Yvan Delporte
Yvan Delporte at his desk. Photo by Yvon Beaugier.

Yvan Delporte was a Belgian comic editor, writer and translator, most famous as editor-in-chief of Spirou during the heyday of this comic weekly (1955-1968). During his tenure, the pages of the Belgian weekly were filled by artists who defined the classic "School of Marcinelle", with André Franquin, Morris, Peyo, Will, Maurice Tillieux, Jean Roba and Jidéhem being the main representatives. Delporte's free spirit and preference for crazy ideas paved the way for a new editorial direction, introducing initiatives like the mini-comic books in the magazine's center, special thematic issues and the fictionalized depictions of Spirou's offices in editorials and comics like Franquin's 'Gaston Lagaffe'. Delporte provided the scripts for several comics, not only for Spirou, but also for other magazines. He shook up Spirou's readership once again in 1977 with the creation of the "adults only" comic supplement Le Trombone Illustré. In 1980, he was the instigator of the Upchic (Union Professionelle des Créateurs d'Histoires en Images et de Cartoons), the first special interest group specifically for French-language Belgian comic artists. With his colorful persona and out-of-the-box creativity, Yvan Delporte was one of the most defining figures in post-war Belgian comics.

Drawing by Yvan Delporte
Delporte and his friends, drawn by Yvan Delporte.

Early life and career
Yvan Delporte was born in 1928 in Saint-Gilles, a town in the Brussels region. During the Second World War, he moved with his mother to Charleroi. This industrial town had access to coal, something that was rare to find during the war years. An avid reader since early childhood, Delporte came from a family with artistic talents. His cousins were painter/sculptor Charles Delporte and composer/author Paul Louka. Yvan Delporte started frequenting the artistic circles of Charleroi, surrounding himself with a group of friends that included future comic scriptwriter Maurice Rosy, Nicolas Klechkowski, who later became a bass player, and Gaston Mostraet, who wrote surreal poetry. The group had its own magazine, La Sarbacane, for which Delporte was both editor and illustrator.

Delporte was known for his eccentric look and personality, characterized by an anarchist and provocative nature. He had a big black bushy beard and usually wore hand-knitted pull-overs with a giant letter "Y" on it. While other youngsters were interested in sports, Delporte preferred reading James Thurber and Sigmund Freud, and also being an avid fan of Edmond Rostand's 'Cyrano de Bergerac'. In his younger years, Delporte also drew cartoons, mostly for his own amusement. Up until the mid-1950s he regularly made drawings about his personal life.

Rosy and Delporte
Yvan Delporte tells Maurice Rosy about Freud, from Rosy's autobiography 'C'est La Vie!' (Dupuis, 2014).

In the late 1940s, Yvan Delporte landed his first job as a photographer in the printery of Éditions Dupuis, the publisher of magazines Bonnes Soirées, Le Moustique and Spirou. He was later also assigned to retouch (actually: censor violent scenes) the American comic strips published in the children's comic magazine Spirou, such as Clarence Gray's 'Brick Bradford'. Since he knew English, Delporte also served as translator, and in addition did lay-out work for both Spirou and Le Moustique. By 1948, Delporte had his own section in Le Moustique called 'Le Pithécanthrope', which he signed with a cartouche resembling a duck. He also provided occasional cover illustrations and cartoons to Le Moustique and its Flemish counterpart Humoradio.

Le MoustiqueBij de Dokter, from Humoradio
Cover illustration for Le Moustique (15 August 1948) and cartoon page (1949) for Le Moustique/Humoradio.

Early scriptwriting
In the late 1940s, Delporte wrote his first comic scripts. For Spirou, he penned down three long serials featuring their action-adventure hero 'Jean Valhardi', drawn by Eddy Paape: 'Le Roc du Diable' (1949), 'Á La Poursuite de Max Clair' (1949) and 'Chez les Êtres de la Forêt' (1950). Although his talent had not come into full bloom yet, elements of Delporte's typical sense for satire and irony were already present in his 'Valhardi' scripts. Between 1953 and 1955, his career was interrupted due to his military service.

