Born in Paris on 5 July 1945, François Bourgeon spent three years
studying at the College of Art before working for a master glassmaker.
This experience in stained glass windows had a strong influence on
his technique when he had the chance to put his cartoons into colour.
He placed his first illustrations in Lisette, a weekly publication, followed by his first story in 14 plates ("L'ennemi vient de la mer"). He was then employed at Fleurus where he produced lots of complete short stories for the weekly Fripounet and created his first long-lasting characters, Brunelle and Colin, based on scripts by Robert Génin, in Djin.
At the same time, he produced illustrations for Hachette bookstores, as well as adaptations of two Jules Verne stories ("Le Serpent de mer" and "Le Secret de Wilhelm Storitz") for the weekly Pif and a medieval album with 30 pieces ("Maître Guillaume et le journal des bâtisseurs de cathédrales", 1978).
In 1979, he began working for the magazine Circus on his first (future) best seller, Les Passagers du vent. He was named best illustrator of the year at the Angoulême festival of 1980 on account of the first episode ("La Fille sous la dunette"). From the second episode onwards, sales went through the roof and without too many regrets, he left drawing the Brunelle and Colin stories to Didier Convard after the second story about these two young adventurers.
From then on, he was the author of complete works for adults. However, he decided to return to the medieval world and started on the first version of the "Compagnons du Crépuscule" saga for an abortive magazine of Hachette. Through lack of demand for this series, he continued with "Passengers on the Wind" until their fifth and final instalment in 1984.
Casterman adopted "Compagnons du Crépuscule" which shaped the successful future of the monthly A Suivre and aroused the enthusiasm of the public who were won over by the original and meticulous illustrations by an author who no longer thought twice about devoting several years of work to a single volume. He was such a perfectionist that he actually and personally made initial sketches of the main settings of his stories. The albums of this trilogy were spread over the period from 1984 to 1990.
"Passengers on the Wind" was then re-edited by Casterman in 1994. In the mean time, Bourgeon had tackled a greatly original space age opera called "le Cycle de Cyann" based on a script by Claude Lacroix, the first volume of which was published in 1994 and which proved to be a future classic right from the start.
A loyal friend and admirer, François Bourgeon accepted the task of drawing the sketches for the final eight illustrations in the second volume of "Passage de Vénus" (Aire Libre collection) in order to provide a satisfactory conclusion to this work which was planned to consist of three volumes but which remained unfinished after the death of Jean-Paul Dethorey in 1999.