Celestino by Jean Mahaux
Celestino (Il Giornalino #35, 3 September 1972)

Jean Mahaux was a Belgian comic artist, with a short stint in comics during the 1960s and 1970s. He was present in Spirou magazine with the humor mystery feature 'Finemouche et Fiasco' (1964-1970), and additionally appeared in the pages of Pilote ('Douaniers Lapoire et Lastuce'), Amis-Coop ('Fortuné') and Il Giornalino ('Celestino').

Early life and career
Born in 1934, Jean Mahaux was trained as a teacher. As an artist, he was self-taught. Signing some of his comics with "Mao", he underwent notable influence from Franco-Belgian comic creators like André Franquin and Maurice Tillieux, as well as Jean Tabary and Albert Uderzo. In 1961, he made his first appearance in Spirou magazine, drawing one of the magazine's fold-in mini-booklets, 'Cassonade' (1961). It took two more years before he returned with two more mini-booklets: 'La Cloche Bertha' (1963) and 'L'Ange Emile contre les Barbudos' (1963). The latter story had a guest appearance of André Franquin's 'Gaston' character!


Finemouche et Fiasco - 'Razzia sur la Spoum' (Spirou #1436, 1965).

Spirou
In 1964, Mahaux created the slapstick adventures of Chief of Police Finemouche and police officer Fiasco. The characters were introduced in full-blown adventure serial about a mysterious series of monument thefts, 'Smog à Gogo' (1964-1965), written by André Lange. Between 1965 and 1970, Mahaux/Mao created seven more short stories with 'Finemouche et Fiasco', mostly investigations of four to six pages with an emphasis on humor. In 1966, Mahaux also made two short stories starring the intelligent anthropomorphic bird 'Adolphe', who works as the assistant of a human professor. Jean Mahaux's final contribution to Spirou was another mini-booklet, 'Réglisse et Jujube Gansters à la Gomme' (1971).

Other magazine work
Between 1968 and 1972, Jean Mahaux was additionally present in Pilote magazine, mostly with self-contained short humor stories. Recurring characters in two stories were the customs collectors 'Douaniers Lapoire et Lastuce' (1969). Mahaux also contributed to Pilote's series of current affairs comic stories. Between 1969 and the mid-1970s, he also made the feature 'Les Infortunes de Fortuné' for the primary school magazine Amis-Coop. For the Italian children's magazine Il Giornalino, Mahaux made the comic strip about the extraterrestrial 'Celestino' (1972-1975); aided for the scripts by Thierry Martens (Terence). Later on, the feature also appeared in French under the title 'Célestin' in Vidéovip magazine.

Later life
During the 1970s, Jean Mahaux left the comic industry and became an antique salesman. He passed away in 2013.


'Olé!', current affairs comic strip published in Pilote #576, 1970.

Series and books by Jean Mahaux in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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