DISAPPEARANCE Great follower of the ligne claire dear to Hergé, the creator of Ray Banana died at the age of 69 years. His work, eclectic and varied, will remain marked by great elegance enhanced with a touch of black humor in the american.
It was a great cartoonist. A great artist simply. Ted Benoit was discretion incarnate. It is also in this way it will be off.
Death, at age 69, on 30 September, the creator of Ray Banana we made a last blink of an eye. To him, the disciple, the more pure the “clear line” created by the father of Tintin and Snowy, it is cleared at the same time as the Grand Palais opens a beautiful retrospective Hergé, which includes already all the votes.
Born in 1947, Thierry (known as Ted) Benoit will remain best known to the general public for having been the first buyer of the saga of Blake and Mortimer. In 1996, the challenge was immense. Ted Benoit has managed to meet it with flying colors. It was not easy to slip in the “clear line theatre” of Edgar P. Jacobs. Benoit will have as well taken his time, with all the talent that we know him.
His extreme attention to detail was legendary. Ted Benoit was imagining the expressions of Blake and Mortimer with care and perfectionism. And this in each drawing of the two albums that come out under the signature of The Case Francis Blake and The Strange rendez-vous, both scripted by Jean Van Hamme.
In 2001, he admitted in an interview with Figaro: “I find it hard to justify my slowness. However, one could say, to borrow the term used by the american novelist Tony Hillerman, I use the “technique of the sofa”. By this, I mean that I let the time of the rêvasserie…”
Ted Benoit knew how to make good use of this slow maturation. He had also analysed the way of resume, the style of the father of Blake and Mortimer: “What I learned from the style of Jacobs, he explained in 2001 in Figaro, it is his theatrical side, expressionist. At home, with me, everything is full of drama maximum. With Blake and Mortimer, it is not to do the BD film, but the comic theatre. It is this side that is dated, outraged, bombastic, or even exceeded, that appeals to both the young generations, who are without a doubt a real change of scenery at the time of the Internet and DVD.”
But it should not be reduced to the work of Ted Benoit just to Blake and Mortimer. Being young , the designer will first follow a course amazing, as it is intended, rather, to the cinema, a student at the Institute of advanced Cinematographic Studies. Rat of film libraries, it devours the african-american movies of the 1940s-1950s. Until 1971, he will be an assistant director in television. When the magazine Current welcomes its first stories in comics, Robert Crumb is a master of his draw.
After a few years of collaboration with the underground press – Géranomymo – , Ted Benoit joined, in 1975, the Echo of The Savannas just create Nikita Mandryka. This first period of his career culminated in the album Hospital, an album drawing expressionist. A cold prison, this story wins the prize for best scenario at the Angoulême festival in 1979.
His character fetish, Ray Banana
His style moult radically when he discovers Joost Swarte – Modern Art – , the artist from holland who has just put the Line Clear hergéenne to honor. The tribute to Swarte is evident in the boards of Bingo Bongo that publishes the journal Metal Hurlant. When, in 1981, it brings together short stories – no Clear Line – published in Liberation and Screaming Metal, he chooses a title in the form of a manifesto: Towards the Clear Line. In a form that is poorly trimmed, Ray Banana, its emblematic figure, is already present.
Ted Benoit appropriates the trappings of the aesthetics of Hergé to indulge in a joyous work of distancing, to the point of becoming itself a leader of the new Clear Line alongside Floc’h, or Barge. In 1980, (To Follow) welcomes The Lullaby electric.
With her physical Clark Gable, Ray Banana is confronted with a strange sect. Throughout the 80 boards, Ted Benoit built a universe of eclectic and surreal. Near future and recent past mix in a city that owes a lot to Hollywood. Ted Benoit is guilty of a crime of lèse-Line Clear using frames and gray shadows, black: the “children” of Hergé must sometimes know how to show disrespectful. In the wake of this mythical album appears to true Stories (1982), a collection of stories based on the script of Chéraqui, also published in (To Follow).
In 1984, a grand return of Ray Banana with City Light. Novelty and homage, this second narrative is set in color by the Hergé Studios. What could be more normal for a story to drop down, as Tintin and The Alph Art, in the middle of the painting. The album will be released in 1986.
The time of a album, Ted Benoit abandons the drawing and wrote the screenplay for The Man from nowhere to Pierre Nedjar. This story reveals the life of Thelma Ritter, the woman of the household of Ray Banana. Pre-published in the journal (continued) the story will be published in an album in 1989, Casterman.
Meticulous and a perfectionist
It is thus in the 90′s that Ted Benedict is her most mind-boggling challenge: to be the first artist to succeed E. P. Jacobs on recovery bold of the series Blake and Mortimer. Editions Dargaud decide to trust him together with Jean Van Hamme. He draws and two albums of great masters: The Case Francis Blake in 1996 and The Strange rendez-vous in 2001. In 2004, François Ayroles, he wrote the screenplay of Playback, polar hitchcock of very beautiful invoice.
a Draftsman’s meticulous and a perfectionist, Ted Benoit has devoted himself regularly to his second “career”: the illustration. Advertising and the press have made it one of their favorite artists. In 1985, The Skin of the leopard collects a large selection of images and, in 1996, the gallery owner Christian Desbois and Dargaud meet a large part of his work in a book entitled A new world (with the participation of Éric Verhoest and Jean-Luc Cambier). It’s also important not to forget posters and portfolios that enabled him to experiment with new techniques and topics never seen before.
Passionate about black cinema, the America of Edward Hooper and clear line-bomber, Ted Benoit was a discreet actor but essential to the comic. It will be marked with the BD modern its mark on elegant. All those who watched in the 80′s on tv the broadcast of Philippe Manoeuvre and Jean-Pierre Dionnet Sex Machine in the Children of The rock Antenna 2will remember the illustrations in the generic signed Ted Benoit… So long Ted!