EDGAR P. JACOBS
The creator of the series, cartoonist of the backgrounds in many of Tintin's albums and with youth dreams to become a singer. During the war and the Nazi occupation, he worked for the Bravo magazine, for which he briefly continued the Flash Gordon series (censorship prevented new pages from arriving from the United States) and then produced a full story with the same style, titled The U Ray and predecessor of what would become his maste series. In 1946, he founded, along other cartoonists, the Tintin magazine, in whose first number The Secret of the Swordfish, the first Blake and Mortimer adventure ever, started to come out. Once finished and distributed in two parts that, in the album version, would end up as three), and seen the success of it, new albums with the So British heroes followed: The Mystery of the Great Pyramid (parts 1 & 2), The Yellow M, Atlantis Mystery, S.O.S. Meteors, The Time Trap, The Affair of the Necklace and Professor Sato's 3 Formulae. For this last one, he left the script of the second part before dying in February 1987, a script that would be drawn by Bob de Moor three years later.
BOB DE MOOR
Born in Antwerp, this belgian cartoonist, after publishing in several Dutch magazines and a few albums in French, started working in the Hergé Studies by 1950, where he didn't take much time to become the main helper of the creator of Tintin, appart from meeting other 9th Art masters such as Jacobs and Jacques Martin. His greatest series are Barelli and Cori, in whose fitth and last album he worked together with the last Blake and Mortimer adventure, the second part of Professor Sato's 3 Formulae, Mortimer Against Mortimer, which he developed following the script left by Jacons. Once published in 1990, the album got mixed reviews, from people stating they saw Jacobs' genius in de Moor's drawing and other who thought it to be a complete failure.
JEAN VAN HAMME
After studying bussiness administration and while working at Philips's marketing department, this well known Belgian scriptwriter started writing, until he devoted himself to that professionally in 1976. He's created series such as Thorgal, XIII and Largo Winch, continued nowadays by authors such as Yves Sente and Youri Jigonouv. It was in the 90s when he accepted to write a new Blake and Mortimer, over ten years after Jacobs's death. Ted Benoit was appointed for drawing it, and Madeleine de Mille, his wife an colourer (still working in the series with Juillard's albums, by the way), for giving some colour to the rebirth of such a mythical series. The album, called The Francis Blake Affair, was published in 1996 and quickly became a success in sales, which made possible a second production of such a team, The Strange Encounter, which came out in 2001. After Benoit's resignation, Van Hamme devised an archeological plot in two parts, The Curse of the Thirty Denarii, of which the first was drawn by René Sterne and Chantal de Spiegeleer, while the second was wrapped up by the newcomer Antoine Aubin. They were published in 2009 and in 2010. In 2011 he decided to withdraw from the series, and his positions was taken over by Jean Dufaux.
Born in France, he studied cinema in the IDHEC, at Paris, and started working in television, which he soon left to devote himself entirely to his true passion: drawing. This led him, in 1979, to publish his first album, Hôpital, awarded the best scriptwriter price at the Angoulême Festival and in which he introduced he who would become his main character, Ray Banana (who would later make appearances in Cité Lumière and Bérceuse Électrique.) He also worked and still works in publicity, publishing in several magazines and working for companies like CCM Micro, where he drew brand new publicitary Blake and Mortimer stories by recomendation of Jacobs himself. He was, at the beggining of the 1990s, chosen by Dargaud to draw Jean Van Hammes new Blake and Mortimer script, The Francis Blake Affair, achieving a more than satisfactory result, whith great respect to Jacobs's original work, most reviews said. This impression was repeated in 2001 with the publication of The Strange Encounter, second and last album of Benoit in the series. After renouncing to draw a thir album, he presented in 2006 a script project, which was a direct sequel of The Secret of the Swordfish and wasn't accepted by the editor. The story, focusing on Olrik's return to London after the fall of the Yellow Empire, had Résurrection as working title.
Born in the outskirts of Brussels in 1964, he studied first in the USA and then Law and Communication in Belgium. He started his full-time career in the 9th art industry in 1991, when he was appointed editor of the prestigious editor Le Lombard. A few years later, he sent Dargaud, anonymously, a Blake and Mortimer script titled The Voronov Plot, which was soon accepted.The album, published in the year 2000, drawn by André Juillard and coloured by Didier Convard, was a sales success, confirming him as scriptwriter. Since then, Sente has continued series such as Thorgal or XIII, appart from publishing five (there is a sixth on its way) new albums of the So British heroes: The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent (parts 1 & 2), The Gondwana Shrine, The Oath of the Five Lords and The Staff of Plutarch. he was also the one who suggested Van Hamme the name of René Sterne for taking over from Ted Benoit, and he even came to writing a two-page script so that Sterne could show is graphic abilities.
