Trondheim, Lewis 1964–

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Trondheim, Lewis 1964–


Born November 11, 1964, in Fountainbleu, France; married Brigitte Findkaly; children: two.


Home—Montpellier, France.


Cartoonist. Cofounder of L'Association Publishers, 1990—; creator of Lapinot (published as McConey in the United States).


Nominated for one Harvey award and two Eisner awards, all 2000, all for Nimrod; International Horror Guild Award for best illustrated narrative, 2006, for A.L.I.E.E.E.N.



Psychanalyse, Le Lézard (Paris, France), 1990.

Moins d'un quart de seconde pour vivre, L'Association (Paris, France), 1990.

Un intérieur d'artiste, L'Association (Paris, France), 1991—.

Monolinguiste, Le Lézard (Paris, France), 1992.

Lapinot et les carottes de Patagonie, L'Association/Lézard (Paris, France), 1992.

Le dormeur, Cornélius (Paris, France), 1993.

Slaloms, L'Association (Paris, France), 1993.

Approximate Continuum Comics 1-6, Cornélius (Paris, France), 1993-94.

Gare Centrale, illustrated by Jean-Pierre Duffour, Rackham (Paris, France), 1994.

Mildiou, Le Seuil (Paris, France), 1994.

Nous sommes tous morts, story by Jean-Luc Coudray, L'Association (Paris, France), 1995.

Approximativement, Cornélius (Paris, France), 1995.

La mouche, Le Seuil (Paris, France), 1995.

Blacktown, Dargaud (Paris, France), 1995.

Diablotus, L'Association (Paris, France), 1995.

Les aventures de la fin de l'épisode, L'Association (Paris, France), 1995.

Génèses apocalyptiques, L'Association (Paris, France), 1995.

Chiquenaude, Dargaud (Paris, France), 1996.

Pichenettes, Dargaud (Paris, France), 1996.

Walter, Dargaud (Paris, France), 1996.

Non, non, non, L'Association (Paris, France), 1997.

Les aventures de l'univers, Dargaud (Paris, France), 1997.

Le pays des trois sourires, L'Association (Paris, France), 1997.

Amour et intérim, Dargaud (Paris, France), 1998.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon Zénith 1: Coeur de canard, Delcourt (Paris, France), 1998, translated as Dungeon Zenith, NBM (New York, NY), 2004—.

Nimrod, volumes 1-7, Fantagraphics (Seattle, WA), 1998-2002.

(With Matt Konture) Galopinot, L'Association (Paris, France), 1998.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon Zénith 2: Le roi de la bagarre; Delcourt (Paris, France), 1998.

Vacances de printemps, story by Frank LeGall, Dargaud (Paris, France), 1999.

Monstrueux Bazar, Delcourt (Paris, France), 1999.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon crépuscule 101: Le cimetière des dragons, Delcourt (Paris, France), 1999.

Pour de vrai, Dargaud (Paris, France), 1999.

Monstrueux Noël, Delcourt (Paris, France), 1999.

(With Joann Sfar and Christophe Blain) Donjon Potron-Minet-99: La chemise de la nuit, Delcourt (Paris, France), 1999.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon Zénith 3: La princesse des barbares, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2000.

Les cosmonautes du futur, illustrated by Manu Larcenet Dargaud (Paris, France), 2000, translated as Astronauts of the Future, NBM (New York, NY), 2004.

Monstrueux Dindon, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2000.

La couleur de l'enfer, Dargaud (Paris, France), 2000.

Petit Père Noël, illustrated by Thierry Robin, Dupuis (Paris, France), 2000, translated as Little Santa, NBM (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon parade 1: Un donjon de trop, illustrated by Manu Larcenet, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2000.

Les trois chemins, illustrated by Sergio Garcia, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2000.

Politique étrangère, illustrated by Jochen Gerner, L'Association (Paris, France), 2000.

Monstrueux dinosaure, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2001.

