Joseph Gillain – Jijé

Jijé was one of the most important figures of the Belgium comic of the 20th century, along with artists like Hergé, E.P. Jacobs and Franquin. He produced his early works under a strong influence of Hergé until he gradually developed his own style and immense flexibility, which helped him shift smoothly from realistic to humorous comics. At the age of only fourteen, he entered the art school at the abbey of Maredsous. Three years later he continued his studies with painter Léon Van Den Houten at the Université du Travail in Charleroi, and later on at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. In 1936 he published his first comic ‘Jojo’ in the Catholic magazine La semaine du croisé; in 1939 he began his longlasting collaboration with Spirou. During World War II, when American comics, the core of the newly established Spirou, were inaccessible, Jijé became one of the driving forces behind the magazine, bringing together a group of young artists who left their mark on the comics industry of the following decades. In his 40 year long career, Jijé published more than 70 different comics, which include biographies, gags and detective stories, as well as the first European western.

Joseph Gillain – Jijé: “Jerry Spring: Le Duel / Jerry Spring: TheDuel”, 1965, 37 x 45 cm

Joseph Gillain – Jijé: “Tanguy et Laverdure / Tanguy and Laverdure”, 1969, 45 x 55 cm

Posted in Belgium