The Belgian artist Willy Linthout was born in Eksaarde on 1 May, but his parents declared him a day early to receive an extra month of child support. Linthout started his career as a prize-winner of a non-professional comic contest for the Dutch edition of the French magazine À Suivre. After he met Urbanus (who already had a successful career as a comedian/performer in theaters and on TV) they decided to do an 'Urbanus' comic book.
When the first album appeared in 1983, it immediately became a huge success. Both the stories and artwork are hilarious in the classical Flemish comic book tradition (like 'Nero', 'Suske en Wiske', 'Kiekeboe'), but more absurd. Since its debut they have produced more than 150 albums, first in black-and-white with Loempia, and then in full-color with Standaard Uitgeverij.
Currently, 'Urbanus' is still one of the most popular comic books in Belgium. In addition to Urbanus, Linthout has been s a scriptwriter for 'Roboboy' by Luc Cromheecke in Taptoe and for 'Het Laatste Station' by Erik Wielaert, while serving as an assistant artist for 'Kiekeboe' and 'De Strip van 7'.