Delporte by Chaland
Chaland and Yann describe the goofy side of Delporte in their contribution to 'Les Histoires Merveilleuses des Oncles Paul' (Vents d'Ouest, 1986).

Editorship of Spirou (1955-1968)
Back in civilian life in 1955, Yvan Delporte returned to Dupuis, where he was appointed editor-in-chief of Spirou, although working under strict supervision of the fatherly head of the publishing company, Charles Dupuis. Since its launch in 1938, Spirou established itself as one of the leading comic magazines in Belgium, with creators like Jijé, André Franquin, Morris and Will boosting the magazine's overall quality in the post-war period. From the start, Spirou magazine had built up a strong connection with its readership through its strong editorial content, spearheaded by the unofficial first editor-in-chief, Jean Doisy. By the time the inventive and experimental Yvan Delporte was put in charge, the magazine grew to even greater heights, entering its "Golden Age".

One of Delporte's first acts was moving Spirou's editorial offices from the publisher's Marcinelle homebase to the Galerie du Centre in Brussels. At this new address, Georges Troisfontaines' World Presse agency - the main provider of realistic comics to Spirou - was nearby. This new central location of the editorial offices made it more inviting for Spirou's artists to drop by, enhancing the collective team spirit. The atmosphere of creativity and camaraderie was soon reflected in Spirou's pages. Delporte's friend Maurice Rosy became the magazine's art director and general "man-of-ideas". In 1958, Delporte and Rosy decided to include small supplement comic books to the center pages of Spirou's issues. These fold-in "mini comic books" ("mini-récits") became a showcase for new artists and characters. Over the years, if a feature in the mini-comics section caught on, it was then transferred to Spirou's regular pages. Many of the artists whose careers were launched in Spirou's mini comics came from Dupuis' in-house art studio, such as Louis Salvérius, Charles Degotte, Eddy Ryssack, Serge Gennaux, Jacques Devos and Lucien De Gieter.

Several other artists were introduced during Delporte's reign. Marcel Remacle started out with the 'Bobosse' feature, for which Delporte wrote the scripts, and then made his mark with the pirate comic 'Le Vieux Nick et Barbe-Noire' (1958-1990). Both Jidéhem and Jean Roba became Franquin's co-workers, before launching their own respective series 'Sophie' and 'Boule et Bill'. Coming over from competing magazine Tintin, Raymond Macherot brought his poetic funny animal worlds to Spirou with his series 'Chaminou' (1964) and 'Sibylline' (1965-1990). Production artist Willy Lambil debuted with the Australian adventure series 'Sandy et Hoppy' (1959-1974), and in 1972 became the second artist of the publisher's hit series 'Les Tuniques Bleues'. Delporte had an eye for the more innovative artists. He wrote 'Saki et Zunie' (1958) for René Hausman, an artist whose poetic and artistic style deviated from the more traditional Spirou comics. Delporte also introduced the work of the female cartoonist Claire Bretécher to the readers of Spirou. Since Delporte was bilingual, Flemish and Dutch artists also got the opportunity to publish in Spirou. Berck moved over from Tintin and drew the comic about the Irish-American towboat captain 'Mulligan' (1968), based on scripts by Delporte and Raymond Macherot. Spirou also published 'Judge Tie' (1967) by Dutch authors Frits Kloezeman and Robert van Gulik, and the work of young Dutch talents like Rob Peters and Jules Deelder.

