Jacques Tardi

Jacques Tardi (French: [taʁdi]; born 1946) is a French comics artist. He is often credited solely as Tardi.

Jacques Tardi in March 2013
BornJacques Tardi
(1946-08-30) 30 August 1946
Valence, Drôme, France
Area(s)Writer, Artist
Notable works
Adieu, Brindavoine
Adèle Blanc-Sec
It Was the War of the Trenches
Ici Même
Tueur de cafards
Awardsfull list


Tardi was born on 30 August 1946 in Valence, Drôme. After graduating from the École nationale des beaux-arts de Lyon and the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris, he started drawing comics in 1969, at the age of 23, in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote, initially illustrating short stories written by Jean Giraud and Serge de Beketch, before creating the political fiction story Rumeur sur le Rouergue from a scenario by Pierre Christin in 1972.[1][2]

A highly versatile artist, Tardi successfully adapted novels by controversial writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline and crime novelist Léo Malet. In Malet's case, Tardi adapted his detective hero Nestor Burma into a series of critically acclaimed graphic novels, though he also wrote and drew original stories of his own.

Tardi also created one of French comics' most famous heroines, Adèle Blanc-Sec. This series recreates the Paris of early 20th century where the moody heroine encounters supernatural events, state plots, occult societies and experiments in cryogenics.

Another graphic novel was Ici Même which was written by Jean-Claude Forest, best known as the creator of Barbarella. A satire, it describes the adventures of Arthur Même who lives on the walls of his family's former property.

Tardi has produced many antiwar graphic novels and comics, mainly focusing on the collective European trauma of the First World War, and the pitfalls of patriotism spawned several albums (Adieu Brindavoine, C'était la guerre des tranchées, Le trou d'obus, Putain de Guerre...). His grandfather's involvement in the day-to-day horrors of trench warfare, seems to have had a deep influence on his artistic expression. He also completed a four-volume series on the Paris Commune, Le cri du peuple.

In the English language, many of Tardi's books are published by Fantagraphics Books, edited and translated by Fantagraphics' co-founder Kim Thompson.[3] Books published by Fantagraphics include West Coast Blues (Le Petit bleu de la côte ouest), You Are There (Ici Même), It Was the War of the Trenches (C'était la guerre des tranchées), Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot (La Position du tireur couché) and The Arctic Marauder (Le Démon des glaces). Four books, including two albums collecting the first four Adele Blanc-Sec volumes, were previously published by NBM Publishing, the previous rightsholder to Tardi's works, in translations by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier.

In January 2013, Tardi was nominated as a Chevalier in France's Legion of Honour, the country's highest distinction.[4] However, he turned down the distinction, citing that he will "remain a free man and not be held hostage by any power whatsoever."[5]


- Grand Prix for Black Humor[2]
- Knighted in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France
- Best German-language Comic/Comic-related Publication at the Max & Moritz Prizes, Germany
- nominated for the Prix de la critique and the Canal BD Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
  • 2003: nominated for the Audience Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
  • 2004: nominated for Best American Edition of Foreign Material at the Harvey Awards, U.S.[6]
  • 2005: nominated for Award for a Series at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
  • 2006: nominated for the Award for Best Comic Book and the Audience Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
  • 2006: Special Prize for outstanding life's work at the Max & Moritz Prizes, Germany
- nominated for the Grand Prix Saint-Michel
  • 2007: nominated for the Grand Prix Saint-Michel[7]
  • 2010: nominated for the Press Prize at the Prix Saint-Michel[8]
  • 2011: winner of two Eisner Awards


Scenario and artwork

  • Adieu Brindavoine followed by La Fleur au fusil (Casterman, 1974)
  • Le Démon des glaces (with characters by Léo Malet) (Casterman, 1974), ISBN 2-205-00857-9
  • La Véritable Histoire du soldat inconnu (Futuropolis, 1974)
  • Mouh Mouh (Yellow Submarine, 1979)
  • Déprime (Futuropolis, 1981)
  • Le Trou d'obus (Imagerie Pellerin, 1984), ISBN 2-86207-073-4
  • C'était la guerre des tranchées (Casterman, 1993), ISBN 2-203-35905-6
  • Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec (Casterman, 1976–2007)
    1. "Adèle et la bête" (1976), ISBN 2-203-30501-0
    2. "Le Démon de la tour Eiffel" (1976), ISBN 2-203-30502-9
    3. "Le Savant fou" (1977), ISBN 2-203-30503-7
    4. "Momies en folie" (1978), ISBN 2-203-30504-5
    5. "Le Secret de la salamandre" (1981), ISBN 2-203-30506-1
    6. "Le Noyé à deux têtes" (1985), ISBN 2-203-30507-X
    7. "Tous des monstres !" (1994), ISBN 2-203-30508-8
    8. "Le Mystère des profondeurs" (1998), ISBN 2-203-30509-6
    9. "Le Labyrinthe infernal" (2007), ISBN 978-2-203-00736-9
  • Putain de Guerre! (Casterman, 2008), ISBN 2203017392
  • Moi, René Tardi, Prisonnier de guerre - stalag IIB (Casterman, 2012), ISBN 978-2-203-04898-0


