Billy the Cat by Stephan Colman
Billy the Cat

Stéphan Colman is a Belgian comic book artist and writer, best known as the original artist of 'Billy the Cat'. Born Stéphane Colman in Liège, he got his artistic interests through his grandfather, the painter Robert Crommelinck. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Liège, after presenting his work to Jijé. He published his first story ('Marsouin Pedzouille') in magazine Aïe! in 1980. He also contributed to the rock magazine En Attendent. After his military service, he made his solo comic 'White... le Choc!', that was published by Magic Strip in 1981. He then worked with the painter Fernand Flausch on 'Radical Café, that was also published by Magic Strip.

Together with writer Stephen Desberg, he made a first rendition of his future series 'Billy the Cat' in a 20 page short story for magazine Spirou in 1982.

He was one of several artists to make a graphic contribution to 'Baston Labaffe no. 5: La Ballade des Baffes’ (Goupil, 1983), an official collective parody comic of  André Franquin’s 'Gaston Lagaffe’. 

White... le Choc, by Stéphane Colman
White... le Choc

Next, Colman left the comic world for several years to work in the advertising field. In 1988, he became artistic director of the ICOM, a company that conceives videoclips and communication films for among others MTV. In 1987, he returned to comics with a new version of 'Billy the Cat', again in cooperation with Desberg and for the magazine Spirou. The popularity of this series led to a TV cartoon series, which began in 1997. Colman eventually handed over the artwork of 'Billy the Cat' to Péral in 2002.

A year later, he drew 'Sam Speed' in cooperation with Batem from a script by Madeline and Mo/CDM for La Sirène. Colman has written new books with the character himself since 2010, for which the artwork was done by Batem and Éric Maltaite. Further developing himself as a scriptwriter, Colman writes the scripts for Batem's 'Marsupilami' albums since 2006 and for Steve Cuzor's 'O'Boys' since 2012. In 2014 he wrote a spin-off to the classic 'Tif et Tondu' series, depicting the origins of the series' main villain, Monsieur Choc. 'Choc' was drawn by Éric Maltaite, the son of longtime 'Tif et Tondu' artist Will.

In July 2000 'Billy the Cat' received his own mural in the Rue d'Ophem/Oppemstraat 24 in Brussels, as part of the Brussels' Comic Book Route. 

Billy the Cat by Stephane Colman
Billy the Cat #5 - L'Oeil du Maître (1997)

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