Claire Bretécher: “She specialized in holding up to scrutiny the affluent urban female in all her angst, melodrama and hypocrisy.”

From a New York Times obit, by on French cartoonist Claire Bretécher:

Claire Bretécher.

Claire Bretécher, a satirical, fearless and lacerating French comic artist who was one of the first women to break into France’s male-dominated cartoon industry, died on Feb. 10 in Paris. She was 79. . . .

Ms. Bretécher (pronounced bruh-tay-SHAY) became a celebrated cartoonist in the 1970s, and her comic strips were a fixture in French newspapers and magazines for decades. Her work also appeared around the world; in the United States she was published in Ms. magazine, Esquire and National Lampoon. . . .

She specialized in holding up to scrutiny the affluent urban female in all her angst, melodrama and hypocrisy. Ms. Bretécher embodied many of her characters’ traits, and she readily lampooned them. . . .

Her stable of characters also included Fernand, an opportunistic and self-pitying orphan, and Robin les Foies, a lazy detective. One of her longest-running was Cellulite, an emancipated princess who was tired of waiting for her Prince Charming and who became one of the first female antiheroines of French comics. . . .

Her influences included the comic strips “Peanuts,” by Charles M. Schulz, and “The Wizard of Id,” by Brant Parker and Johnny Hart, as well as the socio-satirical work of Jules Feiffer, the longtime cartoonist for The Village Voice, and James Thurber of The New Yorker.

While her work was overtly feminist, Ms. Bretécher resisted that label for herself. She said her comics were not meant to deliver a feminist message, only to reflect the fact that she understood women better than she understood men.

Still, she acknowledged to The Times in 1977 that men often thought she hated women.

“Ugh, men,” she groaned. “They’re such dopes. Frankly, I’m fed up explaining things to them.”


  1. DorisGeenen Graf says

    Good bio. Believe I would have liked her work.

Speak Your Mind