☛ 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).
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.
- Comiclopedia: “Fred Othon Artistidès” updated on April 3, 2013. A short, but good introduction in English to the career of Fred, along with a nice set of illustrations properly identified.
- Ma Galerie à Paris, a blog about illustrators, uploaded a couple of drawings from its personal collection. They are all drawings by Fred published in various newspapers.
- Les Inrocks: “Décès de Fred, le père de Philémon : “Pendant toute l’éternité je dessinerai”” by Anne-Claire Norot, April 3, 2013.
- Le Monde: “Fred, le père de Philémon, est mort”, April 3, 2013
- Le HuffPost/AFP: “Le dessinateur Fred, père de “Philémon”, est mort” April 3, 2013 (presented along with three videos).
- Libération: “Fred, le créateur de «Philémon», est mort” April 3, 2013.
- Le Figaro: “Fred laisse Philémon orphelin”, April 3, 2013.
- Télérama: “Mort du dessinateur Fred : Philémon, fin d’un “mouvement perpétuel”” by Laurence Le Saux, updated on April 3, 2013.
- [UPDATE–May 23, 2013] The blog Ma Gallerie À Paris has uploaded 32 covers illustrated by Fred for the French journal Hara-Kiri: see “Fred à Hara-Kiri” April 15, 2013.
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