Peyo


Peyo

Infobox Comics creator
name = Peyo


imagesize =
caption =
birthname = Pierre Culliford
birthdate = 25 June 1928
location = Brussels, Belgium
deathdate = death date and age|1992|12|24|1928|6|25
deathplace = Brussels, Belgium
nationality = Belgian
area = artist, writer
alias =
notable works = "The Smurfs" "Johan et Pirlouit" "Benoît Brisefer"
awards = full list

Pierre Culliford (25 June 1928 – 24 December 1992), known as Peyo, was a Belgian comics artist, perhaps best known for the creation of "The Smurfs" comic strip.

Biography

Peyo was born in 1928 in Brussels as the son of an English father and a Belgian mother.De Weyer, Geert (2005). "Peyo". In België gestript, pp. 148-149. Tielt: Lannoo.] He took on the name "Peyo" early in his professional career, based on an English cousin's mispronunciation of Pierrot (a diminutive form of Pierre).

Peyo began work, fresh out of school, at the Compagnie Belge d'Animation (CBA), a small Belgian studio of animated movies, where he met a few of his future colleagues and co-celebrities, like André Franquin, Morris and Eddy Paape. When the studio folded after the war, the other artists went to work for Dupuis, but Peyo, a few years younger than the others, was not accepted. He made his first comics for the newspaper "La Dernière Heure" (The Latest Hour), but also accepted many promotional drawing jobs for income. From 1949 to 1952, he drew "Poussy", a stop comic about a cat, for "Le Soir". For the same newspaper, he also created "Johan".

In 1952, Franquin introduced Peyo to "Le Journal de Spirou", a children's comics magazine published by Dupuis which first appeared in Belgium in 1938. Peyo wrote and drew a number of characters and storylines, including "Pierrot", and "Benoît Brisefer" (translated into English as "Steven Strong"). But his favourite was "Johan et Pirlouit" (translated into English as "Johan and Peewit"), which was a continuation of the series "Johan" he had created earlier. He also continued "Poussy" in "Spirou".

Set in the Middle Ages in Europe, Johan is a brave young page to the king, and Peewit (pronounced Pee-Wee) is his faithful, if boastful and cheating, midget sidekick. Johan rides off to defend the meek on his trusty horse, while Peewit gallops sporadically behind on his goat, named Biquette. The pair are driven by duty to their king and the courage to defend the underpowered. Peewit only appeared in the third adventure in 1954, but would stay for all later adventures.

The first smurf appeared in "Johan and Peewit" on 23 October 1958 in the album "La Flûte à Six Schtroumpfs" ("The Six Smurfed Flute"). As the smurfs became increasingly popular, Peyo started a studio in the early 1960s, where a number of talented comic artists started to work. Peyo himself supervised the work and worked primarily on "Johan and Peewit", leaving the smurfs to the studio. The most notable artists to come out of this studio are Walthéry, Wasterlain, Gos, Derib, Degieter, and Desorgher.

In 1959, the Smurfs got their own series, and in 1960, two more began: "Steven Strong" and "Jacky and Célestin". Many authors of the Marcinelle school collaborated on the writing or as artist, including Will, Yvan Delporte, and Roger Leloup. Peyo became more of a businessman and supervisor, and was less involved in the actual creation of the comics. He let his son Thierry Culliford lead the studio, while his daughter Véronique was responsible for the merchandising.

The merchandising of the Smurfs began in 1959, with the PVC figurines as the most important aspect until the late 1970s. Then, with the success of the Smurf records by Father Abraham, the Smurfs achieved more international success, with a new boom in toys and gadgets. Some of these reached the United States, where Hanna-Barbera created a Saturday morning animated series in 1981. Peyo was overwhelmed by the success and his health began to fail.

Peyo died of a heart attack in Brussels at age 64. The studio, however continued, and new stories in different series still appear under his name.

Bibliography

Only those comics Peyo collaborated on are listed here: the comics made in those series after his death can be found in the articles for each series. Artist and writers mentioned are only those officially credited: unnamed Studio collaborators are not named here.

*"Jacky and Célestin", 1960-1978: 10 stories in "Le Soir", 4 albums by Dupuis: artwork by François Walthéry, Francis, Jo-El Azara and Mitteï, stories by Peyo, Gos, and Vicq
*"Johan and Peewit", 1952-1970: 13 albums by Dupuis
*"Natacha", 1992: 1 album by Dupuis, artwork by Walthéry, story by Peyo
*"Pierrot": 1991, 1 album by Cartoon Creation
*"Poussy", 1977-1978, 3 albums by Dupuis
*"The Smurfs" ("Les Schtroumpfs"), 1959-1992, 17 albums by Dupuis: additional artwork by Alain Maury and Luc Parthoens, additional stories by Yvan Delporte, Gos, Thierry Culliford
*"Spirou et Fantasio", 1969, 1 album by Dupuis, artwork by André Franquin and Jidéhem, story by Peyo and Gos
*"Steven Strong" ("Benoît Brisefer"), 1960-1978, 7 albums by Dupuis, additional artwork by Will, Walthéry, Marc Wasterlain and Albert Blesteau, additional stories by Yvan Delporte, Gos, and Blesteau

Awards

*1984: Youth Prize (9-12 years) at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, France

Notes

External links

* [http://lambiek.net/artists/p/peyo.htm Peyo biography] on Lambiek Comiclopedia
* [http://www.dupuis.com/servlet/jpecat?pgm=VIEW_AUTHOR&lang=UK&AUTEUR_ID=92 Peyo biography] Dupuis (in English)
* [http://www.smurf.com/peyo-en Peyo biography] "The Smurfs" official site

Persondata
NAME=Peyo
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Culliford, Pierre (full name)
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Belgian comics artist
DATE OF BIRTH=25 June 1928
PLACE OF BIRTH=Brussels, Belgium
DATE OF DEATH=24 December 1992
PLACE OF DEATH=Brussels, Belgium


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