Extrait from the INA Archive showing a Bande Dessinée Congress in New York in 1972, where Joachim D’Arc will have an important place. It will also be the first time the two creator of the Saga, Rémy Lagadec and Jean Baptiste Dufour, will appear together to present their work
I- The Genèse
Joachim D’Arc wasn’t supposed to exist. The Saga two creators, Lagadec and Dufour, are opposed politically on several aspect, Lagadec is a know Gaullist, a close partner of De Gaulle and a noted Leftist who was Foreign Minister for Théroux Cabinet and unofficial second, Dufour was Petain Secretary, a collaborator and a Far-Right leader. Ultimately, it would be the Belgian Secessionist crisis that would make the two men close. Lagadec as Foreign Minister was deeply perturbed by Edouard Sauvage and reached member of Sauvage Party in order to see if they could stop destabilizing a close ally. It’s here that Dufour enter, he was also exasperated by Sauvage and the two (Lagadec and Dufour) would meet several time to discuss it.
Lagadec, despite not being an Americanophile, was fascinated by the Comics and particularly the Pulps Sci-Fi like Flash Gordon and founded “Histoire Fabuleuse” that would import then to the French Market. But he felt that something truly French was needed. And here Dufour being an author would propose it’s help. We don’t know the date of D’Arc beginning but we do know that it is Lagadec who would named it Joachim D’Arc, in honor of Joachim Murat and Joan of Arc. Despite being of Lagadec origin, Joachim D’Arc would feel more like a Dufour Self-Insert, particularly in aspect of women relationship.
Both Lagadec and Dufour would advance their own idea on the Universe of Joachim D’arc, inspired by event from their time, Lagadec experience as Foreign Minister has helped for that part. As a result, Mohamed Okbar, a native muslim from Algeria, Zoé Weber, Technologist Adviser are the creation of Lagadec, with Dufour giving Mohamed a more serious tone than D’Arc. The presence of those two character is perhaps the most progressive part of the series, let’s not forget that Women could vote since only two years and that Native Algerians didn’t had French Nationality.
The Solar Entente, for who D’Arc work, is based on the European Entente, a Lagadec brainchild. It served to show a France as a leading superpower on the immense Solar System and to bring hope to a population that could consider themselves not a superpower anymore. And the whole situation of the Solar System is directly inspired by the Events that the France of the 40s had to travel since Lagadec and Dufour wished to educate the young by giving them J’A.
And we should not forgot that it’s has been only three years since the end of the War. People wished for something cheap to have as a distraction and the Child definitely an escape of the reality of the World. By giving them a better future, a new age of exploration and charismatic characters, Dufour & Lagadec permitted that.
II-Joachim D’Arc : The Space Lieutenant
The first entry to the D’Arc saga is the novel/Comics Joachim D’Arc, The Space Lieutenant
. Lagadec and Dufour weren’t sure of how to do it, would they work on a single novel ? A comics ?
Ultimately, it would be decided that Dufour would write the Novel, with Lagadec assistance and guideline, when Lagadec would concentrate on adapting the novel as Comics thanks to his Publishing Agency. Dufour would also obtain a certain percentage of it. The Visual aspect of the Sage would be invented by Lagadec, which quite simply took a font, give it the Tricolor colors and added a rocket he draw on his free time.
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The Space Lieutenant
was something that both Lagadec and Dufour couldn’t make full time, Lagadec was France Foreign Minister and Dufour was a parliamentary but they would work on it on their free time. And ultimately, they had a version that both of them were happy to share to France and perhaps the world.
The Story begin on Earth as we are introduced to the Hero, Joachim D’Arc. He discuss with a woman as if they were on a date and ultimately has sex with her. But then it is revealed that she was a communist spie send to kill the Président of the Council of the Solar Entente.
This PdC is clearly inspired by André Théroux and send D’Arc on a difficult mission to Mars, a Protectorate/Colony of the Solar Entente.
D’Arc take with him his friend and subordonate Mohamed Okbar, met with his new technologic adviser Zoé Weber and escape a horde of Womens seeking Child Support.
It is clear that this Joachim D’Arc has a comedic part and it would be an essential part of the saga writing.
