André Franquin was born January 3, 1924
. In 1944, he attended the art school and Saint-Luc
architecture in Brussels
In 1944, Franquin visited the CBA studios, as he was fascinated by Disney. He met Maurice de Bévère (Morris), Peyo and Paape there. They started working for Joseph Gillain (Jijé), making the Spirou magazine among other things. Spirou was the creation of Rob Vel, who also wrote the stories at that time. The first issue with text by Franquin, The Tank, was published in 1947.
Franquin married Liliane (I have been unable to dig up her maiden name, if anyone knows this, /msg please) in 1948. They had a daughter, Isabelle on February 19, 1957. During his time at the Spirou magazine, Franquin created many characters, among others the Count Hégésippe Adélard Ladislas of Champignac (Count Ambrose of Champignac), the long-tailed Marsupilami creature from Palombie, Zorglub the evil genius and so on, always showing incredible knack for making them seem real.
In 1967, Franquin stopped working on Spirou, which was passed on to Fournier and later Tome & Janry, to work on his anti-hero comic Gaston Lagaffe, originally a character from a Spirou story.
In 1977, his first strip of "Idées Noires" (Black Thoughts) appeared in "The Illustrated Trombone", a supplement to Spirou. Metal Hurlant/Heavy Metal took up publishing of Black Thoughts after the trombone stopped.
In the late 80s, Franquin created "Les Tifous" (The Gnomes), a cartoon that, because of financial problems, unfortunately only the first 3 episodes were broadcast, even though 78 were made.
Franquin died from a heart attack January 15, 1997 in Saint-Laurent du Var, France. Georges Remi (Hergé) has said "When I see Franquin, I tell myself: how can I compare to him? He's a great artist, and compared to him I am just a poor draughtsman"
See also other Comics creators.