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. 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 from his coursework at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, at the Compagnie Belge d'Animation (CBA), a small Belgian animation studio, 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.