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Comic Creator

Davine

Blanche Dumoulin

(8 January 1895, Belgium - 9 February 1975, France)  France

  Davine

Les aventures de Zizette, by Davine
Les Aventures de Zizette

Davine was the pen name of Blanche Dumoulin, the wife of Spirou creator Robert Velter. She was born in Liège, Belgium, where she attended the local Art Academy. For a long time it was presumed that she was the only one behind the signature Davine, but in fact it was her fellow student Luc Lafnet who originated the signature. It was most likely Lafnet who drew the comic strips 'Bizouk et Pélik' in Le Journal de Bébé and 'Moustique Reporter' in Le Bon Point during 1936-1938, although Dumoulin has possibly helped him write the texts. She was a nanny in Sydney, Australia from the early 1930s and didn't return to Europe until 1937. Shortly after returning to Belgium, she moved to Paris, probably to join Lafnet, who was a painter and illustrator in the Montmartre area.

Spirou, by Davine (1940)
Final Spirou page by Rob-Vel (Davine) from October 1940

From then on, she shared the pen name Davine with Lafnet for her illustration work, while also operating as Lafnet's agent. She married Robert Velter, and began working as an illustrator for the magazines and novels published by Jean Dupuis in Marcinelle, Belgium. She aided her husband in the creation of the title comics for both Le Journal de Toto from 1937 to 1940, and Le Journal de Spirou by Dupuis starting in April 1938. Besides writing the 'Spirou' stories, she also created her own comic strip for the newly launched children's magazine, called 'Les Aventures de Zizette', although it is possible that she only wrote the melodramatic story.

When Rob-Vel was mobilized in 1940, she continued the Spirou comic on her own with the aid of several ghost artists, including J. van Straelen, until October 1940, when Jijé was forced to continue the running stories due to problems with sending the pages from France to Belgium.Velter and Davine returned to the strip in March 1941, but they had to abandon their creation once and for all in December 1942. Blanche Dumoulin published a book with publisher Armand Fleury in 1946 called 'Guy Voitoux, l'homme au gant' in 1946, but mostly disappeared from the spotlights after World War II. She passed away from cancer in February 1975.

Moustique Reporter, by Davine (1936)
Moustique Reporter, signed Davine, but most likely drawn by Luc Lafnet

Sources: Spirou par Rob-Vel L'Intégrale 1938-1943 (Dupuis, 2013) & La Véritable Histoire de Spirou 1937-1946 (Dupuis, 2013)
Last updated: 2014-05-06

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