Monday, August 15, 2011

Les Pionniers de L'esperance

Les Pionniers de L'esperance was designed by R. Poirret or Raymond Poïvet to a scenario by Roger Lécureux. The strip first appeared in Vaillant. During the German occupation American strips were banned in France. Quite naturally French cartoonists began turning out their own science-fiction strips to replace Flash Gordon and other popular strips. By the end of the war the adventure strip was firmly established on the continent. Probably the most popular was Les Pionniers de L'esperance (The Pioneers of Hope) which began on 14 Dec 1945 in Vaillant which had begun as a French resistance weekly. The series came to an end in September 1973 when Vaillant was retitled Pif Gadget. The Phylacterium blog has an interesting 3 part series on the history of science fiction comics in France HERE.

We can imagine carefully hoarded American supplements passed surreptitiously from cartoonist to cartoonist under the noses of the Vichy spies. Poïvet's Raymond influence was obvious in the early years but by the time the comic ended he had developed a strongly feathered chiaroscuro style which made him one of the premier comic strip artists of his generation. Poïvet hugely influenced the next generation of adventure strip cartoonists -- seen most clearly on Paul Gillon's artwork for the 'Les Naufragés du Temps' strip of 1964.

[Above art signed Lucien Nortier]



  1. It's great to see early work by Poivet, a stellar French oomic artist. What is the signature that looks like "Lucien Nutt--ep" on the third page? A fill-in? A fake signature?

  2. Not a clue -- the second page gives the artist as R. Poirret --