Fabien Vehlmann

(Updated on 10/17/2014)

Fabien Vehlmann started studying at a French business school before realizing that his true passion was story-telling. For a whole year, he thus decided to dedicate himself fully to writing, accumulating various projects and sending hundreds of his ideas to Spirou, one of the most famous comics magazines in France.

In the end, his patience and resilience paid off, as he started his career in 1998 in the pages of this very magazine, writing scripts for animations and publishing his first series, among which the famous "Green Manor" with Denis Bodart.

His curiosity and enthusiasm led him to explore various genres as different as comedy, sci-fi, adventure, tales... – working each time with new illustrators and experiencing with very different graphic styles.

In 2006, Vehlmann published Seuls, a series which chronicles the adventures of five children left to their own devices in a world where parents have disappeared. A great critical and popular success, it won two awards at the Angoulême festival (Prix Jeunesse 9-12 ans in 2007 and 2010). He is currently working on its adaptation to the screen.

The same year, he also took over The Adventures of Spirou and Fantasio - one of France's most famous comics series - with illustrator Yoann for one episode ("Les Géants Pétrifiés") before becoming the new author of the series three years later.

Recently, he published Beautiful Darkness, a grim young adult fantasy book about a community of fairies who come together in the aftermath of a tragedy.

Vehlmann also writes for TV and film.

In 2013, he co-founded and now co-edits the monthly digital magazine Professeur Cyclope, which offers a completely new take on the art of reading comics in France. The idea was to revive the digital comic book market which, as he explains, was not very dynamic in France despite the existence of a real community of creative and talented bloggers. Whereas in the United States the disappearance of independent bookstores had fostered the development of new digital formats for graphic novels, French publishers were reluctant to develope "web native" comics.

With their pioneering project, which is in a way reminiscent of Amazon's Comixology, Vehlmann and his associates want to take advantage of all the possibilities that the new multimedia tools such as ebooks and tablets have to offer for the graphic media: animation effects, vertical scrolling, added contents, online chatting with writers and authors... with one ultimate success model in mind: American cable channel HBO.


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