After attending college at the Académie Röderer, François Avril published his first work in the fanzine Band' à part. It didn't take long before his economic graphic style made him sought after by various publishers and agencies. The same goes for the other artists of the so-called "École Pigalle" ("Pigalle School," named after the Paris neighborhood), a term that was reportedly coined by Avril.
The most distinctive feature of the Pigalle-based artists of the mid-eighties, like Avril, Loustal, Benoît, Dupuy, Berbérian and Petit-Roulet, is that they all operate on the boundaries between graphic art, comics and publicity. Also they share the same tastes, like a preference for contemporary variants of the Hergé-like 'clear line' style, and friendships. Some of the most distinctive comics by Avril are 'Doppelgänger SA', the humorous series 'Pierrot Blouchon et Tom de Savoie' (under pseudonym: Tex Avril), 'Soirs de Paris' (with Petit-Roulet), 'El Rebelde, le Rebelle' (with Cabry) and 'Le Chemin des Trois-Places' (with Jean-Claude Götting).
Lambiek hosted an extremely successful show of Avril's works in the summer of 1998, which featured a colorful collection of elegant paintings and drawings. At the Stripdagen Haarlem in June 2002, Galerie Lambiek opened another exposition of Avril's work. Part of it can also be seen online in the Avril virtual exhibition.
From left to right: Kees Kousemaker, Pénélope, François Avril,
Gloria and Victoire at the Stripdagen Haarlem, June 2002