Jean de Mesmaeker, better known under his pseudonym Jidéhem, is part of the second generation of the so-called "School of Marcinelle", along with Peyo, Tillieux and Roba. A contributor to Spirou magazine from the 1950s through the 1990s, he is best known as the creator of 'Sophie' (1965-1994), a series about a lovely young girl and her inventor father. The comic is historically important for being the first comic series in Spirou to have a female character as its protagonist, soon followed by Roger Leloup's 'Yoko Tsuno' (1970) and François Walthéry's 'Natacha' (1970). Jidéhem was furthermore an assistant to André Franquin, with whom he worked together on 'Spirou et Fantasio' and the early 'Gaston Lagaffe' gags. Jidéhem was particularly renowned for his expertise in making technical drawings, especially automobiles.