Michel Demarets drew the vehicles in 'Tintin et les Picaros' (©Hergé/Moulinsart).

Michel Demarets was an artist employed by Studio Hergé from 1954 to 1986. He drew cars and other backgrounds for many of the later 'Tintin' stories, and was also responsible for the 'Jouons avec Tintin' game books (1974). Demarets was additionally an assistant for Jacques Martin's historical series 'Alix'. 

Life and career
Michel Demarets was born in 1935 in Verviers, in the Belgian province Liège. He inherited his talent for drawing from his father Georges, who worked as a teacher. Demarets first chose a career in industrial art, and enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts. His ambitions took another turn after his encounter with Roger Leloup, who was the assistant of comic artist Jacques Martin, famous for the series 'Alix' and 'Lefranc'. By 1953, Demarets was also part of Martin's team. When in 1954 Martin officially joined the studio of Hergé, creator of 'Tintin', he brought his two assistants along with him.

Demarets remained one of Hergé's loyal co-workers for the next thirty years. He produced artwork for encyclopedic chromolithographs in the series 'Voir et Savoir' ('To See and Know'), which could be obtained by collecting Tintin stamps. He was also involved in the production of the official 'Tintin' stories, for which he drew a great many trains, cars and airplanes. Among the books he contributed to were at least 'Tintin in Tibet' (1960), 'Tintin and the Picaros' (1976) and the redrawn and updated version of 'The Black Island' (1966, by Bob de Moor). Demarets was also responsible for the concept and production of six 'Tintin' pop-up books, as well as the game books 'Jouons avec Tintin à Moulinsart' (1974) and 'Jouons avec Tintin en Syldavie' (1974). The latter two were reprinted as one collection under the title 'Jouons avec Tintin' in 1991. Among the other artists working for Hergé during this period were, besides Leloup and Martin, Bob De Moor, Jo-El Azara and Johan De Moor.

Demarets stayed with the team up until 1986, when Studio Hergé was disbanded. Three years earlier Hergé had passed away and made clear that 'Tintin' would not be continued after his death. His widow, Fanny Vlamynck, established the Fondation Hergé (since 1996 Moulinsart) to safeguard her late husband's legacy. Demarets kept active in the comics industry, occasionally working with Jacques Martin again on the 'Alix' series. In old age, he received some recognition when an exposition about his work for Studio Hergé was installed in the Maison d'Adolphe Hardy in Dison in January 2012.

Death and legacy
Michel Demarets passed away in 2014 in Pepinster, in the province Liège, at the age of 79. Although the majority of his comics were done anonymous and without much recognition, he made impressive contributions to the graphic presentations of both Hergé's and Jacques Martin's oeuvre. 

From: 'Jouons avec Tintin à Moulinsart' (© Hergé/Moulinsart).

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