Its fairly realistic graphics contrast with the surreal , sometimes satirical humour of its textual content. The result is comparable to a graphical form of deadpan humour. The backgrounds are almost non-existent, and a large portion of the panels is occupied by elaborate dialogues. One of the most recurrent subjects is broccoli : this vegetable recurs as a running gag in many conversations, always unjustifiably mentioned by characters.
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His mother sent him to hide for the rest of the war on a farm, where he was poorly treated. This led to a job as a letterer at Opera Mundi, a French publisher which translated and published US strips.
After his month military service, Gotlib settled as a freelance letterer and illustrator. His first comics were accepted by Vaillant , a magazine for children later renamed Pif-Gadget. His one long-running series at Vaillant started as Nanar, Jujube et Piette, which was renamed Nanar et Jujube then Gai-Luron for the supporting character who had by then taken centre stage. Together they created Les Dingodossiers , a series of mock lectures on random subjects which Goscinny wrote and Gotlib drew.
In , Goscinny, who worked on many strips simultaneously while editing the magazine, asked Gotlib to continue the series alone. Leftover pages from both series were later published in album form as Trucs-en-vrac.
It introduced several signature Gotlib gimmicks, such as the extensive use of random running gags Isaac Newton getting hit on the head by random objects being the omnipresent one and the presence of a miniature character, a ladybug mimicking the action, to make up for the absence of settings, which Gotlib disliked drawing. Hamster Jovial "Genial Hamster" is an incurably naff boy-scout troop leader desperate to catch up with pop culture and impress his charges, two cubs and a girl guide.
Those stories are mostly concerned with smashing taboos and feature much sexuality and other bodily functions, as well as cod-psychoanalysis and pot shots at authority figures of all kinds including divinities. Gotlib saw there was a strong market for adult comics and decided to start a new publication and have it run more professionally. Alexis died of aneurysm rupture in , leaving Gotlib and Diament in charge, though he is credited to this day as "Director of conscience" of Fluide Glacial.
Superdupont is a French, highly patriotic answer to US super-heroes who wears a vest and beret and fights a secret organisation called Anti-France. Gotlib mostly wrote or co-wrote Superdupont stories, though he drew a handful of them. In the s, he increasingly focused on running Fluide Glacial — in which he also wrote a column — and gradually withdrew from cartooning. However, he resuscitated Gai-Luron in when the back-catalogue was re-published by Audie and needed promoting; he drew enough new stories for a final album, La Bataille Navale.
In , having taken a back seat for a couple of years, Diament and Gotlib sold Fluide Glacial and Audie to publisher Flammarion and relinquished responsibilities, though Gotlib continued his column for some time. Each story consisted of two to four strips drawn in white and black. Gotlib used caricature and parodies to depict the everyday life, and greets it with extreme derision.
In Cinemastok and Gai-Luron, the same technique was used, although these series were presented in a different manner. Later, from his departure from Pilote in , Gotlib style changed a lot, the scenario as well as the illustrations. These two comics magazine were created by Gotlib for an adult audience exclusively, and made it possible for Gotlib to express himself entirely freely, while censorship was present in Pilote, magazine made for a young public.
Also, the large majority of his series were black-and-white in their original publication.