Delporte caricature by Franquin
Yvan Delporte is one of the most influential members of the Walloon "School of Marcinelle". He was the editor-in-chief of Spirou during the heyday of this comic weekly (1955-1968). He also produced an immense amount of stories for several artists during this period, like 'Saki' for René Hausman, 'Alain Cardan' for Gérald Forton, 'La Ribambelle' by Jean Roba and 'Starter' by Jidéhem. Most memorable was his collaboration with Peyo, which gave the world the tribe of famous blue good-natured dwarfs, 'Les Schtroumpfs' ('The Smurfs'), and the introduction of 'Gaston', at first in the editorial sections and later in the gag strip by André Franquin.
After his period as editor-in-chief, he continued a successful career writing comics for other artists, publishers and magazines. For Le Journal de Mickey, he did the scripts of 'Les Zingari' for René Follet, as well as 'Onkr' for artist Tenas. Delporte was also present in Dutch magazines like Eppo ('Steven Severijn' with Follet) and Pep ('Alfred de Wees' with Claire Brétécher, 'Anna Tommy' with Peter de Smet and 'Llewelyn Flint' with Peter van Straaten). For Spirou, he continued to write 'Isabelle' for Will, 'Mulligan' for Berck, both in cooperation with Raymond Macherot. Additionally, with Ryssack, he made 'Colin Colas' ('Brammetje Bram') in Super-As/Zack.
Isabelle, artwork by Will
Together with André Franquin he was responsible for Le Trombone Illustré in 1977, the legendary supplement of Spirou containing more adult comics. Notable series that appeared in this supplement were 'Idées Noires' by Franquin, and 'Arnest Ringard' by Frédéric Jannin, with scripts by Franquin and Delporte.
Throughout the years, Delporte had continued to work with Peyo and his characters. He wrote scripts for the 'Smurfs' cartoon series, and in 1989, Delporte became the editor of the magazine Schtroumpf. In the 1990s he returned to comics with the scripts of new episodes with 'Johan et Pirlouit', drawn by Alain Maury. Delporte's witty and lively comic scripts stand as a landmark for future generations. Also, his colorful persona and appearance have been captured by many of his colleagues, since the editor-in-chief with the characteristic beard has made guest appearances in many comic series.
Yvan Delporte makes an appearance in Gaston Lagaffe