Joann Sfar, 2015.
28 August 1971|
La Fille du professeur
Le chat du rabbin
|Spouse(s)||Sandrina Jardel (divorced)|
Life and career
Sfar was born in Nice, the son of Lilou, a pop singer, who died when he was three, and André Sfar, a lawyer well known for prosecuting Neo-Nazis. As a result of his mother's early death, Sfar was raised by his father and maternal grandfather, a military doctor of Ukrainian origin in the Alsace-Lorraine Independent Brigade (France) during World War II. Sfar's grandfather reportedly saved the right hand of the brigade's leader, novelist André Malraux, for which he was awarded French citizenship.
A wildly prolific artist, he is considered one of the most important artists of the new wave of Franco-Belgian comics, though he has rejected the assertion that he, along with artists like Christophe Blain, Marjane Satrapi, and Lewis Trondheim, sought to create an alternative scene or a new movement in comics. Many of his comics were published by L'Association which was founded in 1990 by Jean-Christophe Menu and six other artists. He also worked together with many of the group's main artists, e.g. David B. and Lewis Trondheim. The Donjon series which he created with Trondheim has a cult following in many countries.
Some of his comics are inspired by his Jewish heritage. Sfar is the son of Jewish parents (an Ashkenazi mother whose family was from Ukraine and a Sephardic father from Algeria). He himself says that there is Ashkenazi humor in his Professeur Bell series (loosely based on Joseph Bell), whereas Le chat du rabbin is clearly inspired by his Sephardic side. Les olives noires is a series about a Jewish child in Israel at the time of Jesus. Like Le chat du rabbin, the series contains a lot of historical and theological information.
From 2009 to 2010, Sfar wrote and directed Gainsbourg: Vie Héroïque, a biopic of the illustrious French songwriter and singer, of whom Sfar is a self-confessed fanatic. The film, which draws substantially on Sfar's abilities as a comic book artist through its extensive use of fantasy artwork, animation and puppetry, was released in 2010 to general critical acclaim.
- Klezmer: Tales of the Wild East, First Second Books, New York, 2006.
- Vampire Loves, First Second Books, New York, 2006.
- Sardine in Outer Space, 6 volumes, with Emmanuel Guibert, First Second Books, New York, 2006-2008.
- The Professor's Daughter, with Emmanuel Guibert, First Second Books, New York, 2007.
- The Rabbi's Cat, Pantheon, 2007.
- The Rabbi's Cat 2, Pantheon, 2008.
- Little Vampire, First Second Books, New York, 2008.
- Dungeon (since 1998, with Lewis Trondheim and collective)
- The Little Prince (Comic Adaptation), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 2010.
- Petrus Barbygère (with Pierre Dubois, scenario)
- Les Potamoks (with José-Luis Munuera, art)
- La Fille du professeur (1997, with Emmanuel Guibert (art), Dupuis, ISBN 2-8001-2481-4)
- Donjon (since 1998, with Lewis Trondheim and collective)
- Le petit monde du Golem (1998, L'Association, ISBN 2-909020-98-3)
- Troll (with Olivier Boiscommun, art)
- Professeur Bell (from #3, with Hervé Tanquerelle, art)
- 1. Le mexicain à deux têtes (1999, Delcourt, ISBN 2-84055-257-4)
- 2. Les poupées de Jérusalem (2000, Delcourt, ISBN 2-84055-432-1)
- 3. Le cargo du Roi Singe (2002, Delcourt, ISBN 2-84055-752-5)
- 4. Promenade des Anglaises (2003, Delcourt, ISBN 2-84789-187-0)
- 5. L'Irlande à bicyclette (2006, Delcourt, ISBN 2-7560-0013-2)
- Urani (2000, with David B, Dargaud, ISBN 2-205-04795-7)
- Grand Vampire
- 1. Cupidon s'en fout (2001, Delcourt, ISBN 2-84055-526-3)
- 2. Mortelles en tête (2002, Delcourt, ISBN 2-84055-809-2)
- 3. Transatlantique en solitaire (2002, Delcourt, ISBN 2-84055-941-2)
