He was the kind of artist who seemed to have merged with his characters so much that he had spent hours giving them life with his pencil. Died May 30, Jacques Nicolaou was the cartoonist Placid et Muzo for decades. However, it was not he who created Placid the lazy bear and Muzo the serious fox, mythical characters who made the good old days of the magazine. Pif Gadget.
The series was created in 1946 by José Cabrero Arnal (drawing) and Pierre Olivier (text), before being taken up by Jacques Nicolaou from 1958 until his death. Emblematic figures of the newspaper Pif Gadget, Placid and Muzo have marked generations of readers. A series that has also become cult thanks to the creativity of Jacques Nicolaou. The latter often offered his latest DIY with the magazine. “There’s a specimen with popcorn that has sold a million copies”recalls Jean-Marie Deleau, a friend of the cartoonist and former journalist at TF1.
It was in the small village of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne in Charente-Maritime that Jacques Nicolaou gave life to this animal duo. Saddened by his disappearance, his friends remember him as a “big kid.” “With his comic, you can see how he acted. He was with his little color drawings, he was doing cartoons … He was in his world“, testifies Philippe Allaire, the owner of the ephemeral museum open every summer in the commune.
It was in an old butcher’s shop in the village that the locals could come and see his last boards and come to meet him. “We exhibited it every year for a fortnight and we did an opening by inviting our friends. It was always simplicity, kindness, kindness.”.
He was a little upset when they relaunched a Placid and Muzo without him. “Jean-Marie Deleau, friend of the cartoonist
An almost naive character who must not forget what he brought to comics. “His work has been impressive enough that two contemporary artists have taken the pseudonym ‘Placid’ and ‘Muzo’.”notes Jean-Philippe Martin, technical advisor at the International city of comics and image of Angoulême.
Until the end of his life, Jacques Nicolaou drew gags of Placid et Muzoeven though the series was relaunched in 2015 by other authors in a new magazine formula called Super Pif . “He kept drawing their adventures every morning when he woke up. It made him laugh. He was a little upset when they relaunched a Placid and Muzo without him.” confides his friend Jean-Marie Deleau, who used to go to the cartoonist’s house to eat cakes at Saint-Georges-de-Didonne.
A new ephemeral exhibition will be dedicated to the cartoonist this summer in his village of Charente-Maritime. The gags of the bear and the fox have not stopped making his readers laugh forever.