Venezia 1: Triple jeu, illustrated by Fabrice Parme, Dargaud (Paris, France), 2001.

Le roi catastrophe: Adalbert ne manque pas d'air, illustrated by Fabrice Parme, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2001.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon Potron-Minet-98: Un justicier dans l'ennui, illustrated by Christophe Blain, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2001.

Les cosmonautes du futur 2: Le retour, illustrated by Manu Larcenet, Dargaud (Paris, France), 2001.

Joyeux Halloween Petit Père Noël (tome 2), illustrated by Thierry Robin, Dupuis (Paris, France), 2001, translated as Happy Halloween, Li'l Santa, NBM (New York, NY), 2003.

Le roi catastrophe 2: Adalbert perd les pédales, illustrated by Fabrice Parme, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2001.

Allez raconte (une histoire), Volume 1, illustrated by Jose Parrondo, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2001.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon monsters 1: Jean-Jean la terreur illustrated by Mazan, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2001.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon monsters 2: Le géant qui pleure, illustrated by Jean-Christophe Menu, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2001.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon parade 2: Le sage du ghetto, illustrated by Manu Larcenet, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2001.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon crépuscule 102: Le volcan des Vaucanson, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2001.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon parade 3: Le jour des crapauds, illustrated by Manu Larcenet, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2002.

Le roi catastrophe 3: Adalbert a tout pour plaire, illustrated by Fabrice Parme, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2002.

Les ineffables, L'Association (Paris, France), 2002.

Mister O, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2002, NBM (New York, NY), 2004.

Carnet de bord 1-28, L'Association (Paris, France), 2002.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon Zénith 4: Sortilège et avatar, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2002.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon monsters 3: La carte majeure, illustrated by Andréas, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2002.

Venezia 2: Codex Bellum, illustrated by Fabrice Parme, Dargaud (Paris, France), 2002.

Kaput et Zösky, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2002.

(With Joann Sfar and Jean-Emmanuel Vermot-Desroches) Donjon monsters 5: La nuit du tombeur, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2002.

Monstrueuse école, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2003.

(With Joann Sfar) Donjon crépuscule 103: Armaggedon, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2003.

L'accélérateur atomique, Dargaud (Paris, France), 2003.

(With Joann Sfar and Stéphane Blanquet) Donjon monsters 4: Le noir seigneur, Delcourt (Paris, France), 2003.

(With Joann Sfar) Zenith: The Barbarian Princess, Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing (New York, NY), 2005.

(With Christophe Blain and Joann Sfar) Dungeon the Early Years 1: The Night Shirt, Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing (New York, NY), 2005.

A.L.I.E.E.E.N., First Second (New York, NY), 2006.

Dungeon Twilight, NBM (New York, NY), 2006.

Dungeon Parade, NBM (New York, NY), 2006.

Mister I, NBM (New York, NY), 2006.

(With Kerascoet) Dungeon Twilight: Dragon Cemetery, Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing (New York, NY), 2006.

Tiny Tyrant, First Second (New York, NY), 2007.

Little Nothings: The Curse of the Umbrella, ComicsLit, 2008.

Dungeon Monsters 1: The Crying Giant, Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing (New York, NY), 2008.

Kaput and Zosky, First Second (New York, NY), 2008.

Bourbon Island 1730, First Second (New York, NY), 2008.

Also creator of "McConey" comic-book series, Fantagraphics, an English-language version of the author's "Lapinot" series.


La mouche was adapted for a series of five-minute animated cartoons in France.


Lewis Trondheim is one of the "innovators of the French comics scene," according to a contributor for the Web site. Popular in his native France, Trondheim is best known for two ongoing comic-book series: the "Lapinot" series, featuring a rabbit-like protagonist in a comedy-adventure-fantasy series, which is published in the United States as the "McConey" series, and the "Donjon" series, a sword-and-sorcery series created in collaboration with fellow artist Joann Sfar. Fantagraphics also publishes Trondheim's autobiographical works in the "Nimrod" books. Additionally, Trondheim's work has been collected in book form and published by the prestigious French publishing house Seuil. In 1994's Mildiou, he tells a "Lapinot" story that is set in medieval times, while 1995's La mouche presents a wordless tale as seen through the eyes of a fly.