Spirou's Tintin coverTintin's Spirou cover
April Fool's day 1965: The covers of Spirou magazine (left) and Tintin magazine (right) are switched to confuse readers. The Spirou cover, drawn by Maurice Tillieux, resembles the lay-out of a Tintin issue. On the cover appear (from left to right): Puce with a water pistol and below him Alfred the penguin (from Alain Saint-Ogan's 'Zig et Puce), Tibet's Ric Hochet firing corks, Steve Warson behind the wheel (from Jean Graton's 'Michel Vaillant'), Prosciutto (from Dino Attanasio's 'Signor Spaghetti'), Albert Weinberg's Dan Cooper, Jean Graton's Michel Vaillant, Dino Attanasio's Signor Spaghetti and Tillieux' Gil Jourdan with a tiny-sized Libellule and Inspector Crouton. In the Spirou logo Tintin's slogan "For readers between 7 and 77' is changed to "For readers from 0 to 7 and 77 to 107." The Tintin cover mimicks the lay-out of Spirou, complete with a parody of André Franquin's 'Gaston Lagaffe', drawn by Dino Attanasio.

During Delporte's tenure as editor, Spirou's pages were livened up with contests, special thematic issues (with content rising up to 100 pages) and playful editorial articles. The double-sized seasonal issues contained extra comics and beautiful covers. Delporte also toyed with the friendly rivalry between Spirou and its main competitor, Tintin magazine. For instance, he wrote several articles about a fictional argument between the artists Tibet (Tintin) and Morris (Spirou). The 1965 April Fools' Day issues of Spirou and Tintin were each printed with covers in the lay-outs of their adversary.

Yvan Delporte fait une apparition dans Gaston Lagaffe
Yvan Delporte and Pinky the lion, by André Franquin.

During his editorship, Delporte continued to provide scripts for Spirou's comic content, most often to help a new generation of artists on its way. With Gerald Forton, he created the science fiction serial 'Alain Cardan' (1957-1959), first for Spirou's short-lived tabloid-sized sister magazine Risque-Tout, then for Spirou itself. In a near future when Earth is colonizing planets in the solar system, Alain Cardan is one of the "sky detectives'' of the CIR, a fictional international research center of the United Nations, whose mission is defending our planet from powerful organizations wishing to conquer space and take control of Earth. For Jidéhem, Delporte wrote the first comic stories with 'Starter', the mascot of Spirou magazine's automobile section. After the fold-in mini-books 'La Révolte des Autos' (1959) and 'L'Histoire de l'Automobile' (1960), Delporte also wrote the character's first full-length adventure 'Starter contre les Casseurs' (1961). In later years, Starter became a secondary character in Jidéhem's signature series 'Sophie', which the artist created on his own or in collaboration with scriptwriter Vicq. For Jean Roba, Delporte wrote a couple of short stories for his kids gang comic 'La Ribambelle', as well as the children's book 'Boule et Bill en Pique-nique' (1966) in the Dupuis book collection Caroussel. Between 1967 and 1972, Yvan Delporte and Jean Roba collaborated on the editorial section 'L'Avis de chien de Bill', in which Bill the dog - from Roba's family gag comic 'Boule et Bill' - observes human behavior from a dog's perspective. In 1966, Delporte also served as scriptwriter for the third adventure of Peyo's 'Benoît Brisefer', the superstrong boy who loses his powers when he gets a cold.

Gaston Lagaffe
As writer, editor and provider of ideas, Delporte was most notably involved in the launch of two of Europe's most iconic comic book properties. The first was 'Gaston Lagaffe', Franquin's ever-goofing anti-hero, who first intruded into Spirou's editorial sections in 1957. Delporte's friend Gaston Mostraert inspired the character's first name, but his playful personality likely owed more to Delporte himself. 'Gaston' eventually starred in a series of gag pages set in the fictionalized offices of Spirou, drawn by Franquin and Jidéhem, but also in a series of editorials written by Delporte. This further increased the joyful atmosphere surrounding the magazine, as the readers got an alleged look behind-the-scenes at the ins and outs of their magazine. Some of the wackier gags in 'Gaston' were even based on reality, such as Gaston's tendency to bring animals to the office. Once, the Spanish artist José Larraz needed a picture of a lion to document himself for his comic series 'Michaël'. To help him out, Delporte hired an actual lion cub named "Pinky" and let it play around at the office for a few weeks. Even the horse and chimpanzees that once surprised Gaston's fictional colleagues had visited Spirou's headquarters in real life.

