H.C. Andersen, by Thierry Capezzone
H. C. Andersen Junior #1 - 'Den Magiske Hat' (2003). 

Thierry Capezzone is a French comic artist, mostly active in the Danish comic book industry. Early in his career, he was present in Spirou magazine as assistant on the 'L'Agent 212' comic and as illustrator of the cartoon section 'Dingo-pubs' (co-created by Vincent Deporter). Together with Deporter and Michel Rodrigue, he also provided artwork for a reboot of the long-running comic series 'Les Pieds Nickelés'. Since his move to Denmark, Capezzone is best known for his award-winning comic series 'H.C. Andersen Junior' (2003-2010), written by Jan Rybka. This series, based on the life and fairy tales of famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, has been translated in several languages. He has additionally drawn many comic stories based on Danish history, and worked with several iconic characters for Scandinavian releases, including 'The Katzenjammer Kids', the inhabitants of the town Flåklypa and the anthropomorphic bear 'Rasmus Klump' ('Bruin' or 'Petzi' in English).

Early life and career
Thierry Capezzone was born in 1963 in Lyon, France, into a family with Italian roots. His passion for comics was the result of a kind deed he did as a child. When an old lady had to bring her groceries to her fifth-floor apartment, the nine year-old Capezzone helped carrying her stuff all the way up the stairs, since there wasn't an elevator. As a reward, the lady gave him several comic books she had stored in her closet. Among Capezzone's main graphic influences are Franco-Belgian comic creators like André Franquin, Jean Roba, Tibet, François Walthéry, Dupa, Raoul Cauvin, Willy Lambil, Morris, Gos and Pierre Seron, but also the Italian artists Giorgio Cavazzano and Federico Bertolucci. As a child, he copied entire albums by his artistic heroes, and later in life, he has continued to pay tribute to them by drawing fake cover illustrations for non-existent albums and post them on social media.

Two of the spoof 'Spirou' covers in the Franquin-style by Thierry Capezzone (fan art from 2020-2021).

Between 1981 and 1985, Capezzone studied mathematics at the Claude Bernard University in Lyon. His earliest published drawings appeared in the local newspaper Le Progrès de Lyon. At age 14, he created his first full comic book - heavily influenced by Pierre Seron - with the character 'Slimba le Marrant'. Years later, Capezzone self-published two comic books with this creation, 'Le Trésor des Temps Futurs' (1987) and 'Les 5 Doigts de l'Alcoran' (1989), using the Les Éditions Carpid imprint.

Franco-Belgian comics
Between 1992 and 1994, Capezzone worked for Spirou. He provided a couple of illustrations for editorial columns like 'BC BD' and 'ZigZag', and assisted Daniël Kox as an inker and occasional background artist on gags of his humorous police comic 'L'Agent 212'. Most of his contributions can be found in the albums 'Sauté de Poulet' (1992) and 'L'Appeau de L'Ours' (1994). At Spirou, Capezzone also got in touch with the cartoonist Vincent "Mike" Deporter, who became his mentor and a lifelong friend. Together, they created 'Les Dingo-pubs' (1993-1994), a cartoon series with fake advertisements, of which the first episode appeared in Spirou issue #2876 (26 May 1993) and the final one in issue #2929 (1 June 1994).

First 'Dingo-pub' by Capezzone and Deporter (Spirou #2876, 1993).

Together with Deporter, Capezzone also joined Michel Rodrigue in the production of new adventures with 'Les Pieds Nickelés' (1991-1992), the three French comic book scoundrels created in 1908 by Louis Forton and then drawn for decades by René Pellos. Using the collective pen name (Studio) Cadero, the team of Rodrigue-Deporter-Capezzone created three new albums for publisher Vents d'Ouest. In the following decades, Capezonne remained close to Vincent Deporter, who - while living in the USA - colored many of his friend's Danish projects.

'Skipper Clement' and 'Kongen og Munken'. 

H.C. Andersen Junior
In 1993, Capezzone moved to Denmark, settling in Copenhagen. Together with scriptwriter Jan Rybka, he developed the self-published children's fantasy comic 'H.C. Andersen Junior' (2003-2010). Using various fantasy elements, the series tells the adventures of the famous Danish children's writer Hans Christian Andersen during his childhood. The young Andersen owns a magic hat - given to him by his grandfather - which allows him to travel to a fairy tale world. There, he meets characters that will later inspire him to write his famous fairy tales, including the Little Mermaid, the Little Girl with the Matches and the Emperor with his New Clothes.

In Denmark, five albums have been released through Capezzone's own Carpid Forlag. The 'H.C. Andersen Junior' series won several awards and has been translated in French, Norwegian, German, Dutch, English, Czech and Vietnamese, and in 2019 the series was first released in the USA. For the first album in French translation, 'Le Chapeau Magique' ('The Magic Hat'), the cartoonist Batem wrote a foreword. Thierry Capezzone has also provided concepts and designs for a theme park built around Andersen's creations, including the logo.

'Daisy - en prinsesse i Danmark' (2014).

