Pat'Apouf, art by Gervy (Almanach du Pélerin, 1949)
Pat'Apouf (Almanach du Pélerin, 1949)

Gervy was a French illustrator and comics artist, best remembered for his long-running detective comic 'Pat'Apouf' (1938-1973).

Yves Desdemaines-Hugon was born in 1908 in Blaye, Gironde, France. Among his graphic influences was George McManus. He started his career in 1926, making humorous illustrations, covers and advertisements for several magazines, such as Le Combat Périgourdin, Ric et Rac, L’Ouest-Éclair and Gringoire. He started using the pseudonym "Gervy" around 1930, which was a contraction of his first name and his wife's name, Germaine. From 1932, he was present at the Société Anonyme du Petit Écho de la Mode, later renamed to Editions Montsouris. He made illustrations and some comics for periodicals like Guignol (short stories), Lisette ('Klik, le Petit Lutin') and Pierrot ('Plouck le Moussaillon', 'Clin-Foc', 'Roudoudou').

Miette et son ami Totoche (Bernadette, 1951)
Miette et son ami Totoche (Bernadette, 1951)

In 1936, Éditions Gordinne published his first comic book, 'Le Trésor de l'Île aux Mouettes'. That same year, he started making comics for Bonne Presse, like 'Le Totem du Vieux Cerf', 'Prodigieux Exploits de Paulo' and 'Jean et Paul', which were published in the periodical Bayard. Gervy began his series 'Pat'Apouf' on 6 March 1938, in another Bonne Presse magazine, Le Pélerin. It centered around a detective/police inspector who is often accompanied by his adoptive son Jacky. The series became popular and kept running for nearly 45 years. In 1959 Gervy was honored with the Grand Cross of the Order of Gregorius the Great at the proposal of cardinal Maurice Feltin, who was a fan of the series. He kept drawing the series in this magazine until 3 June 1973, when it was taken over by Jean Ache. Ache would introduce a third main cast member in 1975: Jacky’s dog Goliath. In 1985 Ache died, but Michel Conversin finished the final 'Pat'Apouf' story he left behind and continued the series until 1988, after which he was succeeded by Guy Vidal, under the pseudonym Gulcis, and Philippe Callens, under the pseudonym Ballofet. The final 'Pat'apouf' story was published in 1990.

Pat'Apouf, art by Gervy (Le Pélerin, 1959)
Pat'Apouf (Le Pélerin, 1959)

Gervy did not feel overworked by his immense production, and additionally created 'Joe Typhon' and 'Pacifque' for Le Pélerin and was present in the magazines of Averbode, Petit Belges, Tremplin and Zonneland. He took on new comics, like 'Klik, Wisky et Boule', 'Ritou', and 'Les Inventions du Professeur Pouic'.

1951, art by Gervy

After the War, Gervy was present at Éditions Pierre Fanlac, among others with the pantomime comic 'Monsieur Pluche' in L'Essor. In Goupil, he made 'Les Aventures de Goupil', 'Ralingue et Pamplemousse', 'L'Affaire Brand', 'Johnny le Justicier' and 'Miette et son ami Totoche'. Back at the publishing house Gordinne, he created 'Bobby Reporter' in album, which also appeared in Wrill later on.

Bobby Reporter, art by Gervy
Bobby Reporter (Wrill)

Series and books by Gervy in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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