'Gaston Lagaffe' and 'The Smurfs'. 

The Smurfs 
The second important launch with Delporte's participation in Spirou was Peyo's tribe of blue good-natured dwarfs, 'Les Schtroumpfs' ('The Smurfs'). The characters had made their debut in Peyo's medieval series 'Johan et Pirlouit', but in 1959 they got their own spin-off series in the mini-books section. Delporte wrote many scripts for the 'Smurfs' series, which soon surpassed all Peyo's other creations in terms of popularity. The result was a large merchandising line, and animated series of TV cartoons; the first being developed as early as 1959 by TVA Dupuis. The feature film 'La Flûte a six Schtroumpfs' was produced by Dupuis-Belvision and released in 1975. It was an adaptation of the 'Johan et Pirlouit' story of the same name, in which the Smurfs had made their debut. Delporte and Peyo both participated in writing the script for this film. Delporte's role was of such importance, that his name was mentioned alongside Peyo's name as co-creator on the credits of the American animated 'Smurfs' series by Hanna-Barbera in the 1980s. In 1989, Delporte was the editor of Schtroumpf Magazine, a new publication built around Peyo's dwarfs. After Peyo's death in 1992, Delporte was also involved in writing new stories starring 'Johan et Pirlouit', drawn by Alain Maury.

Isabelle by Delporte and WillArnest Ringard by Delporte, Franquin and Jannin
'Isabelle' and 'Arnest Ringard'. 

Despite his creative inventiveness, Delporte's tenure as editor-in-chief came to an end in 1968. His casual way of dealing with deadlines, provocative nature and free-spirited approach to the financial aspects of his work made him less popular with the publisher's board of directors. The global student demonstrations of May 1968 made older generations nervous, so the last thing Dupuis wanted was a rebellious editor who corrupted young readers. According to legend, Delporte was fired after writing a macabre parody advertisement, spoofing the Belgian army recruitment campaigns. Dupuis' directors felt this was highly disrespectful and in bad taste. All in all, 1968 is considered by many a disastrous year for Spirou. Besides Delporte leaving, Franquin quit drawing the magazine's title comic 'Spirou et Fantasio' and Morris transferred his popular cowboy comic 'Lucky Luke' to Pilote magazine by Éditions Dargaud. Although Spirou kept selling in the following decades, introducing many new and popular series, the magazine's Golden Age was over. In the meantime, Delporte had to seek work elsewhere. One of his new jobs was performing in the radio show 'Du Sel sur la Queue' as the bard Honoré Delbouille, who gave his satirical views on the Walloon population.

Isabelle and other Spirou scriptwork
After his official discharge, Delporte continued to do scriptwork for Spirou, most notably co-creating the poetic and magical series 'Isabelle' (1969-1994), drawn by Will. Part of a wave of female comic heroes in Spirou's pages, 'Isabelle' was a perfect blend of the series' two scriptwriters: the craziness of Yvan Delporte and the poetic streak of Raymond Macherot. 'Isabelle' is a young red-headed girl from a small French coastal town, who is constantly confronted with the magic surrounding her. Her aunt Ursule however is completely oblivious to all the supernatural happenings, and predominantly occupied with baking cakes and making sure her niece is dressed warmly enough. The first stories are poetic tales about a man living in a painting ('Isabelle et le Tableau Enchanté', 1970), a sea captain with a wishing pipe ('Isabelle et le Capitaine', 1971) and a fairy babysitter ('Isabelle et la Petite Fée au pair', 1974). The comic's true plunge into fantasy came with the addition of André Franquin to the writers team. 'Les Maléfices de l'Oncle Hermès' (1975) marked the introduction of Isabelle's great-great-uncle of the seventh generation Hermès, a magician with goat legs. He becomes a regular cast member after Isabelle frees him from a magical lamp, where he was cursed into by the evil witch Kalendula. He then marries the beautiful Calendula, the descendant of the evil witch, and the pair become the instigators of many future adventures (although aunt Ursule never noticed that). Will could fully enjoy himself drawing monsters, mythical creatures, underwater worlds, floating islands, elves, magical forests and even Hades itself in the most poetical way. Macherot left the team after 'L'Astragale de Cassiopée' (1976), and Franquin after 'L'Envoûtement' (1985), leaving Will and Delporte to make the remaining albums as a duo until the series was canceled because of disappointing sales in 1994.

