François Bel had a large and fruitful career, which was almost entirely devoted to the publications of the Fleurus press group. He was born in Toulouse and made his professional debut in 1947 with the series 'Pat et Moune' in Âmes Vaillantes. This series about an adventurous brother and sister in a Hergé-inspired style was later continued in Fripounet et Marisette. The final story was published in 1971. Bel additionally created 'Phil et Jordi' in Coeurs Vaillants between 1956 and 1961. It dealt with the bookseller Phil, who inherits a sailboat and engages a shipmate called Jordi (and nicknamed Pompon Rouge). The graphics in this series were also very close to Hergé; even Jordi and his inseparable cat Biniou are clearly inspired by Tintin and his dog Milou. Jordi quickly became the star of the series, which was soon also referred to as 'Pompon Rouge'. It was continued in Fripounet et Marissette until 1964.
Pat et Moune
Bel made several short stories for Fripounet et Marissette from 1965 onwards. These stories starred characters like 'Miss Justine' (created with Dany François) and 'Sidonie Fleurdepois' (created with Claire Godet). He also made the science fiction series 'Zophyta', and a couple of funny animal stories. In 1971, Bel was present in Francs-Jeux with 'Pistil', an ecologically themed series. The artist passed away in 2009, but many of his classic stories have been reprinted in books by La Vache qui Médite since 2008.
F. Bel and his characters