Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > News Story and Obituary Archive

Francine Graton, 1932-2011
posted June 6, 2011

imageFrancine Graton, the writer behind the series Les Labourdet and a mostly unofficial contributor to the iconic Michel Valliant comics created by her husband Jean Graton, died in Uccle, Belgium on May 28. She was 79 years old.

Graton was born in Ixelles in 1932. She was Francine Vandenbosch until marrying the cartoonist Jean Graton om 1959, some two years into publication of his most famous work, the automobile racing drama Michel Vaillant. She's credited in a few biographical pieces as someone that contributed story ideas to the Michel Vaillant feature, particularly concerning the comic serial's domestic/soap opera elements. It is also mentioned that she colored the strip for a time. In 1965, she began writing Les Labourdet, a domestic strip featuring art by her husband designed to appeal to female readers -- a soap opera, basically. The strip began in the magazine People and Us Chez Nous. It ran for nine volumes' worth of material.

The Gratons' son Phillipe became his father's natural successor on the various features he did, and in the early 1980s the Gratons consolidated into their own publishing company in order to facilitate the material for which he was best known. It's that company which will eventually re-publish all the Les Labourdet material. In addition to her children, Graton is survived by her husband of more than 50 years.