With André Franquin, Delporte also scripted 'Arnest Ringard et Augraphie' for Frédéric Jannin, a comical series of short stories about the ongoing battle between a man and a mole (1978-1980, 1993-1995). He also provided gag ideas to Jannin's 1980s gag series about generation gap, 'Germain et Nous', and he also wrote the fantasy stories about 'Les Puzzolettis' for Carine De Brabanter (1987-1988).

Colin ColasSteven Severijn
'Colin Colas' and 'Steve Severin'.

After leaving Spirou, Yvan Delporte also expanded his horizon by working for other magazines, most notably Pep of the Dutch publishing house De Geïllustreerde Pers (part of the VNU group). His first contribution was 'Bandonéon', drawn by Dino Attanasio (1970-1972). The main character was a romantic gaucho who travels the South American Pampas with his guitar. Four stories were produced and published in album format by Semic/Centripress. Delporte also brought along the French cartoonist Claire Bretécher to Pep's pages, for whom he wrote the adventures of 'Alfred de Wees' ('Fernand l'Orphelin', 1971-1972), a cynical humor comic about an opportunistic and self-pitying orphan boy. At Pep, Yvan Delporte was also paired with Dutch artists, such as Peter de Smet, for whom he wrote the adventures of the girl detective 'Anna Tommy, Detective' (1972), and with Peter van Straaten, with whom he set up 'Llewellyn Fflint' (1972-1973), about a late Victorian scientist who solves mysteries with pseudo-scientific explanations. Although Van Straaten, who was mainly a newspaper cartoonist, effectively brought the dark and misty streets of London to life, the format of the classic comic strip didn't suit him, and he called it quits after three stories. Decades later, in 2016, the artist Fred de Heij and scriptwriter Ger Apeldoorn revived 'Llewelyn Fflint' in the pages of the Stripglossy.

By the time Pep merged with the magazine Sjors into the new comic magazine Eppo, Yvan Delporte rejoined René Follet as scriptwriter of the first adventure of 'Steven Severijn', a Hector Malot-like epic about a young boy who gets separated from his mother and sister during their emigration from Rotterdam to the USA. Further episodes were written by Jacques Stoquart and Gerard Soeteman.

French and German magazines
For the French Le Journal de Mickey, Delporte teamed up with Jean Malac to co-write scripts about the caveman 'Onkr, l'Abonimable Homme des Glaces' ("Onkr, the Abominable Ice Age Man") for artist Tenas during its final years (1970-1972). With the artist René Follet, he subsequently made 'Les Zingari' (1971-1973), about a group of 19th-century Roma people with their traveling circus. The stories of ten pages in length were originally published in Le Journal de Mickey between 1971 and 1973 and then reprinted with new coloring and amended artwork in Spirou between 1985 and 1987. In 1979, Delporte wrote stories with the 17th-century cabin boy 'Brammetje Bram' (the original Dutch title) for Eddy Ryssack, which by then appeared in the international Koralle publications Zack (Germany, as 'Pittje Pit') and Super As (France, as 'Colin Colas').

Le Trombone Illustré
Header for Le Trombone Illustré by Franquin.