Born in June 1948, this French artist started out his carrier in 1974, working for the magazine Formule 1 after studying in the School of Decorative Arts of Paris. He was in charge of drawing a story written by Claude Verrien and leaded by cowboys, called La Longue Piste de Loup Gris. It was in 1976 when he published his first long works, devoting himself to them until now with a few exceptions. He has and still does collaborate with prestigious scriptwriters such as Yann and Didier Convard, and stands out in the historic genre (The Seven Lives of the Sparrow Hawk is a good example of it.) In 1998 he was accepted by Dargaud to work on Blake and Mortimer with Yves Sente, with whom he has colaborated in over 5 albums of the series (he got Étienne Schréder's help in the most recent one for inking the backgrounds, as the deadlines were quite tight.)
Born as René René Vanpijperzeele, this Belgian cartoonist started out his work career as a teacher of History, French and Philisophy. It was only when he met her future wife, Chantal de Spiegeleer, and after a bet, that he entered the comic world with his character Adler, who soon became one of the greatest successes of the Tintin magazine and ended up leading 10 full albums, the last one published in 2001. In 1999 he offered Dargaud a project to draw the recently accepted script by Yves Sente, The Voronov Plot, but André Juillard was finally chosen for the job. Sterne came back at it in 2003, precisely with a two-page script devised by Yves Sente, and this time Dargaud admited him as the successor of Ted Benoit, enthrusting him with drawing Van Hamme's new story, The Curse of the Thirty Denarii. But, soon after inking page 29 of the first part, and having storyboarded the whle album, he prematurely died at his home in the Grenadines. His wife took over and finished the album, which was published in 2009.
CHANTAL DE SPIEGELEER
Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the end of the fifties, Chantal de Spiegeleer studied Arts in Brussels and started out with the album Mirabelle, followed by her series Madila Bay, that confirmed heras an artist related to the world of fashion and as a great colourer. Once she met and married René Sterne, she became the colourer of his series Adler, which she combined with several personal projects (one of them, Eclipse, is finally being wrapped up and will probably come out in 2016.) It was her who, after her husband's premature death, took over from him and finished The Manuscript of Nicodemus, the first part of the new adventure imagined by Van Hamme for Blake and Mortimer, published finally in 2009. Appart from the drawing, de Spiegeleer took care of the colour, helped by Laurence Croix; finally, morally and graphically extenuated, she decided to leave her place to the newcomer Antoine Aubin.
A talented cartoonist of the newest generations, Antoine Aubin, after working in the Disney Studios and signing a few projects alone or with someone else, offered a series project to Dargaud, titled Les Combattants and with a script by Laurent Rullier. Although the editor didn't accept it, its graphic style called the attention of the editorial director, Philippe Ostermann, who suggested that he drew two test pages for Blake and Mortimer. These didn't take long to be accepted, and Aubin took over from, Chantal de Spiegeleer and wrapped up The Curse of the Thirty Denarii by drawing the second part of that adventure imagined by Jean Van Hamme. The album came out in 2010 following two years of work, in which Étiene Schréder's (see the end of this section) help with the backgrounds and the first half of the album turned out to be crucial for the album to be released in time. This cooperation repeated itself in 2013, with the sequel of The Yellow M written by Jean Dufaux. It is speculated that he will sign the 25th installment, to be published in 2017-2018, although nothing has yet been confirmed.
A very well-known scriptwriter, Jean Dufaux, whose reputation comes mainly from his bestseller series Murena (with Philippe Delaby), La Complainte des Landes Perdues (with Delaby and Béatrice Tillier), Barracuda (with Jérémy Pétiqueux) or Sortilèges (with José Luis Munuera). However, The Septimus Wave, the Blake and Mortimer album published in 2013 and of which he signs the script, received mixed reviews, due to the album's ending and the graphic quality of the last pages. Concerning the script, it has been said that Dufaux created one that was too inconnexed, without a consistent story and with a quite limited plot, exploring parts of the characters which, according to some, weren't worth developing. Others have said, on the other hand, that Dufaux focuses in the psichology of the series' main characters (Blake, Mortimer and Olrik), and that he plays with their condition of heroes, making them very humane. Apparently, he won't continue in the series;at least, there's nothing that would suggest it.
With academic formation in Criminology, this Belgian illustrator worked for five years as a prison civil servant and, due to his alcoholism, he was fired and lived in the streets for a few years. In 1989 he discovered the 9th art, to which he devoted himself since 1990. He atracted attention from the public with his autobiography, Amères Saisons, in which he relates with the painful precision of a true story his alcoholic years and the consequences of these. Since then, he has cooperated with François Schuiten and, in the past few years, he has stepped into the Blake and Mortimer with diverse collaborations thanks to the successor of Philippe Ostermann, Yves Schlirf, and to the delays of some authors. In fact, he has helped Ted Benoit, Chantal de Spiegeleer, Antoine Aubin and André Juillard. His function has been and still is to assure the publishing date is kept, by inking the backgrounds and eventually full pages. For example, in the last album, The Staff of Plutarch, he just inked the background, while in 2013 he even drew the last four pages of The Septimus Wave due to the tight headline put forward by the editor, receiving mixed reviews from the readers.
Thanks to Dargaud and to some Wikipedia users (with facts checked through other sources) for the black and white pictures and the official biographies, which I have summarized in this section.