L'Élève Ducobu, artwork by Godi
Zidrou was one of the most versatile scriptwriters of humorous comic strips for the magazine Spirou in the 1990s, and the co-creator of children's series like 'L'Élève Ducobu', 'Tamara' and 'Margot et Oscar Pluche'. He later also specialized in graphic novels and thrillers.
Born Benoît Drousie in Anderlecht, Brussels, he studied to become a teacher, a profession that he exercised for six years. Zidrou joined the magazine Spirou in the Christmas issue of 1991, with a short story illustrated by Carine De Brab. The following year, he set up a scriptwriter's studio with his friend Falzar, and the duo presented their work to several publishers under the pseudonym Les Potaches. One of their first accepted works was the children's series 'Margot et Oscar Pluche', a project in cooperation with Carine De Brab, and published by Casterman since 1992. The series was continued by Dupuis under the title 'Sac à Puces' between 1999 and 2008.
Sac à Puces, artwork by Carine De Brab
Among Zidrou's early work for Spirou are countless short stories illustrated by artists like Wasterlain, Dan, Saive, Deliège, Darasse, Blatte, Duchazeau, E411, Guilhem, and a great many more. In 1995, Zidrou began 'Les Crannibales' with Fournier. A year later, he came up with 'Barbara Sleepless', illustrated by Olivier Wozniak. 1997 marked the arrival of 'Le Boss', Zidrou's parodying gag series on the editor-in-chief of Spirou, illustrated by Philippe Bercovici until 2007. Some shortlived series followed the next year, such as 'Maître Corbac' with E411 and 'Johnny Têtard' with Blatte. Another popular creation was the chubby teenage girl 'Tamara Boula' with Darasse in 2001. With Matteo he set up his first more realistic adventure serials 'Mèche Rebelle' (2002-2004) and 'ProTECTO' (2006-2011).
Tamara, artwork by Darasse
With Godi, he made the gag strip 'Suivez la Guide' for Spirou in 1995, before creating their lazy student 'L'Élève Ducobu' for Lombard in 1997. It was for his series, that Zidrou could draw inspiration from his experiences as a teacher. Zidrou is also the author of several children's books, that have been published by Casterman, Nathan and Hachette, such as the 'Petit Dagobert' series, that is illustrated by Godi.
Zidrou and De Brab continued their collaboration in the new millennium with 'Choco' (Casterman, 2000-2003) and 'Zigo le Clown' (Milan, 2011). Other more recent humour/children's series include 'Scott Zombi' with Pierre-Yves Gabrion (Casterman, 2002-2004), 'Schumi' with E411 (Paquet, 2011), 'Boule à Zéro' with Serge Ernst (Bamboo, 2012) and 'Djizus' in Fluide Glacial with Jardí and Ariño. Zidrou was furthermore involved in the revival of classic Spirou series like Degotte's 'Le Flagada' with Bercovici (Glénat, 2008-2009) and Roba's 'La Ribambelle' with Jean-Marc Krings (Dargaud, 2011).
He also ventured into more adult scripts for the publishing houses Dargaud and Lombard, including 'Lydie' for Jordi Lafebre (2010), 'Le Montreur d'Histoires' with Raphaël Beuchot (2011), the graphic novel 'La Peau de l'Ours' with Oriol Hernández (2012), the World War I story 'Les Folies Bergère' with Francis Porcel (2012) and 'Marina' with Matteo. With Ludo Borecki and Benoît Ers he created the thriller series 'Tueurs de mamans' for Dupuis in 2013.
Les Folies Bergère, artwork by Francis Porcel