet his range was greater still, and he explored other themes with Annie Goetzinger, crafting detailed and intimate portraits of women in "La Demoiselle de la Légion d'Honneur" (1980), "Paquebot" (1999), "La Sultane Blanche" (1996 Dargaud; "The White Sultana," 2016 Europe Comics), and "Hardy Agency" (Dargaud, Europe Comics in English). Christin is also a seasoned traveler, completing a world tour between 1992 and 1999, an experience he writes about in "L'homme qui fait le tour du Monde," with Philippe Aymond. The two would later pair up again for "Est-Ouest" (Dupuis; "East-West," Europe Comics), which chronicles his time in the US and in Cold War-era Europe, behind the Iron Curtain.

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