Since director Luc Besson announced the upcoming film adaptation of Valerian on his Twitter account, the reactions from fans and readers just don’t stop coming! But the social networks have also shown us that American readers don’t seem to know all that much about this prolific series, so we’re taking it upon ourselves to fill you in on the basics (“The Story Behind 'Valerian,' the Most Important Sci-Fi Comic America Hasn't Heard Of” - Hollywood Reporter). So, fellow US readers, for any of you who are interested in french comic books, this one’s for you! Read on to discover this comic book series created by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières, a best seller in France and translated into over 10 different languages, with the English edition published by Cinebook available on their website and on Izneo.
Huge success and best seller for the last 40 years !
Valerian is a true space opera. The series takes us off into the universe of the distant future, where two agents, Valerian and Laureline, travel through time-space in a vessel chartered by Galaxity, the capital of the Earth Empire. Their travels are jam-packed with adventure, humor and fantasy. The classic illustrations of the various creatures that Valerian comes across are marked by an ingenuity that is rarely matched. Valerian’s authors have succeeded in attracting the widest of audiences with their wonderfully inventive stories since 1967, the year they created this series for the weekly comic magazine, PILOTE. That was 10 years before the French public would discover George Lucas’ Star Wars, in which everyone who knew the Valerian series could see its influence…
The series’ success continues even now, amounting to 22 volumes, the last of which was released in 2013. During this time, Jean-Claude Mézières, the artist, also collaborated with Luc Besson on the set of his film The Fifth Element (1997).
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Luc Besson actually got in touch with the authors Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières about the Valerian adaptation several years before he directed The Fifth Element. For a number of reasons, the project was postponed, but it was with great pride and huge pleasure that the authors learned this May that the film is planned to be shot and released in cinemas in 2017 ! While you’re waiting for the film to hit the big screen, why don’t you give the comics a try and discover the exciting universe of our two intergalactic travelers, Valerian and Laureline ! Have a good trip !