Le Trombone Illustré
In 1977, Delporte returned to Dupuis once again with the launch of Le Trombone Illustré, an "adults only" tabloid-sized supplement to Spirou, co-created with André Franquin. First appearing on 17 March 1977 and proclaiming complete independence, Le Trombone featured pitch black comedy and subversive satire. Indeed, much of the biting and at times blasphemous content deviated heavily from the good-natured and child-friendly humor of the regular Spirou weekly, printed by the Catholic publishing house Dupuis. Each week, Franquin created Le Trombone Illustré's beautiful header illustrations, presenting a crowd of characters. Some are familiar, like the Marsupilami, others are new, like the bishop who constantly finds new uses for his crosier. The same bunch of characters reappeared on each cover, but in different situations, maintaining a certain continuity. For instance, a recurring character on these headers was a heavy smoker, who gradually got ill. As his health deteriorated throughout several successive covers, the man died and was carried to his grave.

As could be expected with such cynicism, Le Trombone Illustré lasted only a couple of months. On 20 October 1977, publisher Dupuis terminated the supplement after only thirty issues. But by then, Franquin and Delporte had written history once again. The paper presented out-of-the-box comics by Spirou stalwarts like Jean Roba, René Hausman and Sirius, and also introduced Spirou's readership to a host of artists from the alternative or adult comics scene, such as Didier Comès, Claire Brétécher, F'murr, Grzegorz Rosinski and Jacques Tardi. Fréderic Jannin and Thierry Culliford's gag strip 'Germain et Nous' continued as a weekly feature in Spirou magazine until 1992. In 1980, Dupuis released a full hardcover collection of all Trombone issues. It was reprinted in 2009. A 2005 landscape-format book by Marsu Productions compiled all the magazine headers created by André Franquin.

Schtroumpf magazineJohan et Pirlouit
'The Smurfs' and 'Johan and Peewit'.

In 1980, Yvan Delporte initiated the Upchic (Union Professionelle des Créateurs d’Histoires en Images et de Cartoons), the first special interest organization for Belgian comic creators. Among the co-founders and members were André Franquin (vice president), Tibet (president), Delporte (secretary), Jean Van Hamme, Yves Duval, Pévé and Morris. While it was often called a syndicate, the founders stressed that they weren't, though through membership fees they did pay legal defense in case of disputes between cartoonists and publishers. Upchic often worked together with its Flemish counterpart, the Stripgilde, initiated by Danny De Laet, Berck and Eddy Ryssack. Together, they initiated and sponsored the establishment of the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels in 1989. The Upchic also had its own bulletin, which contained open-hearted opinions by professional cartoonists about the industry. In the long run, it caused so much controversy that Upchic not only lost support, but also members and income. By 1997, the organization ceased to be.

Written contributions
Yvan Delporte wrote the foreword to Cabu's comic book 'Camille-le-camé Contre Mon Beauf' (Le Square - Albin Michel, 1981) and 'Baston Labaffe no. 5: La Ballade des Baffes' (Goupil, 1983), an official collective parody comic of André Franquin's 'Gaston Lagaffe'. He also penned a foreword to Jean-Claude De La Royère and Watch's 'Spirou Connection' (Récréabull, 1986), a cartoon series paying homage to famous comic series from Spirou. Delporte scripted a short comic for the collective comic book 'Allez Coucher, Sales Bêtes' (Dupuis, 1991), illustrated by René Hausman. He paid tribute to Nikita Mandryka in the collective comic book 'Tronches de Concombre' (Dupuis, 1995).

Delporte was a productive comics translator. For Maurice Rosy's pocket books collection 'Gags de Poche', Delporte translated Charles M. Schulz's 'Peanuts' and Walt Kelly's 'Pogo' for a French-speaking audience. In later years, he translated Dutch-language comics like Marvano's 'Dallas Barr' and 'De Eeuwige Oorlog' ('The Eternal War'), as well as Wim T. Schippers and Theo van den Boogaard's 'Sjef van Oekel', into French.