A wordless tale, also published in the United States, Mister O features a small and rather geometrical stick figure whose route is interrupted by a ravine or chasm. Mister O wants to make it to the other side of this chasm, but his ventures usually land him in the bottom of the ravine. Trondheim presents this predicament in thirty cartoons of sixty panels each. A contributor for Publishers Weekly found the effect to be "reminiscent of a collection of Charlie-Brown-and-the-football strips or Road Runner cartoons stripped down to their barest, micro-minimal essence." Mister O is not uninventive: he uses wings, hot air, bridges, springs, and other mechanical devices to help get him across, all with no success. Dan Nadel, reviewing the book in the Washington Post Book World, observed that Mister O's "wordless exercises in futility are rendered with evident delight by the French cartoonist Lewis Trondheim, whose nimble pen strokes can imbue even a squiggle (or an ‘O’) with humor and pathos." More wordless adventures are served up in Happy Halloween, Li'l Santa, in which the eponymous protagonist battles some loggers who are about to turn his woods into so many match sticks. He teams up not with Santa's helpers, but with a bevy of "Tim Burtonesque monsters who create Halloween mischief," according to Booklist critic Carlos Orellana. The same reviewer went on to call the book a "thoroughly enjoyable holiday adventure."

Trondheim is best known, however, for his larger series works. His "Lapinot" series has "an open, associative, improvised structure," according to the contributor for the Web site, and "moves freely between different genres, such as science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy." This series debuted in France with 1992's Lapinot et les carottes de Patagonie, published by Trondheim's own company, L'Association. The first of the titles published in the United States was Harum Scarum, brought out in 1997 by Fantagraphics. This was the first in "The Nifty Adventures of McConey," featuring the rabbit-like McConey, a dog, and a cat. Writing on the Fantagraphics Web site, Kim Thompson, the editor and translator of the series, compared the books to Marx Brothers movies. "In each movie, Groucho is the same wheeling-and-dealing sleazeball, but he may be an attorney, the president of a college, or an African explorer," Thompson explained. Thus with the "McConey" books, the characters remain the same, but the genre and milieu change, from a horror story set in a European city of the 1930s in Harum Scarum to a contemporary comedy thriller in "Hoodoodad." There is also a western McConey, one set in the Middle Ages, and even a children's story. Thompson went on to praise Trondheim's dialogue in the series as "consistently witty" and the stories as "fast-paced."

Fantagraphics also publishes Trondheim's "Nimrod" books, which feature a variety of titles from the versatile French cartoonist, many with an autobiographical emphasis. For example, Nimrod One is a 144-page autobiographical graphic novel, Approximativement, originally published in France. In Nimrod Seven, readers can find out what an editorial meeting at L'Association is like, while in Nimrod Six, Trondheim recounts, among other things, a summer camp adventure. Writing on the Fantagraphics Web site about his "Nimrod" books, Trondheim noted that "although I enjoy working in the European album format …, I have a special fondness for the American comic book format. I love that the author can do exactly as he pleases, and that this kind of publication is so much cheaper than the French album."

A joint effort between Trondheim and Joann Sfar, Dungeon Twilight: Dragon Cemetery features an extremely old, blind dragon, known as the Dust King, and the seeing-eye bat that allows him to travel freely despite his own lack of eyesight. Along with Marvin the Red, a warrior rabbit, the pair travels to the dragon graveyard. The book's action is sometimes violent, but laced with both humor and magic to offset the impact. The light, cartoon-like illustrations also go a long way toward emphasizing the more whimsical aspects of the tale. Benjamin Russell, reviewing for School Library Journal, commented of the book that while it is enjoyable, it is also "mildly baffling, perhaps because of the stream-of-consciousness plotting and the sudden transitions," and suggested the translation might be responsible for some of the overall confusion.

