Jean-Louis Pesch is one of the most successful contemporary artists of animal comics. Originally named Jean-Louis Poisson, he was born in Paris, but moved to the village of Anjou only weeks after his birth. It was this rural environment amidst the Loire valley wine country that gave Pesch his love for animals and nature. Another one of his passions was drawing, which he started doing at a young age.
From 1948 Pesch worked in the advertising and animation fields for a while, but eventually turned to comics in 1954, and combined his two passions by making animal comics. He started series like 'Nouni', 'Pinpinville' and 'Scamprifritti' for magazines like Âmes Vaillantes, Coeurs Vaillants, Fripounet et Marisette and Capucine.
In the following years Jean-Louis Pesch expanded his activities by working for the magazines Mireille, L'Intripidé and Bernadette. He started 'Bec-en-Fer' in 1961, together with scenarist Henriette Robitaillie, in Pèlerin. This humorous animal series ran for a short time, but returned after twenty years, when Fleurus and Lombard published the series directly in albums. In the 1980s Jean-Louis Pesch took over the classic series 'Les Pieds Nickelés', originally drawn by Louis Forton and Pellos. Two years later he drew 'Les Primeurs' for Tintin, a series about vegetables, written by Franz.
Sylvain et Sylvette
Even though Pesch has a big oeuvre, he is mostly remembered for his work on 'Sylvain et Sylvette'. He took over this series from its creator Maurice Cuvillier in 1956 and has drawn over 4000 pages since. When the series was transferred to Dargaud publishers in 2001, Pesch took on a series of gags with the characters, written by Bélom and with graphic assistance of Bérik (Frédéric Bergèse).