Ward De Graeve drew the oldtimers in the 'F.C. De Kampioenen' story 'De Rally van Tante Eulalie' (2008) by Hec Leemans.

Ward De Graeve, who sometimes uses "Warnold" or "Wurg" as pseudonyms, is a Belgian comic artist, children's book illustrator and painter. He has worked on various illustrated books based on Studio 100 TV shows, like 'Samson en Gert', as well as ones about the girl group K3. De Graeve has additionally been an assistant on the celebrity comic series 'F.C. De Kampioenen' by Hec Leemans and classic Flemish series like 'Suske en Wiske'. He was also an inker on Jean-Pol's 'Sammy' and Charel Cambré's 'Spring', 'De Pfaffs' and 'Jump'. 

Early life
Ward De Graeve was born in 1967 in the city of Ghent. Since childhood, De Graeve had a fascination for cars and other vehicles. One time, his parents went to the supermarket, while he stayed behind in their car. When they returned, he had drawn all the other cars on the parking lot. He was also intrigued by exciting car chases in classic Belgian comics, especially in the work of Tibet ('Ric Hochet'), Jidéhem ('Starter', 'Sophie') and André Franquin ('Spirou'). Although De Graeve likes all kinds of cars, he has a specific fondness for old-timers, since they are more fun to draw. He originally wanted to become a car designer, but since this required math, he studied applied graphics at the Sint-Lukas School of Arts in Brussels instead. Afterwards, he also studied animation in England for a year.

Early career
After graduation, De Graeve first worked as an advertising illustrator. With Lucas Charles, one of his colleagues from a Brussels advertising agency, he created the 1995 literary humor comic book 'Blue Tango - De Emoties van Van Stauffenberg' (Art-to-business & Medicom, 1995). Not satisfied with working in the advertising industry, he found a job more to his liking at publishing company De Ballon, where he designed labyrinths, coloring books and game books. Some of his labyrinth books were also distributed in the United States. For the Amsterdam children's book publisher Milamant, he illustrated two children's book titles by Maud Montijn, starring Ekki the hedgehog: 'Ekki Pikt Het Niet' (2005) and 'Ekki en de Baron van Otterdam' (2006).

'Blue Tango'. 

Studio 100
Eventually, De Graeve got a job as background artist and inker at the Belgian children's media company Studio 100, where one of his taskmasters, Jean-Pol, also turned out to be an automobile enthusiast. Later, he was part of Luc Morjaeu's team, that was responsible for all the artwork for Studio 100's print activities. De Graeve assisted on children's books based on the TV shows 'Samson en Gert' and 'Kabouter Plop', written by Bruno De Roover. He later worked on the spin-off picture books of 'Samson Baby'. Together with his colleagues Filip Heyninck, Peter Kustermans, Carl Dussart and Bruno De Roover, he also worked on merchandising art for the studio, including for the popular girl pop group K3. De Graeve and Kustermans were the illustrators for a series of how-to-read children's books built around K3. The books were written by authors Saskia Martens and Elly Simoens.

Assistance work
In addition to his dayjob, De Graeve has drawn the cars in the non-Studio 100 celebrity comic 'M-Kids' (2002-2004), drawn by Luc Morjaeu. At Studio 100, De Graeve also assisted Charel Cambré on comics based on the teen soap 'Spring' (2004-2007). He also inked some of Cambré's personal comic creations, 'De Pfaffs' (2004) and early albums of 'Jump' (2007-2008), and he additionally helped Jean-Pol with the inking of some 'Sammy' albums. De Graeve worked for Hec Leemans on the celebrity comic 'F.C. De Kampioenen', based on the popular TV sitcom of the same name. He inked the story 'Supermarkske Op Het Slechte Pad' (2007) and drew the oldtimers in the album 'De Rally van Tante Eulalie' (2008). For Studio Vandersteen, De Graeve has drawn backgrounds for 'Suske en Wiske', the popular children's series originally created by Willy Vandersteen, but since 2005 created by scriptwriter Peter van Gucht and lead artist Luc Morjaeu. One album, 'De Bangeschieters' (2006), was specifically requested by Morjaeu to Van Gucht, so that De Graeve could draw dozens of American cars.

Cars by Ward De Graeve in the 'Suske en Wiske' album 'De Bangeschieters' (2006) by Luc Morjaeu.

Graphic contributions
In 2010, Ward De Graeve made a graphic contribution to the collective comic book 'Jommekes Bij De Vleet' (2010), a homage to Jef Nys. Two years later, he was one of several artists to make a drawing for the booklet 'Building Bridges in Europe' (2012), published by the European Association of National Builders' Merchants Associations and Manufacturers (UFEMAT).

Besides being an illustrator, Ward De Graeve is active as a painter, with exhibitions in Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels.

Family in arts
Ward De Graeve is related to cartoonist Ian (Ian De Graeve), whose son, Sam De Graeve, also gained fame as columnist, cartoonist, journalist, chief editor of Humo (2010-2011) and creative director of TV production company Woestijnvis. De Graeve is also related to Bert De Graeve, managing director of the Flemish public TV channel VRT (1996-2002).

Contribution by "Wurg" to 'Building Bridges in Europe' (2012).


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