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“Fille à soldats” by Fred, Pilote no 6, Hors-Série, November 1974, p. 33.

Pilote: “Fille à soldats” by Fred, no 6, Hors-Série, November 1974, p. 33.

The image reproduced above comes from an old Pilote issue I still cling to.

French cartoonist Theodor Friedrich Otto Aristidès, aka Fred, passed away Tuesday [April 2, 2013] in a Paris hospital at age 82. He was best known for Philémon, his surrealistic comic about a French farm boy who fell down a well into a fantasy world akin to Wonderland. Fred was awarded the Grand Prix de la ville d’Angoulême in 1980, and had been the oldest living recipient. (CBR: “Comics A.M. | ‘Philémon’ creator Fred dies at age 82” by Brigid Alverson, April 3, 2013)

Last February, Dargaud had just released the 16th instalment of Philémon, “Le train où vont les choses” (2013).

Illustration by Fred for the ‘Philémon’ comic book series. First published on the cover of Pilote no. 487 (1969). Republished as the fourth instalment of the ‘Philémon’ series (Dargaud, 1973)
Illustration by Fred for the ‘Philémon’ comic book series. First published on the cover of Pilote no. 487 (1969). Republished as the fourth instalment of the ‘Philémon’ series (Dargaud, 1973)

I remember reading Philémon comic book series in various public libraries when I was quite young. At the time I was almost exclusively reading Franco-Belgian BDs or bande-dessinées: Tintin, Astérix, Lucky Luke, Spirou. What I discovered when I started reading Philémon was that comics or bande-dessinées were far from being limited to the same content and form. I became aware of the fact that comics could have wildly distinct, surprising styles.

There isn’t much resources in English about Fred online. Below is what I could find, including a couple of obituaries from French media.

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Previously: French illustrator Jean Giraud a.k.a. Moebius Dies (1938-2012)

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Illustration by French illustrator Fred from a page of ‘Simbabbad de Batbad’, the sixth instalment of his ‘Philémon’ comic book series (Dargaud, 1974)
Illustration by French illustrator Fred from a page of ‘Simbabbad de Batbad’, the sixth instalment of his ‘Philémon’ comic book series (Dargaud, 1974)
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