Maurice Rosy was the artistic director of Spirou during the magazine's heyday, as well as a talented and original scenario-writer. Born in the Walloon municipality Fontaine-l'Évêque, he worked in his father's spike factory before joining the publishing house Dupuis in 1954 as a "man of ideas", a job specially designed for him. Two years later he became artistic director of Spirou. Together with chief editor Yvan Delporte, he was responsible for the magazine's success during the 1950s and 1960s.
During their reign, several new new ideas came to light, such as the "mini-books" section. For this section, Rosy wrote the first 'Boule et Bill' story for Jean Roba, and created the prisoner 'Bobo' with Paul Deliège. 'Bobo' appeared in the "normal" pages of Spirou later on, written and drawn entirely by Deliège. Rosy wrote and drew an occasional story with the character in the 1970s.
Le retour de Choc, artwork by Will
Rosy wrote some of his best scenarios for 'Tif et Tondu', the classic series illustrated by Will. Rosy made the scripts for this series from 1955 to 1967. He created the character of the masked Monsieur Choc, Tif and Tondu's biggest and most mysterious enemy. In addition to 'Tif et Tondu', Rosy cooperated on the scripts of some 'Spirou et Fantasio' stories with André Franquin ('Le Dictateur et le Champignon' in 1953, and 'Les Pirates du Silence' in 1955). He furthermore wrote a 'Jerry Spring' story for Jijé and some stories with 'Max l'Explorateur' for Bara. He created 'Attila', the talking dog, in 1967 (illustrated by Derib). In the late 1960s he opened a studio with Maurice Kornblum, who became his writing partner on 'Bobo' and 'Attila'.
Abstract comic story from Spirou #1465, 1966
Besides his work for Spirou, Rosy was involved the foundation of TVA Dupuis, the publisher's animation studios, and the launch of the Gag de Poche pocket series. Maurice Rosy left the field of comics and moved to Paris in 1974, where he began a career as an advertising artist and illustrator.
Through agencies like Grey, CLMBBDO, Havas and Accent, he has designed advertising campaigns for Malabar chewing gum, Vittel water and Chanel, among many other clients. He drew for papers and magazines like Le Monde (1979-1994) and Le Nouvel Observateur, and for children's magazines like J'Aime Lire, Pomme d'Api, Les Belles Histoires and Astrapi.
Rosy has made illustrations for children's book series published by Bayard Presse, Nathan, Bordas and Hatier, including works by Jacques Duquesne ('Candido mène l'enquête'), Jacqueline Held ('Croktou') and Béatrice Rouer ('Jennifer et Laetitia'). He sometimes returned to comic art, like for his Malabar campaign, the Mode section of Le Monde-Dimanche and the children's comics 'Lucas Ramel' and 'Basile'. The latter ran in Maximilien and was collected in two books by Nathan in 1993. Rosy and Kornblum's final 'Attila' script was finished by Didgé and published in Spirou in 1987.
Maurice Rosy passed away in his home in Paris on Saturday 23 February 2013. He was preparing his illustrated autobiography with Jean-Louis Bocquet on the occasion of the 75th birthday of Spirou magazine. Dupuis published it posthumously under the title 'Rosy c'est la vie!' in 2014. In that same year, Éric Maltaite and Stéphane Colman released the first volume of their spin-off graphic novel about the origins of Rosy's enigmatic 'Monsieur Choc'.