Born in 1964 in Fontainebleau, Lewis Trondheim had a dull childhood and an uneventful adolescence. When he was 15, he copied his cousin, and went to a technical college. He tried for his first diploma — science and mechanics — but he was so bad at it that they repatriated him to philosophy and literature.
With his philosophy Baccalaureate in the bag, he started out in comics because he fancied telling stories and wanted to try out drawing. He was curious and wanted to do something a bit unconventional. Around the age of 25, armed with a photocopier, he single-handedly published a fanzine, which lasted for 12 issues. On discovering that minimalist art has its limits, he decided to learn how to draw. And he came up with “Lapinot et les carottes de Patagonie” (L’Association et le lézard, 1992, 2nd ed. L’Association, 1995).
It was in 1990, with five other artists, that he founded the editorial structure “L’Association,” realizing that you can actually make a living in this field. He left Paris for the South, became a dad and then joined up with publisher Dargaud in 1995 with the fourth volume of the “Formidables aventures de Lapinot” (“The Marvelous Adventures of McConey,” Europe Comics 2018).
He received a prize at Angouleme in 1994 for the album “Slaloms” (L’Association, 1993), and in 1996 he received the Comic Book Totem at the Montreuil Book Fair.
In collaboration with Joann Sfar and other authors, he worked on the heroic-fantasy project “Donjon” (Delcourt) in the late ’90s.
From 2000 on, with Dargaud, he also worked on the series “Les Cosmonautes du futur” (“Cosmonauts of the Future,” Europe Comics 2018), in tandem with Manu Larcenet.
Over the years, several TV adaptations have been made of Lewis Trondheim’s albums, such as “La Mouche” (Le Seuil, 1995, broadcast on France 3).
In 2004, he became the director of the “Shampooing” series at Delcourt, for which he also ended up producing several albums. But that didn’t stop him from releasing other new series with different publishers. In 2011, he started “Ralph Azham” (Dupuis), quickly followed by “Maggy Garrisson” (Dupuis; Europe Comics 2017), illustrated by Stéphane Oiry. And in 2016, he illustrated and collaborated on the script for “Coquelicots d’Irak” (L’Association; “Poppies of Iraq,” Drawn & Quarterly), part biography and part historical account, acclaimed by readers and critics alike. He then continued down the path of history in 2018 as co-director of the children’s collection “Au fil de l’histoire” (Dupuis; “On the History Trail,” Europe Comics).
Trondheim was made a knight of the order of Arts and Literature in 2005, and the following year received the grand prix at the Angouleme International Comics Festival.