André Franquin is undoubtedly the grandmaster of the so-called "School of Marcinelle", the group of artists that worked for the magazine Spirou during its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s.
A true legend in the world of comics, Franquin earned countless fans, both for his series in general, as well as his dynamic, energetic and vivid drawing style. Between 1946 and 1969 he succeeded Jijé on Spirou's title character 'Spirou'. Franquin enriched the franchise by creating longer, more complex and ambitious narratives. He also introduced several characters still used by his successors, including the Count of Champignac, the Mayor of Champignac, Zorglub, Zantafio, Seccotine and one of the world's most strangest animals, the Marsupilami, who'd inspire a succesful spin-off series of its own.
Franquin is unanimously regarded as the best artist 'Spirou' ever had. Above all he was a comedic genius. He crafted some of the funniest gag comics ever made, such as about the couple 'Modeste et Pompon' (1955-1959) and of course his signature series 'Gaston Lagaffe' (1957-1996), about the most incompetent office clerk who ever existed.
In the dawn of his career, Franquin started drawing more adult comics as well, of which the nihilistic and satirical 'Idées Noires' (1977) is the most notorious and celebrated.
Text (c) Lambiek