Charles Degotte was a longtime comic artist and lay-out man for Spirou magazine, and the creator of the 'Flagada' bird. Born in Verviers, he eventually settled in Brussels. After having worked in the decoration atelier of a department store for several years, he found employment with the art studio of the publishing house Dupuis. He made several editorial illustrations for the magazine Spirou, and was engaged with the magazine's lay-out. He also wrote several children's books in the Collection du Carrousel between 1966 and 1968 (including one in cooperation with his wife Luce), and also participated in several projects of the animation department TVA Dupuis. He worked on the first adaptations of the 'Smurfs' for TV, and developed the characters 'Les Zippies' for Belgian television.
Starting in 1961, he also produced a great many short stories and mini-books for Spirou, that starred a wacky bird with a propeller called the 'Flagada'. It became Degotte's most enduring character, and although Dupuis never published the comic in book format, the bird remained a regular feature in Spirou throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. An emblematic character, the 'Flagada' was often featured in Franquin's 'Gaston' gags, appearing on posters, as a piece of merchandise, and a even as a costume.
The 'Flagada' started out in the mini-books section in 1961, but also appeared in the magazine's regular pages from 1966, including several short stories, a series of gags under the title 'Le flagada et les pépins de la pêche' (1968-1974) and two serials, 'Emilius le terrible' (1979) and 'Le martin bêcheur' (1982). In the late 1970s, Degotte was regularly aided by Bom for the scriptwriting. It wasn't until 1981 that Éditions Pepperland issued the first book collection in 1981, followed by books published by M.C. Productions, Dargaud and Le Coffre à BD.
In 1984, he created 'Les Motards', an absurd gag series about a group of anthropomorphic bikers, that he wrote and drew until his death. Dupuis collected the gags in ten books between 1986 and 1993. Having suffered from a long depression, Charles Degotte took his own life on 20 April 1993.