Homage to my favourite Artist – André Franquin

This is a small homage of my favourite artist, André Franquin. He was in my eyes a genius. Yes, was. Franquin died on January 5, 1997 in France. On the other side of his life he was born on Belgium on January 3, 1924. You do the maths. I don’t know every thing about him and I have no intentions to recite a Wikipedia entry.

To me Franquin was and always will be, an inspiration. I never really care who draws the comix when I was a kid. I liked the pictures. My dad was collecting the Asterix books. first editions. I proudly copied them and traced the characters. Needless to mention here that he wasn’t impressed with my early artistic endeavours. Of course I love Uderzos work. Also a huge influence of my work.

Eventually I started reading the Spirou and Fantasio comic books. Franquin didn’t create these. He continued the story in his style. To me he was the most refined artist ever to draw  the adventures of Spirou, the page boy, and his journalist sidekick Fantasio. His most famous creation has to be the Marsupilami. A yellow panther like animal with an eight metre long tail. It is very strong and even can talk. Well, a bit like a parrot.

Gaston Lagaffe is probably the most popular character he created. I love that one. Gaston is a chaotic genius working in an office. Working is a loose term. He is there and if the place hasn’t blown up, it isn’t far off. He always invents things, contraptions and ways of making his life better. Most of the times it doesn’t work. As a kid I read those books backwards and forwards. Even today I pick up a book and within minutes it makes me giggle.

When you pick you a Gaston book, you can be overwhelmed by the details Franquin includes in the drawings. I reckon his mind must have been running at a million miles an hour to come up with ideas like that over so many years.

But there was also a darker side to Franquin. Theres was a time where he was depressed and that led to the creation of “Idées Noir” or dark ideas. It’s draws entirely in black and white. It sounds brutal but it might be one of his best works. I love it. It is dark, very dark.

Franquin has a style that is loose and full of energy. You can see new details every time you pick up the book. His imagination is boundless and I wish I could draw 10% of his talent. But I’m not lamenting here. I like drawing and I get better at it every time I pick up a pencil. But it’s not my aim to copy Franquin. My aim is to become as good as him or better. Is it going to happen? Well, time will tell. Until then I just keep drawing. That something we all can do. Keep at it and get better.

Never give up.

The end


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