  • Jeux pour mourir based on a novel by Géo-Charles Véran (Casterman, 1992), ISBN 2-203-35902-1
  • Nestor Burma, based on novels by Léo Malet (Casterman, 1982–2000)
    1. Brouillard au pont de Tolbiac (Casterman, 1982), ISBN 2-203-33413-4
    2. 120, rue de la Gare (Casterman, 1988), ISBN 2-203-34302-8
    3. Une gueule de bois en plomb (Casterman, 1990), ISBN 2-203-34802-X
    4. Casse-pipe à la Nation (Casterman, 1996), ISBN 2-203-39903-1
    5. M'as-tu vu en cadavre? (Casterman, 2000), ISBN 2-203-39925-2
  • Le Cri du peuple (bande dessinée), based on a novel by Jean Vautrin (Casterman, 2001–2004)
    1. Les canons du 18 mars (2001), ISBN 2-203-39927-9
    2. L'espoir assassiné (2002), ISBN 2-203-39929-5
    3. Les heures sanglantes (2003), ISBN 2-203-39930-9
    4. Le testament des ruines (2004), ISBN 2-203-39931-7
  • Le Petit Bleu de la côte ouest (Les Humanoïdes Associés, 2005), based on a novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette
  • La Position du tireur couché (Futuropolis, 2010), based on a novel by Manchette
  • Ô dingos, ô châteaux! (Futuropolis, 2011), based on a novel by Manchette


  • Rumeurs sur le Rouergue (scenario by Pierre Christin) (Gallimard, 1976)
  • Polonius (bande dessinée) (scenario by Philippe Picaret) (Futuropolis, 1977)
  • Griffu (scenario by Jean-Patrick Manchette) (Square, then Dargaud, then Casterman, 1978)
  • Ici Même (scenario by Jean-Claude Forest) (Casterman, 1979), ISBN 2-203-33401-0
  • Tueur de cafards (scenario by Benjamin Legrand) (Casterman, 1984), ISBN 2-203-33803-2
  • Grange bleue (scenario by Dominique Grange) (Futuropolis, 1985)
  • Le sens de la houppelande (scenario by Daniel Pennac) (Futuropolis, 1991), ISBN 2-7376-2739-7
  • Un strapontin pour deux (scenario by Michel Boujut) (Casterman, 1995)
  • L'évasion du cheval gris (scenario by Claude Verrien) (Sapristi, 1996)
  • Sodome et Virginie (scenario by Daniel Prevost) (Casterman, 1996), ISBN 2-207-24487-3
  • Le Der des Ders (scenario by Didier Daeninckx) (Casterman, 1997), ISBN 2-203-39906-6
  • Varlot soldat (scenario by Didier Daeninckx) (L'Association, 1999), ISBN 2-84414-010-6
  • La débauche (scenario by Daniel Pennac) (Futuropolis, 2000), ISBN 2-07-078800-8


  • Le voyage d'Alphonse (artwork by Antoine Leconte) (Duculot, 2003)


  • Mine de plomb (Futuropolis, 1985)
  • Chiures de gommes (Futuropolis, 1985)
  • Tardi en banlieue (Casterman, 1990), ISBN 2-203-38018-7
  • Carnet (JC Menu, 2001), ISBN 2-84414-099-8

Illustrated novels

Céline adaptations:

  • Voyage au bout de la nuit (Futuropolis, 1988), ISBN 2-7376-2615-3
  • Casse-pipe (Futuropolis, 1989), ISBN 2-7376-2658-7
  • Mort à crédit (Futuropolis, 1991), ISBN 2-7376-2703-6

Jules Verne adaptations:

  • Un prêtre en 1839 (Cherche Midi, 1992), ISBN 2-86274-247-3
  • San Carlos (Cherche Midi, 1993), ISBN 2-86274-267-8


  • Rue des Rebuts (Alain Beaulet, 1990)

In English

  • Adèle and the Beast - Adèle et la bête (NBM Publishing 1990), ISBN 0-918348-85-4
  • The Demon of the Eiffel Tower - Le Démon de la tour Eiffel (NBM Publishing, 1990), ISBN 1-56163-001-2
  • The Mad Scientist and Mummies on Parade - Le Savant fou and Momies en folie (NBM Publishing, 1996), ISBN 1-56163-156-6
  • The Secret of the Salamander - Le Secret de la salamandre (NBM Publishing, 1992)
  • The Bloody Streets of Paris - 120, rue de la Gare (iBooks, 2003), ISBN 0-7434-7448-1
  • West Coast Blues - Le petit bleu de la côte ouest (Fantagraphics, 2009), ISBN 978-1-60699-295-1
  • You Are There - Ici Même (Fantagraphics, 2009), ISBN 978-1-60699-294-4
  • It Was the War of the Trenches - C'était la guerre des tranchées (Fantagraphics, 2010) ISBN 978-1-60699-353-8
  • The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 1: Pterror Over Paris and The Eiffel Tower Demon - Adèle et la bête and Le Démon de la tour Eiffel (Fantagraphics, 2010), ISBN 978-1-60699-382-8
  • The Arctic Marauder - Le Démon des glaces (Fantagraphics, 2011) ISBN 978-1-60699-435-1
  • Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot - La Position du tireur couché (Fantagraphics, 2011), ISBN 978-1-60699-448-1
  • The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 2: The Mad Scientist and Mummies on Parade - Le Savant fou and Momies en folie (Fantagraphics, 2011), ISBN 978-1-60699-493-1
  • Goddamn This War - Putain de Guerre! (Fantagraphics, 2013), ISBN 978-1-60699-582-2
  • Run Like Crazy Run Like Hell - Ô dingos, ô châteaux! (Fantagraphics, 2015), ISBN 978-1-60699-620-1
  • I, Rene Tardi, Prisoner of War in Stalag IIB (Fantagraphics, 2018), ISBN 978-1683961086
  • I, Rene Tardi, Prisoner of War in Stalag IIB Vol. 2: My Return Home (Fantagraphics, 2019), ISBN 978-1683961796



Further reading

  • Olivier Maltret, Presque tout Tardi (Sapristi, 1996), ISBN 2-911429-01-X
  • Michel Boujut, Tardi par la fenêtre (Christian Desbois, 1996)
  • Numa Sadoul, Tardi. Entretiens. (Niffle, 2000)
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