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Biographies of the Stars

André Franquin

André Franquin was born born in Brussels, Belgium, January 3rd 1924. In September of 1944 he got a job in an animation studio (CBA) where he worked with 3 future comics artists: Eddy Paape, Pierre Culliford (' Peyo' creator of the ``Smurfs''), and Maurice de Bévère (' Morris', illustrator of ``Lucky Luke''). All four artists started as illustrators in the Hergé tradition of the 'ligne claire' style.

In 1938 Robert Velter ('Rob-Vel') had created a comic called "Spirou" as a competitor to Herge's "Tintin". The main character was a bell boy in a red uniform. Joseph Gillain ('Jijé') took over the comic in 1943, but quit after two years. Franquin took the strip on in 1946. Franquin made Spirou into one of the leading comic adventures, developing the characters and in 1952 inventing the fantastic Marsupilami, who became the comic's most popular supporting character. Franquin left Spirou in 1969 and was succeeded first by Jean-Claude Fournier, then partners Nic & Cauvin, and finally by the current team, Philippe Vandevelde and Jean-Richard Geurts.

Initially drawing in the Hergé style, Franquin gradually grew more confident and his drawings became more frenetic, with lots of movement lines appearing in each panel. Eventually his style became a distinct alternative to Hergé's 'clear line', looser and more broadly caricatural. Franquin created many other comics, including "Gaston" and "Dark Side".

Andre Franquin died January 5, 1997.

written by Andy Etris 2000

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