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Chantal Montellier studied at the École Supérieure d'Art et Design Saint-Étienne from 1962 to 1969. From 1969 to 1973, she was a professor of visual arts in colleges and high schools. From 1989 to 1993, she taught courses at Paris 8 University. Starting in 1972, she worked as an editorial cartoonist for Combat syndicaliste, Politis, Maintenant, L'Humanité, L'Autre Journal, Marianne, France nouvelle, and Révolution, among others, at a time when she was the only woman exercising her talents in the male-dominated field of work. As a comics creator, she contributed notably at Charlie Mensuel, Métal Hurlant, Ah ! Nana [fr], (À suivre), and Psikopat.
Montellier began publishing comic strips such as Andy Gang in Charlie Mensuel in 1974 and in the French feminist comics magazine Ah! Nana in 1976. Her dystopian strip 1996, originally appearing in Métal Hurlant, was reprinted in Heavy Metal in the United States in the late 1970s, bringing her work to the notice of Anglophone readers.
Among her projects is her personal web site where, since 2007, her autobiographical account De l'art et des cochons (Of Art and Pigs) prominently features her comics universe (its actresses and actors, publishers, etc.) and an album of comics that she describes, inside quotation marks, as "erotic."
In 2017, she brought out a new, completely revised edition of Shelter Market published by Les Impressions Nouvelles and a novel inspired by her own life, Les vies et les morts de Cléo Stirner, in the literature collection of Éditions Goater.