Comics about Scandinavian history
Besides Andersen, Capezzone has worked on several other comic projects based on Danish history and literature. Together with Jan Rybka, he also created two albums of 'Daniel og Alisha' (Geografforlaget, 2007-2008), a children's comic series for history education. Several of his later comic projects were based on historical characters. With Gert Jensen and Jørgen Jørgensen, he created a comic book about 16th-century Danish clergyman and bureaucrat 'Stygge Krumpen' (Forlaget Vendila, 2011). For Forlaget Cobolt, Capezzone created a comic book about Margaretha II of Denmark, 'Daisy - en prinsesse i Danmark' (2014, script by Erik Svane) and one about the Danish resistance leader Skipper Clement (2016, script by Jørgen Jørgensen). His 2017 book for Forlaget Cobolt, 'Kongen og Munken' ('The King and the Monk'), was set during the Danish transition to Protestantism in the 16th century and was co-created by Jørgen Jørgensen, Frank Rechter and Vincent Deporter. In 2015, Capezzone created 'På sporet af Kim' (Donovan Forlaget, 2015), a comic about the youth years of the Danish rock star Kim Larsen.


Classic characters
Capezzone has also been a frequent collaborator with the many special Christmas comic book releases of the Nordic publisher Egmont. With writer Haakon W. Isachen, Thierry Capezzone has been making comic books based on Kjell Aukrust's novel series about the fictional Norwegian village of Flåklypa, with its cast of idiosyncratic characters. Since 2015, the 'Flåklypa' comic series is released every year as special Christmas albums by Egmont Norway. Since 2016, Thierry Capezzone has also cleaned and reworked old episodes of Rudolph Dirks' iconic newspaper comic 'The Katzenjammer Kids' - known in Denmark as 'Knoll og Tott' - for other Christmas book releases by Egmont. In 2014, he additionally assisted the Danish cartoonist Henrik Rehr on that year's edition of the 'Knerten' Christmas comic, based on the Norwegian children's books by Anne-Catharina Vestly.

Since 2011, Thierry Capezzone is also a regular artist for the classic Danish children's comic 'Rasmus Klump', created originally by Vilhelm and Carla Hansen. After a first book in 2011 for Carlsen Forlag, he began working with scriptwriter Per Sanderhage on new comic stories with the little bear for the French publisher Éditions Caurette, where the series appears under the title 'Petzi' (2017- ). Although 'Rasmus Klump' was originally known for its picture story-format, with text captions underneath the images, these new stories are presented as balloon comics. Since 2021, Capezzone is also the series' writer and co-editor. After their initial French publication, the stories are then distributed internationally by publishers in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

'Petzi'/'Rasmus Klump', by Thierry Capezzone.

Non-Scandinavian comics
While most of Thierry Capezzone's post-2000 comic output was done for the Scandinavian market, he has also continued to work for other other European publishers. For the German ZACK magazine in 2011, he worked with the French scriptwriter François Corteggiani and editor Georg F.W. Tempel on short comic stories starring the gentleman-thief Rocambole, a 19th-century literary character created by Pierre Ponson du Terrail. In 2015, Capezzone drew the first children's comic album about a sporty but hairy kid called 'P'tit Chabal', scripted by Frederic Brrémaud and Michel Rodrigue for the French publisher Vents d'Ouest. The second installment, published in 2017, was drawn by Michel Janvier. Thierry Capezzone was also one of several artists to make a contribution to the collective comic book 'Concile à Bulles' (Collection Armarius, 2014), a one-shot was published at the occasion of the first edition of the Concile à Bules comics festival.

'Le P'tit Chabal' (2015).

Besides comics, Capezzone has also made cartoons, illustrations and animated shorts for advertising agencies, publishers and other Scandinavian media companies, such as publishers Meloni Forlag, Donovan Forlag and Fraus Publishing, as well as the TV station TV2 Fyn. For writer Nicklas Jákupsson, Capezzone illustrated a picture book about the two puffins 'Karlo og Luddi' (2014). In 2015, Capezzone made the drawings for the story book 'Kom við til Spæliland', which was part of a musical education project by Ingi Hansen. Both titles were distributed exclusively on the Faroe Islands. In collaboration with author Morten Myklebust, he illustrated the children's book series 'Gråtass' (Cappelen Damm Norway, 2015-2016), about an anthropomorphic tractor. Capezzone also livened up the pages of Cathrine Fabricius' children's book series 'Herbert Mysteriet på Perleøen' (CFK International, 2019), about a shoemaker and his centipede friend Conte von Svimmelhed. In 2020, he made the illustrations for the Christmas book 'Okkara Jólabók' by Niclas Heri Jákupsson.

Together with Danish cartoonist Peter Madsen, Thierry Capezzone compiled a guidebook about graphic storytelling, 'Tegn og fortæl' ("Draw and Tell", 2012), published by Carlsen Forlag. The authors cover the entire process of comic production, including style studies, research, story and character development, coloring, choice of materials and more.

Capezzone's 'H.C. Andersen Junior' series has been covered with awards over the years, including the Grand Prix Loge Andersen Odense (2004), the prizes for "Best Comic" and "Best Danish Artist' (2004-2005) as decided by the seriejournalen.dk website, the Prix Jeunesse for "Best Juvenile Comic" (2008) at the Festival Bédédcine of Illzach, the Norwegian School and Library Award (2011) and the Prix de la BD: Art Bubble (2014). His co-creation 'P'tit Chabal' won the 2015 Prix Jeunesse at the Festival of Fabreges, while 'Rasmus Klump and the Volcano' won him another Prix Jeunesse (2017) at the Festival of Illzach. On 19 November 2022, Thierry Capezzone was awarded the Grand Prix 2022 at the Bédéciné comics festival in Illzach, France.

Thierry Capzezzone (right), with Flåklypa's Ludvig (left).


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