The Duo arrive on Mars and meet the King alongside his daughter which seem friendly but still a bit Cold. The truth is that they are threatened by the nemesis of D’Arc, the one nicknamed “Captain Nazi” who wish to create the Fourth Reich on Mars. Ultimately, thanks to his wit, help from his friends and the final revolt of the Martian against Captain Nazi, D’Arc arrest him and disband his group. Mars agree to stay in the Solar Entente and D’Arc has an intimate relationship with the Princess of Mars.
The first issue of the Joachim D’Arc comics
Of course, Joachim D’Arc : The Space Lieutenant is a product of it’s time and a quite nationalist one even if it is quite progressive for its time.
We shan’t forget the various addition of Joachim D’Arc that made it popular. The vibrant universe who seem realistic, Lagadec and Dufour experience is clearly seen here, the vibrant description of Mars with his Red trees, Red House and of course the fact that we discover Mars from Joachim D’Arc eyes as he’s never been there. Of course the silliness of some part of it prove to be loved by the Children and the more realistic part by the Adults which ended with J’A being loved by a wide range of people. Surprisingly, it would also be liked by young girls, despite Joachim D’Arc own tendency to charm every women he saw, as The Space Lieutenant has a strong female cast and Zoé Weber is reported to have influenced many girls to join in more scientifics studies.
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A Young child holding a Joachim D’Arc Comics
It is a Radio extrait from Radio Luxembourg, the Ancestor to RTL, which cover Joachim D’Arc : The Space Lieutenant’s launch.
Zappy Max (It’s not a joke) : On the agenda today, the sellout of Joachim D’Arc a Bande Dessinée about a French Lieutenant from the future. For young and old alike, it has manifested a strong fellowship after two of Paris biggest library has announced that they had sold all the Bande Dessinée version of the story. The two authors, Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Luc Mélenchon are a mystery for the public at large as they have announced their wish to stay recluse from public life. The owner of “Histoire Fabuleuse”, the publishing agency of Joachim D’Arc, the Foreign Minister himself has stated “I’m in direct relation with the duo and they are thrilled by the success of it but they wish to stay alone and i’m going to respect their wishes”.
Zappy Max: On other news, Edouard Sauvage claims that Wallons are threatened by , and i quote “ The Flemish deep state of Belgium”...
It is often said that the reception of Joachim D’Arc : The Space Lieutenant has surprised the two authors and it is true. They both were unprepared when nearly all of Paris newspapers asked for an interview of the two authors and even feared that they would be discovered provoking a scandal.
They didn’t understand that the mystery about the two authors is what leaded to such a popularity for the saga. They were quite a lot of theory about them with the most popular one that the President Of the Council was one of them. Ironically, Dufour and Lagadec weren’t even considered a possibility by the public at large. Lagadec autobiography hasn’t been a success and Dufour was considered too conservative and the two weren’t considered talented. The Paris High Society often has meeting about discussing of a potential author and Lagadec has often been said that he was lucky to have found them.
This is an extrait of an interview of Gérard Depardieu in 1973 for the release of “Joachim D’Arc et la Guerre de Mars/Joachim D’Arc and the Martian War” where Gérard Depardieu was revealed to the public by playing the lead character.
Jean-Pierre Elkabbach : And so what is your relation with Joachim D’Arc ?
Gérard Depardieu : Well, it began on my birth year so I think we are tied. *both laugh* The truth is that during my youth i was very much an americanophile and i didn’t paid attention to it after my 13th birthday. But i loved it during my youth and i reread them all when i was taken for the lead part of the movie.
Jean-Pierre Elkabbach : And how were you selected ?
Gérard Depardieu : Well, I was contacted in 1971 by “Histoires Fabuleuse” which wanted to adapt the Saga seriously, you certainly remember the cheap version of the late 50s, and i has been handpicked by the, still unknown, authors. I”ve said to them : “No fucking way i’m gonna play it unless i know who wrote the damn books”.
Jean-Pierre Elkabbach : And so you were invited to brittany to meet them ?
Gérard Depardieu : Yeah. To be honest, I thought i was going to meet with André Théroux since we were going to well Brittany but what was my surprise to see Lagadec and Dufour.
Jean-Pierre Elkabbach : And what did you think of the last one ?
Gérard Depardieu : It’s great i think, the reveal that the Bad Guy was a child of D’Arc and that he was going after him as a revenge for abandoning him was an awesome idea.