- 4. Quai des brunes (2003, Delcourt, ISBN 2-84789-000-9)
- 5. La Communauté des magiciens (2004, Delcourt, ISBN 2-84789-262-1)
- 6. Le peuple est un Golem (2005, Delcourt, ISBN 2-84789-494-2)
- Les olives noires (with Emmanuel Guibert, art)
- Le chat du rabbin
- 1. La Bar-Mitsva (2002, Dargaud, ISBN 2-205-05207-1)
- 2. Le Malka des Lions (2002, Dargaud, ISBN 2-205-05369-8)
- 3. L'exode (2003, Dargaud, ISBN 2-205-05497-X)
- 4. Le Paradis Terrestre (2005, Dargaud, ISBN 2-205-05725-1)
- 5. Jérusalem d'Afrique (2006, Dargaud, ISBN 2-205-05868-1)
- 6. Tu n'auras pas d'autre dieu que moi (2015, Dargaud, ISBN 2-205-07353-2)
- 1. Conquête de l'Est (2005, Gallimard, ISBN 2-07-057309-5)
- 2. Bon anniversaire Scylla (2006, Gallimard, ISBN 2-07-057552-7)
- 3. Tous des voleurs! (2007, Gallimard, ISBN 2-07-057868-2)
- 4. Trapèze volant! (2012, Gallimard ISBN 978-2-07-064315-8)
- 5. Kishinev-des-fous (2014, Gallimard ISBN 978-2-07-064922-8)
- Chagall en Russie
|2010||Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life||Yes||Yes||Also as actor (as Georges Brassens)|
César Award for Best First Feature Film
Nominated—César Award for Best Film
Nominated—Lumières Award for Best Film
Nominated—Lumières Award for Best Director
|2011||The Rabbi's Cat||Yes||Yes||Yes||Also as storyboard artist and voice actor|
César Award for Best Animated Film
Cristal Award for Best Feature Film
Prix Jacques Prévert du Scénario for Best Adaptation
Nominated—Annie Award for Best Animated Feature
Nominated—European Film Award for Best Animated Feature Film
|2013||Aya of Yop City||Yes|
|2014||Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet||Yes|
|2015||The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun||Yes|
- 1998: Award for First Comic Book and René Goscinny Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, France
- 2000: Nominated for Best Comic Book and for the Youth Award (9 to 12 years) at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
- 2001: Nominated for Best Scenario and for the Humour Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
- 2002: Nominated for Best Artwork and the Canal BD Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
- 2003: Oecumenic Jury Award and Polish award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
- Nominated for Best Comic Book, for the Canal BD Award, and for the Prix de la critique at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
- 2004: Grand Prix de la ville d'Angoulême: 30th anniversary prize, France
- 2005: Nominated for Best Artwork at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
- 2006: Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material at the Eisner Awards, United States
- Nominated for the Audience Award and for Best Series at the Angoulême International Comics Festival
- 2007: Sproing Award, for Best Foreign translated material, Rabbinerens katt (Le chat du rabbin), Norway
- Nominated for Outstanding Series at the Ignatz Awards, United States
- Joann Sfar albums Bedetheque (in French)
- Télérama. "Joann Sfar".
- Blog BD de Nice-Matin. "Joann Sfar: "Je pense à un film sur Jacques Médecin"".
- L'Express. "Interview de Joann Sfar".
- Lambiek Comiclopedia. "Joann Sfar".
- George Robinson (2011-08-23). "Being Serge Gainsbourg". The Jewish Week. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
- Bellefroid, Thierry. "Interview de Joann Sfar" (in French). BDParadisio.
- Balaresque, Nicolas. "Entretien avec Joann Sfar" (in French). Parutions.com.
- Tartaglione, Nancy (2017-07-27). "Canal Plus Books Appointment With Joann Sfar's 'Monsters' Shrink' Vampire Series". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
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