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Achille Talon

1 agosto 2008


  • Cover of L'Archipel de Sanzunron (The Notapenny Archipelago)
  • Cover of L’Archipel de SanzunronThe Notapenny Archipelago)
  • (
  • Achille Talon is a Franco-Belgian comics series featuring an eponymous main character, created by Gregcomics magazine Pilote in 1963, the series presents the comic misadventures of an anti-hero. (the pseudonym of Michel Regnier). Starting publication in the
  • The name derives from “talon d’Achille”, the French term for an “Achilles’ heel“, which suits the character although the Achilles’ heel of Achille Talon is not his heel but his large nose. The figure was conceived by Greg when, due to a clerical error, some pages of Pilote were blank and none of the other authors were available.[citation needed] In English translations the series is titled Walter Melon.
    • Contents

  • Publication history
  • The first Achille Talon gag was published in Pilote on November 7, 1963.[1] After several years of gags and increasing popularity, Achille Talon became a dedicated magazine of its own, starting publication on October 1, 1975.[2] Not achieving the intended success, the magazine ceased publication after one year, producing only six issues.[3] The album series has produced 46 volumes. Achille Talon is presented in two quite different formats, there are album length stories such as Achille Talon et la main du serpent (Achille Talon and the Serpent’s Hand), a 44-page story, as well as albums with only gags that generally run one or two pages each. Regardless of format, Achille Talon would typically first appear a couple pages at a time in the weekly magazine Pilote, then be collected later for hardcover or softcover books.
  • Characters
  • Achille Talon is an uptight citizen, a bourgeois and an intellectual (or so he likes to think) and very eloquent (or at least voluble), but not always honest. He is vain to the extent that he builds a giant statue of himself in his front garden and desperately tries to get on the good side of the local gentry. He sometimes resolves in activism (eg. pro peace or against pollution) or inventions. He is always at odds with his neighbour Hilarion Lefuneste, who loves to argue too.
  • A man in his forties, Achille is single and lives at home with his father, Alambic Godsent Corydon Talon, who is a beer-fanatic, and his mother. He never tires of trying to seduce Virgule de Guillemets, who brings sophistication to his life. His professional life is spent at the offices of Pilote, where he fills an unnamed position and is mainly dictated to by a small unnamed CEO with huge ego — in which it is not difficult to see a (very unflattering) portrait of René Goscinny.[citation needed]
  • Achille Talon can be courageous and magnimonous, a protector of animals and ever vigilant guardian of proper etiquette, so much so that he gets into a huge fight with an author on a book on etiquette over which of them has the honour of giving the other the right of way. A patron of the arts (as long as he is the one portrayed) and even a wise, but apparently tyrannical, head of state, even if it’s only for a short while.
  • Device
  • One of Greg’s greatest strengths lay in his ability to use the French language to amazing advantage. Everything was fodder for a verbal/written gag to him (but only if you count as a gag the light humor typical of certain french humorists which arises from using excessively complex language – it is more of a slow progression of atmosphere humor than punchline-based even when some puns are thrown in). However much the exaggerated visual humour may stand out (e.g. phones often do not simply ring, but practically explode), his plays on words are what makes this strip a real delight. From the story text, to the title of the individual gag pages, to the characters – all are an opportunity for Greg to show off his skill with words. Achille isn’t the only character whose name is such a pun. Most are. Consider the recurring character of the local retailer (his business being whatever the plot happens to require it to be for that particular gag) named Vincent Poursan. Looks fine as a normal French name until you realise that, pronounced in French, it sounds like “twenty-hundred percent” … which is about his usual profit margin by the way.
  • Typical quotes
  • “Bof” or “Hop” are his favorite interjections, especially if things do not turn out as expected.
  • “After careful consideration of the facts, I’ve decided to faint. It may not be very heroical, but it is relaxing. Therefore, zzzzz”
  • Television adaptation
  • A television series of fifty-two twenty-six minute episodes was made for Canal+ in 1996 by Saban International. Each episode is broken up into two short stories. It was broadcast in France for the first time on September 3, 1997 in the television show C + Cléo on Canal+.
  • Videoclip
  • Pub Québec – Chambre des Notaires du Québec


  • The animated series is actually very different from the original comic. In the animated cartoon, Achille Talon is a very awkward superhero who offers his heroic services for hire, replacing the characters such as Luke Skywalker, Zorro and Tarzan when they become indisposed. Talon manages to make justice triumph by pure luck. The series was renamed Walter Melon for English-speaking television.
  • Bibliography
  • Achille Talon cerveau choc (1966)
  • Achille Talon aggrave son cas (1967)
  • Achille Talon persiste et signe (1969)
  • Mon fils à moi (1970)
  • L’Indispensable Achille Talon (1971)
  • Achille Talon au pouvoir (1972)
  • Les Insolences d’Achille Talon (1973)
  • Achille Talon méprise l’obstacle (1973)
  • Les Petits Desseins d’Achille Talon (1974)
  • Le Roi de la science diction (1974)
  • Brave et honnête Achille Talon (1975)
  • Achille Talon au coin du feu (1975)
  • Pas de pitié pour Achille Talon (1976)
  • Le Mystère de l’homme à deux têtes (1976)
  • Le Quadrumane optimiste (1976)
  • Le Trésor de Virgule (1977)
  • Le Roi des Zôtres (1977)
  • Coquin de sort (1978)
  • Le Grain de la folie (1978)
  • Viva papa (1978)
  • Ma vie à moi (1978)
  • Le Sort s’acharne sur Achille Talon (1979)
  • Achille Talon et la main du serpent (1980)
  • L’Âge ingrat (1980)
  • L’Esprit d’Eloi (1980)
  • L’Arme du crocodile (1981)
  • Ne rêvons pas (1981)
  • L’insubmersible Achille Talon (1981)
  • La Loi du bidouble (1982)
  • Achille Talon a un gros nez (1982)
  • Il n’y a (Dieu merci) qu’un seul Achille Talon (1982)
  • La Traversée du disert (1983)
  • La Vie secrète du journal Polite (1983)
  • L’Incorrigible Achille Talon (1983)
  • Achille Talon à bout portant (1984)
  • Achille Talon n’a pas tout dit (1985)
  • L’Archipel de Sanzunron (1987)
  • Achille Talon contre docteur Chacal et mister Bide! (1989)
  • Talon (Achille) pour les dames (1989)
  • Achille Talon et le monstre de l’étang Tacule (1991)
  • L’Appeau d’Ephèse (1996)
  • Le Musée Achille Talon (1996)
  • Achille Talon a la main verte (1998) (Widenlocher and Godard)
  • Tout va bien! (2000) (Widenlocher and Brett)
  • Le Maître est Talon (2001)
  • Le Monde merveilleux du journal polite (2004) (Widenlocher and Herlé)
  • [edit] Sources
  • Achille Talon publications in Pilote and French Tintin BDoubliées (French)
  • Footnotes
  • ^ BDoubliées. “Pilote année 1963” (in French).
  • ^ BDoubliées. “Pilote année 1975” (in French).
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