Achdé

Artist & Scriptwriter

Achdé was born in Lyon, France, in 1961 to a family repatriated from Morocco. He was raised in state housing in Nîmes, where he grew up playing with friends from many different horizons. Since his parents didn't have enough money for the movies, he contented himself with films on TV. "I had the choice between Westerns and epics of knights in shining armor," he says. "I always chose the Western." In 1983 he set off on a rite-of-passage trip in the US, Kerouac style. He hid his money in his socks in order to avoid the government-imposed exchange rate and spent one month going between Canada and the USA, until the French military remembered his existence... Achdé ended up going back to France to do his training in Aix-en-Provence. When he was at last freed from military service, the comic book lover and avid reader of the legendary Mad magazine soon got the drawing bug. Achdé had been just a child when he fell under the spell of Franco-Belgian comics. It was all Morris's fault, the man responsible for Lucky Luke. At 7, he stole some of the church's collection money in order to buy his first ever Lucky Luke (the day he took on the series himself, many years later, he returned to the very same church to give back the money he'd taken). Achdé's rise was both typical and exceptional: after years of hardship, the creation of a small advertising company, his first illustrations published in Midi Libre, signing a contract with Dargaud on his 30th birthday, the success of his series CRS=Détresse, and at long last the continuation of Lucky Luke, including the series Kid Lucky (Europe Comics in English). "When I was first starting out, I'd go to Paris once a year to present my portfolio... which all the publishers turned down. It was just through sheer doggedness that I kept trying," he says. Right from primary school, Achdé's destiny was written. When his teacher asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up, he replied, as quick as a certain cowboy's trigger finger: "I want to draw Lucky Luke!”

Country of origin: France Europe Comics Publisher: Dargaud (France)