European Comics in Official and Fan Translations


François Froideval

François Froideval

François Marcela-Froideval was born in 1958 and started writing around the age of 15. He studied law and literature. He started getting involved in mind games, war games and role-playing in France in the late 1970s with the Jeux Descartes club.

He became an advisor, director and collector, and also contributed to the conception of the magazine Jeux de Stratégie. He worked for the magazine as a journalist and also created a dozen or so card games.He also founded the Federation of Strategic and Tactical Simulation Games, of which he is the president. On top of that, he founded the magazine Casus Belli, where he was editor-in-chief right up until he left for the USA in 1982.

In the States, he became assistant to the president of the TSR (publisher of Dungeons and Dragons), and co-wrote, with Gary Gygax, several rulebooks for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Monster Manual II, and Oriental Adventures. In 1986, when he returned to France, he managed the distribution and translation of TSR products in France until 1989. Next, he worked as an advisor for Infogrames video game publishing. He participated in the development of several programs, such as Drakkhen, for which he wrote the scenario. He was also working with the Cyro Interactive team, for whom he produced Dragon Lore and its sequel, Le Gardien des ténèbres, then Deo Gratias and then finally the strategy game Chroniques de la lune noire. All in all he created about 20 games, and multiple role-play scenarios.

Alongside his gaming activities, Froideval started working for Pilote et Charlie in 1988, in the Loisel special. He wrote two panels, one with Henri Bismuth (now a painter), and the other with Tignous.

He wrote his first comics script in 1989, Chroniques de la lune noire (Europe Comics 2017, The Black Moon Chronicles) with artist Olivier Ledroit, a title which was also the first album of the new publishing house Zenda. Next came L’Archimage Robert, with Jack Manini; 666, with Franck Tacito; Succubus, with Cyril Pontet; Nexus, with Nicolas Bournay; Lex, with Stéphane Collignon, and Atlantis, with Fabrice Angleraud. Most of these series were later republished by Glénat.

With Dargaud, he produced the sequel of Chroniques de la lune noire, with Olivier Ledroit, and then Cyril Pontet; Fées pas braire, with Patrick Larme; and Fatum, with Francard. Albin Michel published Methraton, with Fabrice Druet, and Harkhanges, with Sylvain Guinebaud. With Soleil, Froideval wrote Mens magna, with Guillaume Sorel as artist.In November 2001 the first book of the series Les arcanes de la lune noire (Dargaud) was released, once again in collaboration with Olivier Ledroit.Froideval then came up with a new series, 6666 (Zenda, 2004-2006), and also pursued a few old ones: the second and third volumes of Arcanes de la lune noire (Dargaud 2007 and 2010) were released, as well as volumes 12 to 14 of Chroniques de la lune noire (Dargaud, 2005-2008).

But the Wismerhill saga didn't end there: a whole second cycle began in 2012, with Fabrice Angleraud doing the illustrations. Volume 17 was released in 2015.Froideval now spends his time working with young artists on future comic books or series. Over the years he has established himself as the ultimate reference of the fantasy genre.