During his lifetime, Delporte received several awards. In 1973, he and Peyo won the Prix Saint-Michel for "Best Humor Script" for the satirical Smurfs episode 'Schtroumpf Vert et Vert Schtroumpf'. In 1978, he received the Grand Prix Saint-Michel for his role in the creation of Le Trombone Illustré. Together with Frédéric Jannin, he was awarded yet another Prix Saint-Michel in 2007, this time the Press Prize for 'Arnest Ringard et Augraphie'.

Final years and death
In old age, Delporte remained interested in wacky ideas, while serving as a cult figure among Spirou's creators team. Starting in 1995, he performed as a singer in an all-star band of comic creators, named The Boys Band (Dessinée), a pun on the French word for comic strip ("bande dessinée"). Apart from Delporte, the other band members were young cartoonists like Janry, Bruno Gazzotti, Fabrizio Borrini, Batem and Midam. In his later years, Deporte remained interested in modern and experimental comics, especially the ones made by artists of the French avant-garde publishing house L'Association, such as Lewis Trondheim. He participated in exhibitions and wrote articles about comics. In the 2000s, he also wrote stage shows for the Théâtre de Proche in Brussels. Yvan Delporte passed away in 2007 at age 78.

Boys Band Dessinée
Yvan Delporte with the Boys Band (Dessinée).

Legacy and influence
As the driving force behind one of the most creative periods of Spirou magazine, Yvan Delporte ranks as one of the most influential people in the post-war Belgian comic industry. His importance went beyond his role of editor, scriptwriter and translator. He created a jovial atmosphere that tightened the bond between Spirou's contributors and its readers. His contributions were part of the magazine's Golden Age, of which he is often seen as a symbolizing figure. His colorful persona and appearance have been captured by many of his colleagues; many Franco-Belgian comic artists gave the editor-in-chief with the characteristic beard and toggle coat a guest appearance in their comic stories. During the 1960s, his looks for instance inspired the sly barbarian Payasson from Marcel Remacle and Marcel Denis' 'Hultrasson le Viking' (1964-1973). Delporte was also featured prominently in Yves Chaland and Yann's contribution to the collective comic book 'Les Histoires Merveilleuses des Oncles Paul' (Vents d'Ouest, 1986). In the late 1990s, Marc Sleen and Dirk Stallaert gave their newspaper comic strip hero Nero a bearded grandfather named Bompanero, whose looks strongly resembled Yvan Delporte's.

Spirou magazine has known several editors-in-chiefs since Delporte's discharge: Thierry Martens (1969-1977), Alain De Kuyssche (1978-1982), Philippe Vandooren (1982-1987), Patrick Pinchart (1987-1993), Thierry Tinlot (1993-2004), Julien Brasseur (2004-2005), Patrick Pinchart (2005), Olivier van Vaerenbergh (2005-2007), Serge Honorez (2007-2008), Frédéric Niffle (2008-2017, 2019), Florence Mixhel (2017-2019), Morgan Di Salvia (2019-   ). Particularly during the Tinlot era, the playfulness and inventiveness that characterized Delporte's tenure returned. Like his predecessor, Tinlot initiated special thematic issues, fake scoops and a fictionalized depiction of Spirou's editorial offices in comic pages (in this case, 'Le Boss' by Bercovici and Zidrou).

Books about Yvan Delporte
Yvan Delporte was the subject of an extensive large-format book by Dupuis experts Christelle and Bertrand Pissavy-Yvernault, 'Yvan Delporte, Réacteur en Chef' (Dupuis, 2009). That same year saw publication of a similar-sized retrospective of Le Trombone Illustré, containing the entire content of all 30 issues.

Delporte caricaturé par Franquin
Yvan Delporte caricature by André Franquin.

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