Roch Rafale, by Yolande Canale
Roch Rafal - 'Le Faucon des Tropiques' (Dutch version, published in Robbedoes #1322, 1963).

Yolande Canale - AKA Yo Canale - was a French illustrator and comic artist, who worked in animation with Paul Grimault and illustrated the comic serial 'Roch Rafal' (1963) in Spirou magazine.

Illustrator/background painter
Not much is known about Canale's life and career. In 1947, she drew 'Placide et Goumi', a children's picture book based on an animated film by P. Rondelet and Jean Vercammen, published in Paris by Éditions Bias. Around the same period, she was also a background painter for animation, working with the animator Paul Grimault on a film adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale 'The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep' ('La Bergère et le Ramoneur'). However, production was suddenly put to a halt and the project shelved until 1952, when the producer released the unfinished film without approval of Grimault or screenwriter Jacques Prévert.

Cover of 'Place et Goumi' (Éditions Bias-Paris, 1947).

Roch Rafal
Canale was the first wife of the comic artist Gérald Forton, with whom she moved to Brussels, Belgium. From 1952 on, Forton became a regular contributor to Spirou, and by 1963, she was also present in the pages of this magazine, drawing the pirate comic serial 'Roch Rafal'. Written by Jean-Jacques Marine - also the scriptwriter of several series drawn by Canale's husband - Roch Rafal is a 17th-century filibuster who collides with the Spanish forces in the Caribbean Sea. As a reward for his heroism, he is knighted by Louis XIV, and becomes a privateer in service of the throne. Because of problems between Canale and her publisher, she only drew the first 'Roch Rafal' episode, 'Le Faucon des Tropiques' ("The Falcon of the Tropics", 1963). The second and final installment, 'A Pleines Voiles vers l'Aventure' ("Full Sail Towards Adventure", 1964) was drawn by Jacques Métayer.

Further career
Gérald Forton and Yolande Canale later returned to France, where the couple collaborated on the historical comic strip 'Rodric et les Cathares' (1975-1976), serialized in the regional newspaper La Dépêche du Midi. In a 2006 e-mail to Lambiek, Mr. Forton said his ex-wife worked for "The Claude François Magazine" in the 1970s, probably meaning either Podium or Absolu, two magazines published by the French pop singer Claude François. Yolande Canale and Gérald Forton divorced either before or after Forton's 1980 move to the United States.

Roch Rafale, by Yolande Canale
Roch Rafal - 'Le Faucon des Tropiques' (Dutch version, published in Robbedoes #1328, 1963).

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