In Trondheim's A.L.I.E.E.E.N., the letters stand for Archives of Lost Issues and Earthly Editions of Extraterrestrial Novelties. Trondheim supposedly recovered the work when he was on a camping trip with his family. The book itself gives readers an idea of what aliens are supposed to read in this reality, particularly children. The stories are conveyed almost entirely through the illustrations as the alien language is purposefully obscure. George Galuschak, in a review for Kliatt, found it difficult to determine the proper audience for the book, noting: "I doubt older kids will like it, and the violence may be a bit intense for younger grades." However, writing for School Library Journal, Dawn Rutherford concluded that "for teens seeking entertainment both whimsical and sardonic, this could be a real treasure."

Trondheim's Tiny Tyrant collects a set of twelve stories, all of which are connected, into one convenient volume. The stories feature the tiny child-king Ethelbert, a spoiled little monarch of an equally small nation called Portocristo, who is bored by everything, from books to his daily duties, and is rude to everyone around him, from his cook to his nanny to the prime minister himself. He is also selfish and unreasonable, wanting to win every game show and arrange a meeting with Santa Claus. However, Ethelbert's adventures are fun and filled with humor, and he ultimately becomes a hero of sorts by the end of the volume. Tina Coleman, reviewing for Booklist, dubbed the book "a real treat for classic-cartoon fans of many ages." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews commented that "the retro '60s-style art perfectly conveys the slapstick action and sly tone" of the book.

Kaput and Zosky is another comic about aliens, although in this one the aliens are front and center, and neither harmless nor friendly. In fact, these aliens are bloodthirsty and intent on gaining all the power that they can as they attempt to take over world after world. However, citizens of Earth should be in no hurry to go into hiding or to fight for their lives, as Kaput and Zosky are far more ineffectual than they are successful in their attempts to overthrow various planet. In the rare instances where they do succeed in taking over a planet, they soon lose ground and are forced to forfeit their claims. Sadie Mattox, reviewing the comic for School Library Journal, remarked of the work that, "taken in small doses, it's perfect. As a whole book, however, the antics grow tiresome."

Little Nothings: The Curse of the Umbrella depicts Trondheim and other human beings going about their daily lives, represented by bird and animal drawings. An entire anecdote is shown on each page, with rich details conveying each nuance of the scene, including the animals that Trondheim chooses to represent various people—dogs for the paparazzi or reporters, a raccoon for the pharmacist, and so on. The stories themselves range from the mundane, such as the search for the perfect kitten, to the important and memorable, such as his own winning of the Grand Prize at the Angouleme International Comics Festival. Francisca Goldsmith, in a review for Booklist, noted that "Trondheim's usual combination of pen-and-ink and watercolors keeps the overall mood fairly light."



Booklist, November 15, 2003, Carlos Orellana, review of Happy Halloween, Li'l Santa, p. 604; March 15, 2007, Tina Coleman, review of Tiny Tyrant, p. 66; March 15, 2008, Francisca Goldsmith, review of Little Nothings: The Curse of the Umbrella, p. 40.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2007, review of Tiny Tyrant.

Kliatt, July 1, 2006, George Galuschak, review of A.L.I. E.E.E.N., p. 29.

Publishers Weekly, May 3, 2004, review of Mister O, p. 172.

School Library Journal, July 1, 2006, Benjamin Russell, review of Dungeon Twilight: Dragon Cemetery, p. 129; July 1, 2006, Dawn Rutherford, review of A.L.I.E.E.E.N., p. 131; May 1, 2008, Sadie Mattox, review of Kaput and Zosky, p. 158.

Washington Post Book World, June 6, 2004, Dan Nadel, review of Mister O, p. 13.


Fantagraphics Web site, (July 26, 2004), "Lewis Trondheim.", (July 26, 2004), "Lewis Trondheim."

Lewis Trondheim Home Page, (July 26, 2004).