Griffu

Created by Jean-Patrick Manchette
(1942-1995)
and
Jacques Tardi
(1946–)

GRIFFU is the battered and betrayed legal adviser/punching bag hero of a real rock ’em, sock ’em hard-boiled detective story initially serialized in BD in 1977, and eventually published as a very stylish  graphic novel. I’m put in mind of Paul Simon’s “The Boxer”. Like the character in that song, Griffu “carries a reminder of every blow that cut him down till he cried out, in his anger and his shame, I am leaving, I amleaving, but the fighter still remains.”

Jean-Patrick Manchette (text) is one of the most important of the French mystery writers. Manchette has written for television, film and bande dessinées. But his biggest influence has been in literature. He’s considered the founder of the Neo-Polar movement which brought a new, politically-tinged focus to hardboiled crime fiction in the late sixties. According to Renaud Bombard, of Presses de la Cite, “He restarted the French crime novel with books that were highly inspired by the great American noir writers. He showed that we could use the French sociohistorical reality to write very dynamic and shocking crime novels.” He’s also created French private eye Eugène Tarpon, who’s enjoyed considerable success, even inspiring a couple of films.

Jacques Tardi is a cartoonist and writer responsible for some pretty amazing adaptations of and original hard-boiled graphic stories. Since Griffu, he’s gone on to do several more tough private eye graphic novels, including adaptations of Le Der de ders by Didier Daeninckx, featuring René Griffon, and several featuring Léo Malet’s Parisian eye Nestor Burma.

GRAPHIC NOVELS

  • GRIFFU | Buy this book
    (1977, originally serialized in BD: l’hebdo de la BD)
    Writers: Jean Patrick Manchette, Jacques Tardi
    Art: Jacques Tardi

ALSO AVAILABLE

  • Streets of Paris, Streets of Murder (Volume One) Buy this book | ComiXology/Kindle it!
    A series collecting all the noir collaborations between legendary French crime writers Jean-Patrick Manchette and writer/cartoonist Tardi , Volume One includes the never-before-collected in English \ Griffu, about a legal advisor who gets tangled up with a hot blonde mess of trouble, West Coast Blues, about a young salesman who finds himself pitted against an exiled war criminal and two hired assassin, plus a bonus, 21-page unfinished story. (June 2020)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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